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1987 Certificate of Meritorious Service

Joseph Hashisaki, Western Washington State University

The first sectional Certificate for Meritorious Service was presented in 1987 to Joseph Hashisaki posthumously. His widow Mary Jane and his daughter Susan attended the award ceremony in San Antonio.

Starting with humble beginnings in rural eastern Montana Joseph Hashisaki grew to a man of outstanding mathematical stature in the Pacific Northwest and the nation.

After his undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Montana (Missoula) and his service in the Pacific front during World War II, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He served on the mathematics faculty at the University of Montana from 1953 to 1962, before moving to Western Washington University (Bellingham) to become chairman of the mathematics department. At Bellingham he provided the leadership to develop and strengthen the undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematics. His book on the Theory of Arithmetic (co-authored with John Peterson) became a benchmark in the training of elementary teachers across the land. In the early 1970's, he was the founding editor of the Two Year College Mathematics Journal (now the MAA's College Mathematics Journal). Always a strong supporter of MAA, Joe served on numerous committees and task forces.

But to the many that knew him personally, probably the most memorable aspect of his life was his infectious enthusiasm for mathematics. Through his unselfish caring and encouragement he influenced a large number of young people to become professional mathematicians. Many a young mathematics student went to that first mathematics meeting or presented that first paper because of the gentle persuasion of this fine teacher.

On January 2, 1986, the mathematical community lost one of its finest members.