Hawaii C C graduate in regalia

Students, staff and faculty at Hawaiʻi Community College will soon benefit from a new scholarship and professional development opportunities thanks to an anonymous $1-million gift.

“We are eternally grateful to the generous donors who are forever shaping the life trajectory of so many of our Hawaiʻi Island residents by making a quality higher education affordable,” said Hawaiʻi CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas.

Typically, 78% of Hawaiʻi CC alumni stay on island and contribute to the Hawaiʻi Island community.

Hawaii Community College sign

“With 97% of our students coming from Hawaiʻi, and 89% of them from Hawaiʻi Island, this gift is directly supporting our community’s future teachers, farmers, nurses, chefs, social workers, auto mechanics and so many other sectors so vital to our quality of life,” Solemsaas said.

From the donation, $920,000 of the gift funds the A Hua Maila Endowed Scholarship, supporting full-time and part-time students pursuing a degree in any area of study. The phrase, A Hua Maila (And/Until it is realized), carries with it the intent to not only revisit and reinforce one’s hua (purpose, impetus), but also holds a commitment and intent to produce something, playing off another meaning of hua (fruit, product, end result).

Ka ʻĪkoi Leo: Hawaiʻi Language Culture Committee Chair and Hawaiian Studies Instructor Ākeamakamae Kiyuna said, “This fund will not only continue a student’s huakaʻi (trip, journey, voyage, mission) and their reinforcement of their hua, but it will also lead them to graduation and beyond, an expected hua of their journey here at Hawaiʻi Community College.”

$80,000 funds the Huakaʻi (the journey) Professional Development Endowment, supporting professional development for Hawaiʻi CC faculty, staff and student leaders. This fund provides the monies essential for professional development opportunities that help to reinforce the hua of individuals or departments/divisions, and also lead to new growth and accomplishments.

University of Hawaiʻi Foundation CEO and UH Vice President of Advancement Tim Dolan said, “These generous donors have immense vision and drive to profoundly improve the lives of our Hawaiʻi Island families. Strategic philanthropy in higher education has powerful outcomes, and truly changes lives for the better. We are excited about the impact their giving is poised to make for so many of our neighbors! Mahalo!”

Hawaii Community College Palamanui buildings
Hawaʻi CC–Pālamanui buildings