Jan., 2008 Vol. 33 No. 1
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Published January 2008

Fall semester milestones add celebratory feel to UH centennial


We marked the 35th anniversary of UH women’s athletics in two important ways during fall 2007.

A dinner in August honored the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink for her work on Title IX legislation, later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Proceeds from the dinner, which featured Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, created an endowed scholarship in Mink’s name for women athletes.

Donnis Thompson, UH Mānoa’s first women’s athletic director, was recognized with the unveiling of a sculpture in her likeness, created by alumna Jan-Michelle Sawyer, in the ewa concourse of the Stan Sheriff Center. Serving 1972–81, Dr. Thompson opened the door of opportunity for thousands of women to excel athletically and academically. The most recent examples are members of this year’s Wahine soccer and volleyball teams, which each won Western Athletic Conference championships.

Our first cohort of Centennial Scholars entered UH this semester, and I’m sure the 400-strong group includes a number of students who will go on to make a difference just as did Congresswoman Mink and Dr. Thompson. The $1,000 merit-based scholarship, renewable for up to four years, is designed to encourage Hawaiʻi’s best high school graduates to attend college full-time at one of our campuses. Recipients graduated from a Hawaiʻi high school in 2007 with a GPA of 3.8 or SAT of 1800 (or combined ACT of 27) and attended a UH campus the following semester.

The exclamation point on the semester, and a centennial highlight, was provided by our 12–0 football team, selected to play in the Sugar Bowl. The loss to #4-ranked Georgia doesn’t diminish the fact that these remarkable scholar-athletes elevated the spirit of our community and brought people together in a rare and special way.

Building on the Centennial Campaign’s launch last August, I’ve visited alumni and friends on the neighbor islands, U.S. mainland and in Asia, sharing these and other stories about the difference this university has made in people’s lives and in our community over the past 100 years. You have been most receptive to my encouragement to invest in our philanthropic priorities to assure an even greater impact in UH’s second century, and we’re closing in on our campaign goal of $250 million.

Mahalo nui loa
David McClain
President, University of Hawaiʻi


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