SSW Historical Background

School Background

The University of Hawaiʻi began offering a social work training program to students on the undergraduate and graduate levels in September 1936. The courses were designed primarily to train employees of local social work agencies who were college graduates but lacked professional preparation. An integrated one-year program of professional graduate-level study, set up in 1940, served as the basis for the establishment of a School of Social Work. In 1942, the school was provisionally accredited by the American Association of Schools of Social Work. The School of Social Work was fully accredited in January 1948 as a one-year school, awarding a Certificate of Social Work.

A two-year graduate program leading to the master of social work (MSW) degree was approved by the Board of Regents in November 1948, and the school was fully accredited as a two-year Graduate School of Social Work by the American Association of Schools of Social Work in January 1950. In 1950, there were approximately 30 students. The school has since grown to an average enrollment of 300 students in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

The undergraduate program, leading to the degree of bachelor of social work (BSW), was approved by the Board of Regents in October 1976. The BSW program was initiated in January 1977.

In February 1991, the Board of Regents approved the provisional status of the PhD Program in Social Welfare. The program began in 1991. In May 2003, the BOR approved the permanent status of the PhD Program.

The school's BSW and MSW programs were fully reaccredited for eight years by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education in 1994. The council is the national accrediting body for professional schools of social work.

In 1986, for the 50th Anniversary of the School of Social Work, a booklet which breifly shows us the history of the School of Social Work from it's infancy up until 1986 was created.

Here is the booklet in PDF form called "A Short History of the School of Social Work, University of Manoa 1936-1986". (Click on the link to view).


Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work

On Friday, September 19, 2008, the Board of Regents unanimously approved the naming of the School The Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. Myron "Pinky" Thompson received his MSW from UH in 1953. He went on to become a noted humanitarian and leader in the struggle for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture.

Thompson has been described as wise, compassionate, a lover of music, full of life and laughter, a warrior against social injustice, and never satisfied with the status quo or the status of Native Hawaiians. He passed away on Christmas Day in 2001.

To read more about Myron "Pinky" Thompson, click on this link.


Henke Hall History

LOUIS ALBERT HENKE (1889-1985 ), for whom Henke Hall is named, was a UH professor of animal husbandry from 1916-1954 and the author of many bulletins and circulars in that field. Henke received a B.S. and a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin before his appointment to UH. His appointment signaled a new commitment on the part of the university (then college) to serious research in agriculture.

He liked to recall the days when everything on campus east of Varney Circle used to be his experimental farm. His experiments with sugar cane waste and pineapple waste led the development of low cost feeds for island livestock, thus reducing the need for imported feeds (although in later years concerns for residual pesticides ended that program). He was assistant director and then director of the Experiment Station from 1937 until his retirement. Henke remained active on campus well into his nineties.


Past and Present Deans of the Myron B. School of Social Work


School of Social Work Deans
Dean Handley
Dean Delliquadri
Dean Aptekar
Dean Katharine Handley
1946-1967
Dean Fred Delliquadri
1967-1969
Dean Herbert Aptekar
1969-1974
Dean Sanders
Dean Ewalt
Dean Matsuoka
Dean Daniel Sanders
1975-1986
Dean Pat Ewalt
1987-2000
Dean Jon Matsuoka
2005-2010