Former University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents chairman and longtime local business owner Robert “Bobby” Fujimoto died on April 23 in Hilo.
Fujimoto ran HPM Building Supply, a longtime local business run by generations of his family. He, his family and the company have been a strong supporter of UH programs for many years.
Fujimoto, third generation at the family-run lumber and building materials business, became president of the company in 1954. He retired from the company in 1982 and his son took the reins.
“Bobby’s generous spirit and commitment to service were an integral part of his life. UH is a better institution because of his dedication and love for the people of this state,” UH President David Lassner said. “This is a loss that will be felt throughout the islands, and we extend our deepest condolences to the entire Fujimoto ʻohana”
“On behalf of myself and the board, our hearts go out to the Fujimoto family, including his daughter Roberta Chu, who serves as the chair of the Maunakea Management Board, and the employees of HPM. Bobby is a legend in our state and a role model for many business leaders,” Board Chairman Ben Kudo said. “We are saddened with his passing, but encouraged to know his positive impact on our students and this state will last for generations.”
Fujimoto served on the UH Board of Regents from 1979 to 1987.
Board of Regents roles:
- Vice Chair: July 1980–June 1981
- Chair: July 1981–June 1983
- Vice Chair: July 1985–June 1987
The former leader made generous funding donations to UH programs and also made frequent appearances at events.