On Anna Sloggett’s 100th birthday in September 2006, friends, family and former students gathered at Kauaʻi’s Wailua Golf Course for a tournament and birthday party in honor of the spunky Sloggett, who played golf, as she does every week, and danced the hula at her luncheon.
Sloggett was a popular teacher who touched the lives of third graders on three islands. The golf event not only honored her teaching legacy, but continued it by raising more than $100,000 to endow a scholarship in her name.
Similar stories abound about the more than 93,000 individual donors to the University of Hawaiʻi’s Centennial Campaign. From hundreds of thousands of modest donations to the 50 gifts exceeding $1 million, each contribution improves the University of Hawaiʻi System’s ability to transform lives and improve the community.
The Centennial Campaign marked the most ambitious fundraising effort in the state to date, notes UH Foundation President Donna Vuchinich.
Surpassing all expectations, it exceeded the $250 million goal and raised a total of $282 million. Another $54 million has been pledged as bequest intentions, bringing the campaign total to $336 million.
More than a fourth of the campaign total is in the form of endowed gifts, like the Sloggett Scholarship—particularly valuable because investment of the principal allows a continuing source of interest-funded support.
Campaign support was as broad as the university’s reach, with gifts coming from around the world. While 70 percent of gifts came from Hawaiʻi, 28 percent came from the mainland and close to 2 percent from international donors.
The majority of the money raised came from individuals—alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students and family foundations. Organizations, including other foundations, corporations, affiliated organizations and clubs and associations accounted for the rest.
Donors responded to the different priorities defined by the campaign. Just a few examples follow.
In Support of Students
Windward Community College Professor of History Paul Field and his wife Jane established the Paul and Jane Field Endowed Scholarship Fund to assist students pursuing an associate in arts at the Kāneʻohe campus.
On the Big Island, community members Ronald and Irene Nagata established an endowed scholarship fund in their names to expand learning opportunities for students at Hawaiʻi Community College. Both attended UH Hilo and UH Mānoa and Irene Nagata taught at Hawaiʻi Community College.
Shortly before Norman W. H. Loui passed away, he decided to create a gift of hope for future students at his alma mater, Honolulu Community College. His estate of more than $3 million provided the largest single gift to a community college in Hawaiʻi. It provides financial support for students enrolled in the college’s technical and trades programs.
The Loui family has a tradition of giving to UH. Loui’s mother endowed the Bernice Char Loui Clinical Skills Room at the John A. Burns School of Medicine to enhance medical education and previously supported travel industry, environmental science and student exchange programs at Mānoa and culinary and Asia-Pacific programs at Kapiʻolani Community College.
Another gift supporting students in health studies came from The Queen’s Health Systems, which provided $75,000 for scholarships in Kapiʻolani Community College health programs.
In Support of Faculty
Probably the best known gift of the Centennial Campaign was the record setting contribution by Honolulu businessman Jay Shidler (Mālamalama, January 2007). His $25 million gift supports scholarships, endowed faculty positions, summer research activities and facilities improvements.
What is less recognized is the impact of his challenge to his peers: his promise to match gifts from fellow alumni helped secure additional donations to the Shidler College of Business, turning $2.85 million from other alumni into $5.9 million in total contributions.
Another record gift was $1 million from Dorvin and Betty Leis—the largest single gift ever to Maui Community College. The Maui residents and noted philanthropists established the Dorvin and Betty Leis Sustainability Fund to benefit environmental, economic, programmatic and academic efforts at the Maui campus.
To Enhance Community
With their passion for improving community life and supporting public education at all levels, charitable foundations are an important source of support.
A $5 million gift from the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation will transform UH Mānoa’s all-purpose track and field, football, soccer and recreational facility to more fully realize its potential as a center of student activity.
With a $500,000 donation from the Earl and Doris Bakken Foundation, the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center at UH Hilo is developing creative educational opportunities for local students and teachers (Mālamalama, May 2006).
The historic W.K. Kellogg Foundation $10 million award to the Hawaiʻi P–20 Initiative supports the goal of having every third grader in Hawaiʻi reading at grade level by 2015, while the Bernard Osher Foundation partners with UH Mānoa and UH West Oʻahu to support students who want to resume schooling after an interruption of five years or more. To date, the Osher Foundation has contributed more than $5 million to the UH System.
Just the Beginning
The campaign may be over, but the UH Foundation’s work as the nonprofit organization charged with raising private funds to support University of Hawaiʻi continues.
“The need for private support, especially during times when public funding to our university is so tight, is great,” says Vuchinich.
The foundation’s mission is to unite donors’ passions with UH aspirations to benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond.
“We are ready to leverage the momentum created through the Centennial Campaign to help our university and students fulfill their potential,” Vuchinich vows.
Learn more about the UH Foundation, scholarships or giving opportunities; visit the website or call 808 956-8849 (toll free 1-866-846-4262).