USC honored Nisei students at a 2008 ceremony during a Trojans football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

USC honored Nisei students at a 2008 ceremony during a Trojans football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (USC News)

EXPOSITION PARK (KTLA) -- Seven decades after they were forced to abandon their studies, Japanese-American students who were interned during World War II will be receiving degrees from the University of Southern California.

The students, referred to as Nisei, which means "second generation" in Japanese, were ordered to leave school in 1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the internment of all Americans of Japanese decent living on the West coast.

“Through the years these students have been among the most passionate and dedicated members of the Trojan Family," University President C. L. Nikias said in a statement. "We are honored that our Nisei students have an enduring devotion to USC, and we want them to know that the university is also devoted to them.”

Nikias will award the honorary bachelor's and master's degrees at this year's commencement on May 11.

“We are proud of our Nisei former students as they will forever serve as an inspiration to the Trojan Family," Rod Y. Nakamoto, president of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association, said.

In 2008, Nissei students were granted honorary alumni status and a scholarship was established in their honor.

Students who were forced to leave USC and/or their family members can register at usc.edu/commencement or by contacting Grace Shiba, senior director of alumni relations at USC, at (213) 740-4937 or nisei@usc.edu.