October 17, 2014—a historic day for the University of Hawaiʻi and the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business.
“Today, I am honored to announce that Jay Shidler has extended his commitment to the college and the extent of this commitment is $100 million,” proclaimed Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley to a round of applause during the official announcement at the college.
It’s the largest donation ever to the University of Hawaiʻi.
Shidler is an investor and philanthropist who graduated from UH in 1968. The College of Business was renamed in his honor in 2006 after he donated $25 million. He later quietly donated another $6 million.
Shidler decided to increase his visionary gift by $69 million because of what the college was able to achieve with his initial donations.
“We were able to establish a full-time MBA program as a result of that gift, we established a distance learning Executive MBA program serving the neighbor islands and we also established a Freshmen Direct Admit Program targeting high achieving freshmen, not only from Hawaiʻi but all around the globe,” said Roley.
The Shidler College of Business also aggressively pursued and attracted top tier faculty, awarded millions of dollars in scholarships, completed much needed renovations to the classrooms, courtyard and facilities and funded the expansion of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship that serves the entire UH System.
Jay H. Shidler speech
“This gift transformed the College of Business from what it was, to a leading institution in our state, in the nation and in the world,” said UH President David Lassner. “And it’s really shown the rest of the university what’s possible.”
“Because the transformations that I have seen here at the Shidler College of Business have exceeded all of my expectations, I really am inspired by this remarkable event that I want to guarantee that it continues in the future,” said Shidler.
In addition to gifts of cash and marketable securities, Shidler is also giving the college ownership interests and lease fees from various properties in the central business districts of major cities in the continental United States.
“This is a long term investment in the future of the college,” said Lassner. “It will provide stable, secure and predictable source of funding over many, many years. And that’s almost unheard of.”
“This does put us in a different league among top universities who have been gifted, philanthropic gifts of this magnitude,” said Donna Vuchinich, the UH Foundation president and CEO. “So it’s just a point we can pivot from and go to new heights.”
The Shidler College of Business is aiming to be on par with the best in the country like the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“My dream is in 30 years or so is that the top students around the world will think of Warton in one hand and Shidler on the other hand,” said Roley.
“It’s so exciting,” said Ashley Kawagishi, a senior at the Shidler College of Business. “We are already afforded amazing opportunities here at the college and I think this is really only going to expand what’s offered to us.”
As for Shidler, he hopes that others are also inspired to donate to the University of Hawaiʻi.
“This college and this university really deserve an investment, it’s really worth it,” said Shidler.