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William S. Richardson faculty and staff dishing up the stew to hungry law students.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law’s tradition of Stew Day and Noodle Night will go on again this year as faculty and staff members show appreciation for their students by dishing up free hot meals to the more than 300 students at the school.

“We created these events to show our regard for our students,” said Associate Professor Calvin Pang, who launched the tradition in 2004.

On April 18, the full-time day JD students were treated to a stew day meal and on April 25, students in the evening part time program will enjoy noodle night.

School of Law faculty and staff

“I think it’s great,” said Evan Oue, who is just finishing his first year at the UH law school. “We appreciate our teachers and they appreciate us. It’s a nice thing they do for us. It’s good for class cohesion and creates camaraderie among the classes. And it’s great to see the faculty in a more informal setting.”

For Jasmine Lai mingling with her classmates over a communal lunch is a nice break from all the stress with exams on the horizon and the semester coming to a close. “It’s a reminder of the sense of community here. It’s kind of unique.”

Showing student appreciation

Law students

The tradition grew out of Pang’s memories in law school when his finances were lean and he often dined on the inexpensive home-made meals served up at the old Stew House restaurant near the corner of Pensacola and Beretania. He remembers that the old-fashioned quality of the meals, the warmth of the owners—the husband cooked while the wife managed the small dining room—and the affordable prices.

As an associate professor and co-director of the law school’s many clinical programs, Pang is leading the way in passing on the simple, no-cost meals, paid for and warmly served by faculty and staff, to a new generation of budding lawyers. Even with the spike in food prices, Pang and his colleagues donate enough to cover each year’s bill and many also bring homemade desserts.

Two students recognized with Red Socks Award

Part of the annual tradition includes students sending in their stories of inspiration shown by their classmates. “They take notes for each other, look after each other’s children, take meals to one another when they’re sick, and we wanted to record and recognize these selfless actions and show that our law school values this generosity, kindness and sacrifice,” said Pang.

From the more than 100 stories collected, both a day student and an evening student will be selected to receive Dean Avi Soifer’s Red Socks Award. The award, a pair of red socks, capture two of Dean Soifer’s favorite things: his beloved Boston baseball team and the terrific students.

—By Beverly Creamer

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