Barry and Virginia Weinman establish Dean's Chair Fund at UH School of Medicine

$3 million gift will support mission of John A. Burns School of Medicine

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Aug 11, 2008

"Barry and Virginia Weinman are wonderful philanthropists who view challenges as opportunities and then contribute both their expertise and resources to convert such opportunities into realities. Our university and our community continue to benefit greatly because of their understanding of many opportunities - from entrepreneurship being at the core of business in Hawaiʻi, to recognizing a shortage of physicians, to the importance of being able to effectively transfer university research advances to the marketplace. We are so very grateful for their leadership in supporting UH Mānoa."
Virginia Hinshaw, Chancellor University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

HONOLULU - On July 31st, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents voted to accept a gift of $3 million from longtime UH supporters and community philanthropists Barry and Virginia Weinman. The gift will establish the Barry and Virginia Weinman Dean‘s Chair in Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

The Weinmans established the fund to inspire additional endowment gifts in support of the University of Hawaiʻi and JABSOM during the last year of the Centennial Campaign, signal their support for new medical school dean, Dr. Jerris Hedges, and enhance the dean‘s ability to positively impact the future quality of health care in the state of Hawaiʻi. "Barry and Virginia continue to be agents for positive change at UH," said Donna Vuchinich, president of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. "This generous contribution will enable Dean Hedges to advance the education, clinical, research and community service missions of the medical school."The endowment will permit the dean to take advantage of unanticipated opportunities and address key priorities within the medical school. The funds may be used to recruit and retain talented faculty; to support quality research and provide seed research funding, particularly among promising junior faculty; to support initiatives which enhance the medical education curriculum; to better address the physician and health care work force shortage in the state, and to enhance the medical school‘s role in shaping health care policy for the state of Hawaiʻi.

"This critical funding will enhance our medical school's ability to be a driving force in the islands for excellence - in medical education, biomedical research, clinical practice and in health care policy, particularly in addressing the crucial health care and workforce issues facing our state," said Dr. Jerris Hedges, Dean of JABSOM. "We are deeply grateful to Virginia and Barry for their continuing support and their commitment to improving health care in our state." "Virginia and I are delighted to make this gift as part of the final phase of the university‘s Centennial Campaign," said Barry Weinman. "In my role as chair of the campaign, it is very rewarding to see our total at $239.4 million, with just $10.6 million to go to reach our goal."

The Weinmans have been staunch supporters of UH. In 2000, they became members of the University of Hawaiʻi‘s Founders Club when they presented the Shidler College of Business with $1.1 million to establish the Barry and Virginia Weinman Chair of Entrepreneurship and E-Business. Their additional gift of $250,000 initiated the Pacific Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business (PACE) at the Shidler College.

In 2006, the Weinmans pledged $1 million to UH to establish the Barry and Virginia Weinman Fellowship for ten medical students at JABSOM, to cover tuition and expenses for all four years of medical school. Through the fellowship program, the couple is addressing the ongoing shortage of doctors in Hawaiʻi. The Weinmans have requested that the recipients of the fellowships return to Hawaiʻi after internship and residency to practice in Hawaiʻi, especially in rural and underserved communities. Barry and Virginia are activists and have said, "We are concerned that Hawaiʻi is facing a serious medical crisis with many physicians leaving the Islands due to various obstacles, such as prohibitively expensive malpractice insurance as a result of a lack of medical tort reform legislation. Medicare reimbursement issues also must be addressed. The Legislature can‘t do much if anything, about Medicare, but has the power to reform escalating medical malpractice insurance premiums, as most other states have done, to help keep doctors in Hawaiʻi. Hopefully the Legislature will act responsibly in the next session before much more damage is done."

Virginia Weinman graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business as a Sloan Fellow and also has a master‘s in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling. She was founder and president of, a California multimedia development corporation. She was a Presidential Appointee to the Federal Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations, and was a US State Department delegate to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. Virginia also co-founded Interactive Applications, and served as its CEO. The company, the first online manufacturing software and services business, merged with Boole & Babbage and later went public.

Barry Weinman earned a bachelor‘s degree from Clarkson College of Technology and a master‘s degree from the London School of Economics/University of Southern California (USC). He served as a US Navy officer on the USS Radford, and was a speechwriter and intelligence briefing officer for the Commander of US Naval Forces in Europe and for the US Ambassador to Great Britain. He held management positions with AT&T, IBM and Fairchild Semiconductor.

From 1988 to 1995, he taught in the USC Business School entrepreneurial program and lectured on venture capital to UH MBA students. Barry has been making venture capital investments since 1980. He co-founded Allegis Capital and Associated Venture Investors, Silicon Valley venture capital funds which invest in early stage technology companies. He is also co-founder and chairman of DragonBridge Capital, a merchant bank and venture capital fund, which assists Chinese companies in the capital formation process.

The Weinmans met while Virginia was attending UH and Barry was stationed in Hawaiʻi with the military. They have since lived in various parts of the world and now live in Hawaiʻi full-time. Barry is currently the chair of the UH Centennial Campaign Cabinet and Virginia is a Cabinet member. Barry is also a Foundation trustee and chairs the Foundation Board‘s Investment Committee.