students on a boat

Hawaiʻi Community College students collect plankton samples off the Kona coast in an Oceanography 201L–Introduction to Oceanography Lab course.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, West Hawaiʻi Island students pursuing marine sciences at the new Hawaiʻi Community College–Pālamanui campus now have more scholarship support. A $50,000 gift established the West Hawaiʻi Marine Science Endowed Scholarship.

This scholarship will support undergraduate students enrolled in the marine science degree program at the Hawaiʻi CC–Pālamanui campus. Until the Pālamanui campus marine science program is officially approved by the Board of Regents, students enrolled in the natural science program at Hawaiʻi CC–Pālamanui are eligible. Preference will be given to West Hawaiʻi residents who are/have been active in Native Hawaiian cultural activities and groups including language, hula, ancient trail restoration work, fishing practices and more and are also active in their community and performing well academically.

“We are very grateful for this generous endowed scholarship that will support West Hawaiʻi students engaged in the marine sciences,” said Hawaiʻi CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane. “It is critically important for us to move forward in marine sciences as we educate and prepare students to be employed in an area that has such great impact on all of us who live on the Big Island,” she concluded.

Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher, director of the University of Hawaiʻi Center, West Hawaiʻi added, “With the Pālamanui Campus now in place, we can lift West Hawaiʻi from having the lowest college going rate in the State of Hawaiʻi. Our students are in critical need of scholarships to stay in college and continue their educational journey. Marine science is a driver of West Hawaiʻi’s economy and this scholarship will help our students be part of this momentum. Endowing this scholarship to support local young people on marine science career paths is visionary.”

“This is a wonderful example of a private donor recognizing a need and an opportunity, and partnering with us to bring about real change for our students and our community,” said University of Hawaiʻi Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich. “We are most grateful.”

More about Hawaiʻi CC oceanography class

UH News: “New course opens up ocean of learning,” April 4, 2014