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(From left) Unyong Nakata, executive director of development, Shidler College of Business; Tony Ching, trustee and brother to Blanche Hee; Clifford Hee; Sharon Brown, president, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation; Vance Roley, dean, Shidler College of Business; Bob Harrison, president and CEO, First Hawaiian Bank

The Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa received a $2 million bequest from the estate of Clifford and Blanche Hee to expand their scholarship in honor of their sons, Thomas and Michael. Both sons unfortunately predeceased their parents due to complications arising from hemophilia.

“Thomas was an outstanding student and leader at the college and an inspiration to many people who knew him,” said Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “Prior to the passing of Mrs. Hee in 2017, the couple wanted to honor their sons by committing their estate to fund The Clifford and Blanche Hee Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Thomas and Michael Hee. We are very grateful for this wonderful act of generosity to help other students achieve the same success as their sons.”

Added Tony Ching, trustee and Blanche’s brother, “Thomas and Michael Hee faced enormous challenges in life, but did not complain about their situation and instead, endeavored to be the very best that they could be. Although their lives were cut short, their parents have established scholarships to help deserving students facing challenges to complete their education and become contributing members of our community.”

The Hees first established their endowed scholarship in 2002 in honor of their younger son, Thomas, who was a Shidler College graduate. Through their support, the college has awarded scholarships to 11 students thus far.

With this additional gift, the college will be able to impact more students with scholarships in the future. The estate has committed to annually funding the scholarship with $50,000 until the bequest is realized. In addition, the estate will fund the modernization and naming of the college’s Undergraduate Computer Room to further honor Thomas’ leadership and legacy.

Thomas Hee graduated in 1978 with a degree in accounting and management information systems (MIS). During his academic career, he co-founded the MIS club and received the outstanding senior in MIS award at Business Night. He enjoyed a successful career rising to vice president in the controller’s division at First Hawaiian Bank. Thomas selflessly served the community as president of the Hawaiʻi Jaycees and Honolulu Marathon Association. He was a staunch advocate and volunteer for the Hemophilia Foundation. Thomas was also the founder and co-owner of Star Computer.

For information on establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact Unyong Nakata, executive director of development.

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