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Honorary Degrees

The Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters is awarded by the Board of Regents to individuals distinguished by their national or international reputations or accomplishments in scholarship, public service, profession, industry or other areas.

UH Executive Policy on awarding of honorary degrees.

2023 Recipients

2022 Recipient

2019 Recipients

2017 Recipient

2016 Recipient

2015 Recipients

2014 Recipients

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients

2011 Recipients

2010 Recipients

2009 Recipients

2006 Recipients

2005 Recipients

2004 Recipients

2003 Recipients

2002 Recipients

2001 Recipient


  • Kim Dae Jung, president of South Korea and Nobel Prize winner


  • Lech Walesa, human rights supporter, former Poland president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, 1999
  • Toshiko Takaezu, master potter, 1993
  • Thomas Yagi, 1993
  • Monsignor Charles Kekumano, priest, 1993
  • Richard Wong, state senator, Bishop Estate trustee, 1993
  • Robert Oshiro, co-founder, Hawai‘i Democratic Party and state legislator, 1993
  • Calvin Sia, Kapiolani Medical Center trustee, 1992
  • Betty Vitousek, Family Court judge, 1992
  • Danny Kaleikini, entertainer, 1991
  • Alfred Preis, founder, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1991
  • Masaru Pundy Yokouchi, chair, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1991
  • Hubert Everly, dean emeritus, UH College of Education, 1991
  • Ralph Kosaki, superintendent of education, 1991
  • Shimeji Kanazawa, Kuakini Health System trustee, 1990
  • Saburo Okita, chair, Institute for Domestic and International Policy Studies, 1990
  • Lloyd R. Vasey, founder, Pacific Forum, 1990
  • William Fulbright, U.S. senator, 1990


  • Herbert C. Cornuelle, James Campbell Estate trustee, 1989
  • Hung Wai Ching, retired businessman, 1989
  • Dai Ho Chun, retired educator, 1989
  • Kan Jung Luke, chairman, Hawai‘i National Bank, 1989
  • Edward Nakamura, Supreme Court associate justice, 1988 (DH)
  • Ah Quon McElrath, social worker, 1988 (DH)
  • Soedjatmoko, United Nations University rector, 1988 (DH)
  • Yehan Numata, founder, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, 1988 (DH)
  • Kenneth F. Brown, architect, former legislator, 1987 (DH)
  • Beatrice Krauss, ethnobotanist, 1987 (DH)
  • Mau Piailug, navigator and explorer, 1987 (DH)
  • Claude DuTeil, founder and head, Institute for Human Services, 1987 (DH)
  • Bhumibol Adulyadej, king of Thailand, 1986 (DH)
  • Robert J. Pfeiffer, chairman and CEO, Alexander & Baldwin, 1986 (DH)
  • George R. Ariyoshi, governor of Hawai‘i, 1986 (DH)
  • D. Carleton Gajdusek, laboratory chief, National Institutes of Health, 1986 (DH)
  • George Fukunaga, chairman, Servco Pacific, 1985
  • Wallace Fujiyama, attorney, 1985
  • Baron Goto, 1985
  • Masaji Marumoto, justice, 1985
  • Allen Neuharth, chairman and CEO, Gannett Company, 1985
  • Mike Mansfield, ambassador, 1983 (DH)
  • Chinn Ho, businessman, 1983 (DH)
  • Soshitsu Sen, grand tea master, 1983 (DH)
  • Spark M. Matsunaga, U.S. senator, 1983 (LD)
  • John D. Bellinger, chairman, First Hawaiian Bank, 1982 (LLD)
  • Arthur Joseph Goldberg, justice, 1982 (LLD)
  • Richard K. Lyman Jr., Bishop Estate trustee, 1982 (LLD)
  • MasayukiTokioka, businessman, 1982 (LLD)
  • Emma Farden Sharpe, educator, 1981
  • Gladys Aiona Brandt. educator, 1981
  • Abraham K. Akaka, pastor, Kawaiahao Church, 1980 (HHD)


  • Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. senator, 1979 (LLD)
  • Yasunari Kawabata, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1970 (LittD)
  • Earl Warren, former chief justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1970 (LLD)


