Subaru Contribution to Benefit Hawaiian Studies Program

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Sep 4, 2001

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's Ka Haka 'Ula O Ke'elikölani College of Hawaian Language recently received an $8,000 contribution from the Japan Astronomy Foundation (JAF), a Japan-based non-profit organization that supports astronomy projects.

The contribution was presented to Chancellor Rose Tseng by Dr. Hiroyasu Ando, director of the Subaru Telescope/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Also on hand for the presentation were Subaru Associate Director Dr. Masa Hayashi, Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke'elikölani College Director Dr. Kalena Silva, the College's Hawaiian Studies Division Chair Dr. William H. "Pila" Wilson, and Polynesian Voyaging Society Navigator Chad Baybayan.

"Subaru Telescope's construction and operation in Hilo has been very successful due to the continuous support and encouragement we have received from members of the local community," Ando said. "Through this contribution, we hope to help UH Hilo provide educational opportunities for aspiring students, while expressing our sincere gratitude to the community."

The donation will help support the building of a Hawaiian sailing canoe, to be used by students of the College. The canoe is an integral part of a Hawaiian navigation curriculum development project, made possible by a federal grant obtained through the National Hawaiian Education Act.

"We very much appreciate Subaru's support for this project," Silva said. "The construction, maintenance and activities of this canoe will enable our students to engage in practical, traditional learning in a Hawaiian language environment."

The canoe project will also promote closer ties between the Hawaiian and scientific communities, by enabling students to explore the relationship between astronomy and the rigorous discipline of ancient Polynesian navigation.

"This is a true educational and research partnership," said Tseng. "We're very pleased to have tenants like Subaru in our University Park for Science and Technology, who have consistently shown their commitment to being a good neighbor. Subaru's work, combined with its longstanding support for our students, has made them an integral part of our scientific community."