Updated: January 30, 2023
The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation raised a record $165 million the past fiscal year for groundbreaking gifts, which included $50 million for ocean research, a grant to boost residents getting college degrees, and an endowed scholarship bequest for underrepresented students from Pacific Island countries.
The 2022 fiscal year contributions came from 18,074 donors, and surpassed the previous year funding by 65%. It also was more than double the $84.7 million raised two years ago.
“Our donors showed tremendous confidence in UH, backed by concrete support that changes lives and strengthens Hawaiʻi’s economy,” said Tim Dolan, vice president of advancement at UH and CEO of the UH Foundation.
Among the 22,436 gifts received were those made by individuals and families in memory of loved ones, including several faculty members or their spouses.
Dr. Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated $50 million, the largest cash gift ever received by UH. It is a seven-year commitment to support various research groups within the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.
Hawaiʻi became the Lumina Foundation’s sixth Talent, Innovation, Equity (TIE) state with a $575,000 grant that UH will use to develop a strategy to increase the share of working-age adults in the Native Hawaiian, Filipino and other Pacific Islander groups with college degrees by 5 percentage points in four years.
A $3 million anonymous gift was donated to UH at Hilo that will be put with two endowed scholarships to create the first UH scholarship for LGBTQ+ students.
Alumni and other individuals also committed substantial gifts to UH for scholarships, faculty, research and facilities, including the Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) project, which is being built across from the UH Mānoa campus under a public-private partnership between UH Foundation, UH and Hunt Cos.
“These results are a strong endorsement of UH’s strategy and effectiveness as we focus on increasing access and graduation rates, diversifying Hawaiʻi’s economy and preparing a new workforce as our faculty, students and alumni tackle the grand challenges of sustainability, energy, climate resilience, conservation and community health,” UH President David Lassner said. “Each gift to UH moves all of Hawaiʻi to a better future and underscores the value of our great public higher education system to our people, our islands and global understanding.”
- A $500,000 grant from Oak Foundation seeded an innovative tiered mentoring program at the UH Hilo Center for Place-Based Socioemotional Development, known as The Hilo Center, that partners student peer mentors with faculty to grow and secure the pipeline to college for youth on Hawaiʻi Island.
- A $1 million gift from Hawaii Medical Service Association endowed a health economics professorship at the UH Economic Research Organization to help improve the economic health of Hawaiʻi.
- Corporate and individual donors — including Rich and Eileen Wacker; Hawaiian Electric Industries and American Savings Bank; Island Insurance Foundation; First Hawaiian Bank Foundation and Walter A. Dods Jr.; and Ben Godsey and Yvonne Chan — have invested some $3.7 million so far in the Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs, a first-of-its-kind facility in Hawaiʻi. When it opens in fall 2023, RISE will combine classroom, meeting and lab space with a 374-bed dormitory for Hawaiʻi’s next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Donations from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, along with grants from Ascendium Education Group and other partners funded Hana Career Pathways, a program that offers $2,000 in tuition assistance to unemployed or underemployed Hawaiʻi residents for short-term training at UH community colleges that can lead to credentials in health care, technology and skilled trades.
- A $100,000 grant from the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program allows Honolulu Community College to expand its associate degree and certificate programs in refrigeration and air conditioning technology. In addition, Honolulu CC is eligible for up to three years of renewed funding, allowing the program to expand and serve future students.
- Gifts from The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village and Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. created scholarships for students in Honolulu CC’s Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training program. A separate gift from Ward Village funded scholarships for students in UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering, School of Architecture and Department of Urban Planning and Development.
- Gifts totaling $500,000 from alumni couple Ken and Donna Hayashida and their engineering company, KAI Hawaii Inc., fund several initiatives at the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing, including a Vertically Integrated Project, or VIP, related to sustainability and resilience, and the Ken and Donna Hayashida Nursing Scholarship Endowment to support nursing students with helping to pay for costs associated with attendance, including tuition, books and fees.
- Dr. Chan and Zuckerberg followed their historic gift for ocean research with a $10 million gift to the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine to fund a program that works to help address the physician shortage on Kauaʻi.
- The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s gift of $1.28 million funds multiple cohorts for the Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi Medical Student Scholarship at UH’s medical school.
- Hawaiʻi Pacific Health’s $749,000 gift funds medical student scholarships at UH’s medical school.
- A planned gift from Dr. Bernyce Peplowski will go toward student loan repayment for future physicians at UH’s medical school, in particular students from underserved areas of Hawai‘i who commit to practicing medicine in such areas in their island home. A portion of her bequest will support outreach services at Kapi‘olani Community College’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific, specifically to engage and support food-insecure seniors with healthy, sustainably sourced meals.
- A $1 million grant from American AgCredit and CoBank to the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources builds upon their previous investment in the GoFarm Hawaiʻi program by helping the program’s graduates grow their agriculture businesses, which enhances food security and supports economic growth in Hawaiʻi.
- Waterhouse Charitable Trust have $1.5 million to support the UH Mānoa football program.