William and Sylvia Sue Johnson give $1 million to UH Manoa College of Business Administration

Gift establishes two endowed teaching positions

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jul 21, 2006

HONOLULU — The Board of Regents today approved the establishment of two professorships: the William R. Johnson, Jr., Distinguished Professorship and the W. Ruel Johnson Distinguished Professorship at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Business, each endowed at $500,000. The endowments will be invested and managed by the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation (UHF).

University of Hawaiʻi alumnus William R. Johnson, Jr., and his wife Sylvia Sue donated the $1 million to the UH Mānoa College of Business Administration (CBA). Johnson earned a BBA from the College in 1965 and later became owner and CEO of Johnson Machinery. He succeeded his father Ruel as leader of the Riverside, California-based company.

Johnson said, "When I asked CBA Dean Vance Roley what would help move the College of Business forward, he told me endowed professorships. As a businessman, I understand the importance of retaining my best staff members, and it made sense that he would want to do the same with his faculty at the College. My education at the College of Business Administration gave me the knowledge base to grow Johnson Machinery. I am deeply grateful for that foundation and am delighted to be able to make this gift."

The endowed distinguished professorship positions will allow Dean Roley to better recruit and retain top faculty and enhance the College‘s national and international reputation. The College is ranked among the nation's top 20 graduate schools for international business by U.S. News & World Report.

CBA Dean Roley commented, "Bill and Sue Johnson have been strong supporters of higher education as evidenced by the many endowments they have established over the years. We are especially pleased that Bill, a successful businessman and a graduate of the College, embraces the importance of private giving. Bill‘s generous gift will enable the College to remain competitive among other business schools when recruiting faculty and students."

The philanthropic couple has also endowed professorships and department chairs at universities in Southern California.

UH Mānoa Chancellor Denise Konan said, "We are proud to be educating future business leaders who then take their knowledge from Hawaiʻi into the international arena. This gift makes it possible to continue and enhance that tradition."

UHF President Donna Vuchinich noted, "This gift demonstrates the Johnsons‘ leadership and foresight. Endowments such as theirs are vital to the long-term future of the College and our University. Government funding levels may fluctuate regularly, but the stability of private endowments is one of the keys to building programs of excellence."

About University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Business
Established in 1949, the UHM College of Business is renowned for its expertise in international management education and is consistently ranked among the nation's top 25 graduate schools for international business by U.S. News & World Report. Long recognized for its Asia-Pacific focus, the College is a professional school, offering a wide variety of degree, certificate and executive programs. The College places a strong emphasis on the development of management skills, entrepreneurship and the management of business information technology. The UHM College of Business is the only graduate program in the State of Hawai'i accredited by AACSB International. For more information, visit www.cba.hawaii.edu.

About the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is an independent, university-related, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise private funds according to priorities determined by the academic leadership of the University of Hawaiʻi and approved by the Board of Regents. Founded in 1955, the Foundation provides a full range of fund raising and alumni relations services for all 10 UH campuses. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.uhf.hawaii.edu.