Linda and John Tolmie provide critical scholarship funding for UH Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Martha Hanson, (808) 956-3716
Associate Vice President for Communication and Donor Relations
Posted: Feb 27, 2008

"We are delighted to endow this scholarship for deserving UH Hilo students in the names of our parents. Having grown up during the depression, our parents instilled in their children a strong work ethic, a desire to excel in academics and a love of God, family and country. They also encouraged us to seek our own paths in life by being curious and optimistic thinkers. In endowing this scholarship, it is our hope that our parents' legacy will inspire future generations." - Linda A. and John S. Tolmie Jr.

HILO — Longtime community and UH Hilo supporters Linda and John Tolmie have established a $50,000 endowed scholarship in the names of their parents, John and Mary Tolmie & James and Fulvia Bailey.

The Tolmies, who operate Tolmie Properties Ltd., a commercial real estate firm in Hilo, have lived in Hawaiʻi since the mid 1970s and have been active in a number of community organizations. John, a former Marine Corps officer, is a longstanding member of the UH Hilo Chancellor‘s Advisory Board. Linda, a former teacher, served as Vice Chair of the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center Advisory Committee from its inception in 2003 until 2007.

John‘s father left high school during the depression, and to support his family, he worked in a number of factories. Linda‘s father worked in the shipyards.

"We never felt deprived," said Linda, "and somehow it was just assumed" that the children would go to college. Linda put herself through Stonehill College near Boston and John is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. As the first in their families to attend college, they know firsthand the financial struggles students may face and are committed to helping them reach their goals.

The John and Mary Tolmie & James and Fulvia Bailey scholarship will benefit fulltime students in any field at UH Hilo. Preference will be given to students who have graduated from high school in Hawaiʻi and demonstrate financial need. The first scholarship will be given to a student enrolling in the fall of 2008.

Private scholarships make a critical difference to students in need of financial assistance at UH Hilo, which receives nearly 5,000 applications for financial aid each year.

"UH Hilo has the highest percentage of students receiving financial aid of any of the 10 campuses in the University of Hawaiʻi system," said Chancellor Rose Tseng. "We would never be able to assist so many students with only government aid at our disposal. We are indebted to the Tolmies for making a critical difference."

At a recent gift acceptance ceremony, John said, "When we look back, we don‘t think we would have been as successful if the University wasn‘t having such a powerful impact on the Hawaiʻi Island economy."

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is a comprehensive university with six undergraduate colleges, six Master‘s programs and two doctoral programs. Enrollment has doubledsince 1980 to more than 3,600 students coming from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.

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.

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