Jay H. Shidler, BBA ’68, an alumnus of the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has donated an additional $5 million in cash to the college. This latest contribution adds to Shidler’s $117 million gift made in 2017, $69 million in 2014, and his first initial gift of $25 million in 2006, all in cash and real estate ground leases. Further, with the reunification of the School of Travel Industry Management in 2019, Shidler committed an additional $1.55 million towards research support and to provide matching funds for faculty endowments. To date, Shidler has given approximately $238 million to the school in cash, land leases and in-kind donations—which represents both the largest individual donation in the university’s 110-year history, and is the second-largest known gift to any U.S. business school at a public university.
This donation will amplify the impact and reach of Shidler’s earlier gifts, further allowing the college to maintain and expand key strategic initiatives. Specifically, it will support faculty research, student scholarships, provide matching funds for strategic investments in programs and existing endowments, provide funding for visiting faculty, as well as outreach activities.
“Being from an Army family and constantly moving in my childhood, the islands have been my permanent home since 1964,” said Jay Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group. “It is truly an honor to positively impact the institution and community that instilled many foundational skills and stability in my formative years. The many business connections, skill sets and guidance I garnered from the college were paramount in establishing my own business. It is incredible that I am now able to impact positive, real change on tomorrow’s business graduates, and ultimately the next generation of leaders in Hawaiʻi.”
“Jay’s extraordinary vision and partnership with the college is further magnified with this latest gift,” said Vance Roley, dean of Shidler College and First Hawaiian Bank Chair of Leadership and Management. “His commitment to continually elevate the college is not only commendable, but demonstrates his pride as an alumnus, as well as a deep understanding of higher education’s impact to Hawaiʻi’s overall well-being and prosperity. With undergraduate enrollment growing and our school rankings continuing an upward trajectory, the impact of his gifts are tangible. We look forward to further growing and supporting our faculty, investing in key programs and supporting students to attain their education with this latest gift.”
“I hope my commitment over the years spurs and inspires others to pay it forward and make an investment in our future,” added Shidler. “I truly commend Dean Roley’s vision, leadership and partnership to continuously move the college forward. I am immensely proud of all that the college has accomplished in less than two decades, and look forward to the future.”
“We are so grateful to Jay Shidler for his continued support of the education of our students,” said Michael S. Bruno, provost, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. “His generosity and commitment to his alma mater are an inspiration to us all, and will have long lasting benefits to the people of Hawaiʻi.”
Shidler began his philanthropic efforts with the University of Hawaiʻi in 2006, with an initial gift of $25 million, which prompted the university to change the name of its business school to the Shidler College of Business. This was followed by several additional gifts over the next few years, bringing his current giving total to $238 million.
Since the time of his initial gift, the Shidler College of Business has:
- Been consistently recognized for its international undergraduate business program (with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region), placing 13th in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022–2023 rankings.
- U.S. News also ranked Shidler College of Business 128 out of 516 among the best undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
- Grown its endowments from six to 43, allowing for recruitment and retention of a world-class faculty.
- Awarded over $1 million dollars annually in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students.
- Placed nearly 500 students in international, mainland and local internships annually, based on a five-year average, in addition to placing eighty percent of students in their desired industry within three months of graduating.
- Grown resources for the School of Travel Industry Management (TIM School) since reunifying the college in 2019 to include:
- $1.5 million in new student scholarships
- $500,000 for study abroad support
- Six new faculty endowments
Following graduation, Shidler was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Upon leaving the service in 1971, he formed what would become The Shidler Group, which today invests equity and debt capital in U.S. commercial properties and portfolios, and creates and capitalizes new real estate-related companies.
In 2015, AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) named Shidler one of the world’s 100 most influential leaders in making an impact on business education, and also recognized him as one of the 50 most generous alumni donors.
Shidler and Wallette, his wife of over 50 years, have a daughter, Summer, and five grandchildren.
He is an active trustee of several charitable organizations including The Shidler Family Foundation.
About Shidler College of Business
Founded in 1949, the Shidler College of Business was named in 2006 after alumnus Jay H. Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group. In 2017, Shidler increased his initial gift of $25 million to $228 million, making it the largest individual donation to the University of Hawaiʻi; and in 2019, the School of Travel Industry Management rejoined the college. The college is renowned for its multicultural learning environment and its expertise in international business education, and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 25 schools for international business by U.S. News & World Report. Long recognized for its Asia-Pacific focus, the college offers a wide variety of degree, certificate and executive programs. The college has the only graduate program in Hawaiʻi and Vietnam accredited by AACSB International. For more information, visit shider.hawaii.edu.