  • Georg Von Bekesy, UH Hawaiian Telephone Co. Chair in Science and Nobel Prize winner, 1969 (LLD)
  • Hubert H. Humphrey, U.S. vice president, 1966 (LLD)
  • Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines president, 1966 (LLD)
  • John Anthony Burns, governor of Hawai‘i, 1964 (LLD)
  • Taizo Ishikawa, Japanese businessman, 1964 (LLD)
  • Clark Kerr, University of California president, 1964 (LLD)
  • Diosdado Macapagal, president of The Philippines, 1964 (LLD)
  • Joseph Francis C. Rock, botanist, 1962 (DSc)
  • David Timmins Fullaway, entomologist, 1962 (DSc)
  • Robert Leavitt Cushing, PRI, 1962 (DSc)
  • Leonard David Baver, Hawaii Sugar Planters Association, 1962 (DSc)
  • Herbert A. R. Austin, 1962 (DSc)
  • Arturo Frondizi, president of Argentina, 1962 (LLD)
  • Philip E.Spalding, UH regent (chair), 1961 (LLD)
  • Charles H. Edmondson, UH professor emeritus, 1961 (DSc)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. vice president, 1961 (LLD)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. president, 1960 (LLD)
  • James H. Shoemaker, Bank of Hawai‘i, 1960 (LLD)
  • Mary K. Pukui, Bishop Museum, 1960 (DLitt)
  • Max Levine, UH research associate, 1960 (DSc)
Harry Truman receiving degree

President Harry Truman receiving degree, 1953


  • Daisetz T. Suzuki, Japan author, 1959 (LLD)
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, vice president of India, 1959 (LHD)
  • Hu Shih, ambassador to U.S., 1959 (HHD)
  • Alexander Spoehr, Bishop Museum, 1959 (DSc)
  • Arthur E. Orvis, retired industrialist, 1959 (HHD)
  • Albert J. Mangelsdorf, Hawaii Sugar Planters Association, 1959 (LHD)
  • Robert P. Griffing Jr., director, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1959 (DFA)
  • Raymond Coll, Editor, Honolulu Advertiser, 1959 (LittD)
  • Mayling S. Chiang, Chinese intellectual, 1959 (LLD)
  • Riley H. Allen, editor, Honolulu Star Bulletin, 1959 (LittD)
  • Fred A. Seaton, U.S. secretary of interior, 1959 (LLD)
  • Felix B. Stump, CINPAC administrator, 1958 (LLD)
  • David L. Crawford, UH president emeritus, 1957 (LLD)
  • Carlos P. Garcia, Philippines president, 1957 (LHD)
  • Ezra T. Benson, U.S. secretary of agriculture, 1956 (LLD)
  • Ralph S. Kuykendall, UH historian, 1956 (LHD)
  • Gregg M. Sinclair, UH president emeritus, 1956 (HHD)
  • Walter F. Dillingham, president, O.R. & L., 1955 (LLD)
  • Carlos P. Romulo, ambassador to U.S., 1955 (LHD)
  • Harry David Gideonse, president, Brooklyn University, 1955 (HHD)
  • Mme. Vijaya Lakshmi, Indian intellectual, 1954 (HHD)
  • Charles F. Chillingworth, legislator, 1954 (LLD)
  • George Barati, conductor, Symphony Orchestra, 1954 (DMus)
  • Arthur H. Sulzberger, editor, New York Times, 1954 (HHD)
  • Samuel W. King, governor of Hawai‘i, 1953 (LLD)
  • Louis M. ÄHacker, dean, Columbia, 1953 (LLD)
  • Hiram L. Fong, legislator, 1953 (LLD)
  • Adna G. Clarke, ROTC, alumni secretary, 1953 (LLD)
  • Harry S. Truman, U.S. president, 1953 (HHD)
  • Milburn L.Wilson, director, U.S. Extension, 1953 (HHD)
  • Frederick Ohrt, Department of Water Supply, 1952 (DSc)
  • Oren E. Long, Superintendent, DPI, 1952 (LLD)
  • Colin G. Lennox, Department of Agriculture, 1952 (DSc)
  • Rufus C. Harris, president, Tulane University, 1952 (DCL)
  • Elbert D. Thomas, high commissioner, Trust Territory, 1951 (LLD)
  • Cyril E. Pemberton, Hawai‘i Sugar Planters Association, 1951 (DSc)
  • Leslie A. Hicks, president, Hawaiian Electric Co., 1951
  • Daniel L. Marsh, president, Boston University, 1951 (HHD)
  • Oliver C. Carmichael, university president, 1950 (LHD)


  • Mary D. Frear, UH regent, 1943 (DLitt)
  • Arthur R. Keller, UH administrator, 1942 (DSc)


