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The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents voted unanimously in February 2013 to name four UH facilities and programs after the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye to honor his legacy and commitment to the University of Hawaiʻi.

The facilities and programs

“The board embraced the opportunity to celebrate his legacy and his vision, to want to have the university be an impactful institution on all of our major islands,” said UH Board of Regents Chair Eric K. Martinson.

“He encouraged us to make education a priority. He encouraged us to do the best in the world in certain areas of research and to build for the future in other areas,” said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. “He was just himself, an enormous inspirational man of great integrity and courage.”

Inouye’s immeasurable impact on the university was the focus of a press conference on February 22, 2013. The university officially named the facilities and programs after him to thank the senator and his family for his extraordinary vision and support during his nearly 60-year long career in public service, the last 50 as a United States senator.

“The accomplishments that he made during that time are monumental. He has created new research programs at the University of Hawaiʻi and elsewhere,” said David Karl, professor and Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education director.

Inouye helped steer millions of dollars to the university for projects like the Center for Microbial Oceanography but his focus was not just on UH Mānoa. The community colleges and campuses on the neighbor islands were just as important to him.

“Those colleges have thrived and are on a trajectory to be among the best in the country because of the support and stewardship that Senator Inouye gave to them,” said Donald Straney, UH Hilo chancellor.

He was the driving force behind Hilo’s College of Pharmacy and Kauaʻi’s Electronics Technology Building. Despite all he accomplished for UH, Inouye always pushed himself and other to do more.

“And let me tell you, every time I saw the senator, I felt his hand on my back saying, ‘Move forward, progress. You can be great and we need to be great for the citizens that live on the island of Kauaʻi,’” said Helen Cox, Kauaʻi Community College chancellor.

“If he was here today, he probably would not agree to this. He probably would say, ‘That’s not the way I want to be remembered,’” said Representative Colleen Hanabusa.

But now his memory will live on for generations.

“It is about, certainly celebrating the moment, but more importantly about continuing to look toward the future, said wife Irene Hirano Inouye. “Continuing to imagine what no one would believe could be done but always finding a way to make it happen.”

“To hear everyone paying respect to my father and thanking us for our role that we played is humbling,” said Ken Inouye.

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