The University of Hawaiʻi Alumni Association is pleased to announce the four 2013 recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Award and the winner of its Lifetime Achievement Award.
They will be honored at a 2013 UH Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on May 14 at the Sheraton Waikʻkʻ.
2013 Distinguished Alumni Award
Col. Edwin Gayagas (Ret) was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1962. He earned numerous awards during his 34-year career, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters. After retiring as an Army colonel in 1989, Gayagas started a general contracting and consulting company. Since retiring again in 1995 he has been an active community volunteer, devoting much of his time to UH. Gayagas attended UH Mānoa as an athlete and a UH Army ROTC cadet. He is also active in the UH Mānoa Letterwinners Club chapter and has served on its board. He raised funds for UH’s Fallen Warriors and helped seek honorary degrees for UH students killed during WWII.
Alden Henderson is an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He began his public health career in 1983 at the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, where he investigated disease outbreaks to identify their sources and understand how people become ill and spread diseases. In 1992, he joined the prestigious Epidemic Intelligence Service at the CDC. From 2008 to 2012, the CDC posted Henderson in Southeast Asia to train physicians on how to identify and control disease outbreaks and operate programs that monitor the occurrence of disease. He continues these efforts from CDC headquarters in Atlanta for public health professionals in East Africa.
Patrick K. Sullivan founded Oceanit in 1985. Sullivan’s 28 years of CEO experience and broad background in scientific innovations, team building and business has enabled Oceanit to spin out Hoana Medical, Inc. Sullivan has served on numerous boards and commissions, including those of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel, Parker Ranch and the High Technology Development Corporation. He currently serves on the boards of Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific and Hoana Medical and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi Military Affairs Council. Since 2007, Sullivan has served on the UH Mānoa College of Engineering dean’s council and was a former adjunct faculty member in the Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering.
Barbara Tanabe is owner and managing partner of Hoʻākea Communications, a Hawaiʻi public affairs company. Tanabe began her professional career in 1970 at KOMO in Seattle as one of the first Asian-American women in TV news in the U.S. In 1974 she became a news anchor and, later, senior business correspondent with KHON in Honolulu. Tanabe is one of 56 American journalists selected for the Washington Press Club Foundation oral history project on pioneer women. Tanabe is actively involved in community and civic organizations and has been volunteering at UH since 1974. She was inducted into the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor in 1996, and has also co-chaired Shidler’s 60th anniversary celebration steering committee. Tanabe recently worked with the College of Engineering to establish a science and engineering exhibition to encourage secondary students to study STEM and pursue careers in Hawaiʻi.
2013 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award
David Alan Ezra grew up in Hawaiʻi and went on to graduate first in his class from St. Mary’s University School of Law. After an active duty commitment in the Army, Ezra returned to Hawaiʻi and joined the law firm of Anthony, Hoddick, Reinwald and O’Connor. Ezra was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi in 1988, becoming the youngest federal judge in the state’s history. Ezra was an adjunct professor at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law from 1978 to 2012. He is past president of the Ninth Circuit U.S. District Judges Association, the first federal judge from Hawaiʻi ever to serve in that capacity. Ezra was also the first and only judge from Hawaiʻi to be elected by the judges of the Ninth Circuit to a three-year term as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which governs the operations of the Federal Judiciary. He currently serves as a member of the Judicial Conference Budget and Finance Advisory Council.