Christiaan “Chris” Grootaert, former lead economist in the social development department based at the World Bank’s D.C. office, has pledged $250,000 (with an outright gift coupled with his estate gift) to establish the Karen Elaine Chandler Endowed Hawaiʻinuiākea Scholarship Fund for Hawaiian Studies, Dance and Music. The scholarship supports undergraduate students pursuing a degree at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge who have a strong focus on Hawaiian dance or the combination of Hawaiian dance and music.
Originally from Belgium, Grootaert graduated from UH Mānoa in 1978 with a PhD in economics. This latest gift builds on his earlier generosity. In 2005 he established an endowed scholarship fund at the Department of Economics and in early 2013 he established an endowed scholarship fund at the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, both in his name.
The new scholarship honors Grootaert’s friend and companion, Karen Chandler. “By creating this scholarship, we are honoring Karen’s wish to express her thanks for the cultural enrichment she received through her contact with Hawaiian culture,” said Grootaert.
About Karen Elaine Chandler
Karen Elaine Chandler (1947–2013) grew up in Honolulu and San Diego. She had a long and distinguished career as an attorney and was praised for her expertise, work ethic and dedication. Chandler received numerous awards.
Chandler pursued a life of cultural enrichment and was an avid student of the arts. Her childhood love of Hawaiian dance led to a life-long appreciation of Hawaiian culture, especially dance and music. Her final wishes included the creation of this scholarship fund to help students pursue Hawaiian studies and the art of Hawaiian dance and music.
Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Dean Maenette Benham said, “This scholarship honors a remarkable woman and will make an important contribution towards preserving and revitalizing those elements of Hawaiian culture rooted in and expressed through dance and music. We are most grateful.”
For more, visit the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation news release.