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Regents formally approve an Inouye chair in democratic ideals

Position honors public service and contributions of Dan and Maggie Inouye

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Nov 18, 2005

KAHULUI, Hawaiʻi — At its meeting at Maui Community College, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) formally approved the establishment of a Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals. The chair will be housed in the Department of American Studies, College of Arts & Humanities, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa.

The chair is named for U.S. Senator Dan Inouye and his wife Maggie, for their many years of outstanding public service and contributions to Hawaiʻi and the nation. Chair holders will rotate and be selected from distinguished public figures, who will offer courses and seminars for the benefit of students, faculty, alumni and the community. A campaign to raise private funds to endow the chair led by Walter Dods, Chairman of First Hawaiian Bank, Jeffrey Watanabe, Managing Partner of Watanabe Ing& Komeiji LLP, and UH Interim president David McClain, have netted $2.3 million.

"This chair in democratic ideals recognizes the long years of public service by Senator Inouye and his wife, Maggie, and for their strong support and promotion of democratic ideals," said Kitty Lagareta, BOR Chairperson. "Senator Inouye has not only upheld and practiced democratic ideals in his distinguished career in Congress, but, as a decorated combat veteran."

"Maggie has worked side by side with her husband in many capacities, including co-chairing the statewide Ready to Learn program that successfully provided school supplies to needy families. An alumna of UH, she has also served the people of Hawaiʻi in the field of education, working at UH-Mānoa as a speech instructor and later as an educational instructor," Lagareta said.

Inouye, the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, is known for his distinguished record as a legislative leader, and as a World War II combat veteran who earned the nation's highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor. Although he was thrust into the limelight in the 1970s as a member of the Watergate Committee and in 1987 as Chairman of the Iran-Contra Committee, he has also quietly made his mark as a respected legislator able to work in a bipartisan fashion to enact meaningful legislation.

As the ranking Democrat on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Inouye has been able to focus on defense matters that strengthen national security, and enhance the quality of life for military personnel and their families. He has also championed the interests of Hawaiʻi's people throughout his career. He was instrumental in engineering the restoration and return of Kahoʻolawe, the island that had been used for target practice by the U.S. military, to the State of Hawaiʻi.

Senator Inouye was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and is now serving his eighth consecutive term. When Hawaiʻi became a state in 1959, he was elected the first Congressman from the new state, and was re-elected to a full term in 1960.

About the University of Hawaiʻi
Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit