May, 2008 Vol. 33 No. 2
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Published May 2008

‘The more things change, the more they remain the same’


Alphonse Karr’s well-known epigram, penned in 1849, rings true today as we head toward the completion of our Centennial Celebration later this year.

One hundred years ago, the University of Hawaiʻi’s first president, John W. Gilmore, was focused on starting the institution’s first full semester of classes in fall 1908. Faculty, facilities and finances were very much on his mind, but so was the excitement of creating a new college in service to Hawaiʻi and its people.

As we enter our second century, that commitment continues, much amplified in scale and scope.

UH Hilo Professor of Economics David Hammes calculates that UH is a $1.6 billion player in Hawaiʻi’s economy. His study shows that UH increases every dollar of general funds appropriated by the Legislature by an additional $1.88. Total UH-related expenditures generate over $2 billion in business sales, more than 37,000 jobs and nearly $1.5 billion in earnings to Hawaiʻi households.

The study’s findings confirm that the state’s investment in UH continues to pay substantial dividends.

Writing in 1675, Sir Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." This issue of Mālamalama chronicles some of the giants of our first century, whose achievements and generosity have made your university the force it is in our community, our nation and the world.

We also highlight some of the innovative activities and partnerships under way as we create our future, with articles on the Polynesian voyaging revival past and future, sustainability initiatives, participation of our campuses in bringing a Smithsonian traveling exhibition to Hawaiʻi and a new Honolulu Community College program that aims to bring Hawaiʻi’s remarkable music tradition to a global audience.

Like President Gilmore, I spend much of my time focused on insuring that we can continue to attract and retain exceptional faculty and provide them with the physical and financial resources they need. But every day for me is one of wonder and excitement, as I see first hand the difference UH is making in the lives of our students and the life of our community.

Mahalo nui loa for your support of this great university!

David McClain, President


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