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Paul Coleman

Newton and Roberta Chu have donated $35,000 to establish an endowed scholarship honoring the late astronomer Paul H.I. Coleman for his contributions to the field. Coleman, the first Native Hawaiian with a doctorate in astrophysics, spent 16 years at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Institute for Astronomy (IfA), where he was instrumental in education and outreach efforts.

“Paul served as a role model for many young people, including our son, who chose the path of studying the heavens to seek answers to some of humankind’s most complicated questions,” said Newton Chu. “May this scholarship assist students at both UH Mānoa and UH Hilo to study astronomy and navigate the heavens to find the answers that we seek.”

Coleman was a strong advocate for increasing Hawaiian participation in the sciences and worked tirelessly to bridge the astronomy and Hawaiian communities. For nearly a decade he led the IfA National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates, a highly competitive program that brings a dozen undergraduates from around the country to conduct research with IfA astronomers during the summer.

More about Paul Coleman

The son of William and Pearl Coleman, Paul graduated from Saint Louis School, earned his bachelor of science in physics at the University of Notre Dame and his PhD in physics at the University of Pittsburgh. He spent nearly a decade in the Netherlands, where he worked on describing the large scale structure of the universe using the mathematical language of fractals, as well as on software projects for radio astronomy. He returned to the U.S. to teach at New Mexico Tech, Yale University and the University of Puerto Rico. In 2002 he came home to Hawaiʻi to join the IfA team.

For more on the scholarship or to make a gift in Coleman’s memory, go to the full story on the UH Foundation website.

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