University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo athletic staff and student athletes.

A Japanese businessman with strong ties to the Hawaiʻi Island has pledged $60,000 to create two funds to benefit the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Vulcans athletics program. His gift will support student athletes and the Vulcans coaching staff.

The Hikozaemon Takahashi Coaches Fund for Excellence will support the UH Hilo athletics recruitment program and make it possible for coaches to travel throughout Hawaiʻi and the nation to meet and recruit athletic talent. Currently, coaches rely on their own personal funds and other limited donor funds to pay for travel.

The Hikozaemon Takahashi Scholarship provides financial assistance for student-athletes and can be used for their tuition, books and equipment.

“The UH Hilo athletics program has 12 sports, including basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis and golf. Our goal is to ensure that all scholar-athletes receive scholarship support and that we have the means to recruit top talent,” said UH Hilo Athletics Director Dexter Irvin. “This generous gift will have an immediate, positive impact on the program.”

“The aloha from the people of Hawaiʻi is special and unique. This gift is a small gesture of my appreciation and gratitude of Hawaiʻi,” said the donor.

“We are most grateful to our donor for investing in our athletics program,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney. “By growing our recruitment capabilities and scholarship opportunities, our program can flourish.”