  • George G. Wilson, Harvard professor, 1937 (LLD)
  • Walter F. Frear, governor of Hawai‘i, 1937 (LLD)
  • Alexander Meiklejohn, president, Amherst, 1937 (LLD)
  • Helen S. Carter, patron, 1937 (MA)
  • C. Montague Cooke, Bishop Museum, 1936 (DSc)
  • Edwin R. Embree, Rosenwald Foundation, 1936 (DLitt)
  • Col. Allen W. Guillon, U.S. Army, 1934 (LLD)
  • Margaret Bergen, UH professor, 1934 (MA)
  • Nell Findley, department head, 1933 (MA)
  • Stanley D. Porteus, Psychology Clinic director, 1933 (DSc)
  • Edward M. Ehrhorn, Board of Water Supply, 1932 (MS)
  • Tatsuki Harada, president, Doshisa University, 1932 (LLD)
  • Anna C. Cooke, art patron, 1931 (MA)
  • Ethel M. Damon, author, 1931 (MA)
  • Thomas G. Thrum, author and editor, 1931 (MA)


  • Frederick E. Muir, Hawai‘i Sugar Planters Association, 1924 (DSc)
  • G. Howard Hitchcock, painter, 1924 (MA)
  • Gerrit Wilder, UH professor, 1924 (MS)
  • Frederick Krauss, UH professor, 1921 (DSc)
  • Sanford B. Dole, governor of Hawai‘i, 1919 (LLD)
  • Marion M. Scott, DPI, 1919

Honorary Degree Conferee

Tylyn Pang

Chef Tylun Pang

Conferred May 14, 2022

Born on O‘ahu, Chef Pang inherited a love for cooking and fresh ingredients from his father, mother, and grandmothers, who often shopped in Honolulu's Chinatown and shared meals with family and friends. After graduating from high school, he completed a Westin Hotels Culinary Apprenticeship Program in Waikiki and moved to Los Angeles as an opening team member for the Bonaventure Hotel, where he honed his abilities in classic European cuisine.

Upon returning to Hawai‘i, Chef Pang served as Executive Chef at the Ilikai Hotel before being transferred to Kauai. In November 1996, he settled on Maui, where he became Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at The Fairmont Kea Lani, overseeing the resort's restaurants, bars, bakery, and deli.

It was on Maui where Chef Pang gained a worldwide reputation for developing a plantation inspired cuisine that combined elements from many different cultures — Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, Korean, Puerto Rican, and others. He helped preserve knowledge of traditional cooking methods and recipes while experimenting with new combinations and flavors to create a unique local fusion cuisine. He also fostered a community of like-minded chefs, whom he befriended and whose talent she often highlighted.

Chef Pang was an early and consistent proponent of the “Buy Local” and farm-to-table movements, which emphasize the support of local farms and farmers; serving of fresh, locally-sourced food in homes and restaurants; and the promotion of sustainable and environmentally responsible agricultural practices. Chef Pang has always believed, and taught, that using local, sustainably grown ingredients not only makes good economic and environmental sense, it also just tastes better. He especially admired Hawaii‘s fishermen and the preparation of dishes that showcase island seafood.

Over the years, Chef Pang's career and reputation has taken him to Asia, South America, and numerous cities in the United States. He participated in the Best Hotel Chefs of America Series at the James Beard House in New York City, which honors and celebrates chefs who have made America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable. He also garnered many awards for his talent and contributions to the food and hospitality industry and community. These awards include: 2013 Local Hero Award from Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine; 2014 ‘Aipono Award for Lifetime Achievement from Maui No Ka ‘Oi magazine; 2018 Best Chef designation from The Maui News; 2019 Na Poe Pa‘ahana Award for Chef/Restauranteur of the Year from the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association; and 2019 Mike Lyons Award from the Maui County Farm Bureau.

Chef Pang has also long supported youth and young adults in the culinary arts, serving as a mentor to people in various stages of their career. He has been a member of the Advisory Committee for the Maui Culinary Academy and supported the training of many local chefs who now workthroughout Hawai‘i and the world.

Chef Pang created the Noble Chef program as a fundraiser for the UHMC Culinary Arts Program in 2002. The event has been held annually since then and has raised over a million dollars for the UHMC Culinary Arts Program. Since 2012, proceeds have helped fund the Future Culinarian Scholarship and the Tylun Pang Aspiring Chef Scholarship programs. Each year through these programs Chef Pang awarded one student a $5,000 academic scholarship and mentored the student in a semester internship, which culminated in an original student-created dish that was then served at one of the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, restaurants. To date, eleven students have received such scholarships for a total of $55,000 in awards.

Chef Pang's contributions to the Hawai‘i food industry are significant and have had national implications — buy and grow local. But his most significant contribution has been to the Maui community through innovative fundraising for UHMC and mentoring experiences that are one of a kind and unique.