The University of Hawaiʻi Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others and provide service for the benefit of UH and the community. This year’s honorees will be recognized on Wednesday, May 7, at the Sheraton Waikīkī Hotel at a dinner in their honor.
The event will raise essential funding for the UH Alumni Association, a not-for-profit organization that awards student scholarships, connects alumni through its events and the UHAA Online ʻOhana, supports UHAA chapters & UH campuses and facilitates communication between UH and its alumni.
2014 Distinguished Alumni Award
J.Kūhiō Asam (MD ’78 Mānoa)
Asam is executive director of the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust and Home and currently serves on the boards of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, Hanahauʻoli School and Sutter Pacific Health, and is a member of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, Prince Kūhiō Hawaiian Civic Club and ʻAhahui o nā Kauka. Read more
Claire L. Asam (Med ’78, PhD ’99 Mānoa)
Asam was appointed as trustee of the Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust in 2007 and currently serves as vice president and executive director of SchoolRise, Hawaiʻi Division. She serves on the boards of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association, and on the advisory council for the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at UH Mānoa. Read more
Rick Blangiardi (Med ’73 Mānoa)
Blangiardi is general manager of Hawaiʻi News Now (KGMB and KHNL) and has been an executive in the television industry for more than 37 years. In addition to his vast TV background, Blangiardi is known by many for his role as former Rainbow Warrior defensive coordinator/associate head football coach, and later as president of Nā Koa Football Club and director of ʻAhahui Koa Ānuenue. Read more
Emme Tomimbang (AA ’71 Leeward, BEd ’73 Mānoa)
Tomimbang is president of EMME, Inc. and is one of Hawaiʻi’s most recognized broadcasters with more than 36 years of experience in radio and television. At KHON 2 she began delivering her Island Style features and anchoring the morning news. Her work includes the highly popular one-hour television series Emme’s Island Moments and Emme’s Island Living. Read more
2014 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award
John Waiheʻe III (JD ’76 Mānoa)
Governor Waiheʻe served as Hawaiʻi’s fourth elected governor and first Native Hawaiian governor from 1986 to 1994. He oversaw the return of Kahoʻolawe, the settling of overdue claims, the creation of the first language immersion programs and schools and an apology from President Bill Clinton and the federal government for the illegal overthrow of Hawaiʻi. Today he leads Kanaʻiolowalu, a project of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
Governor Waiheʻe was a member of the first graduating class of the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1976. Through his vision, the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, School of Architecture, Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services, and Stan Sheriff Center were developed, and the commitment for land to build the UH West Oʻahu was made. Read more
For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, visit the UHAA website.