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Southwest Airlines presenting IfA with a $10,000 check.

The University of Hawaiʻi Institute of Astronomy (IfA) received $10,000 from Southwest Airlines to support education and astronomy in Hawaiʻi. The donation was made as part of Southwest’s unveiling of Imua One, the airline’s Hawaiʻi-themed aircraft, on April 28.

Southwest Airlines has also provided IfA students with 45 vouchers to fly between Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui for community outreach activities over the past year.

people by telescopes
Graduate students use Southwest Airlines’ vouchers

“A big mahalo to Southwest Airlines and their support of the education programs at the UH Institute for Astronomy,” said IfA Director Doug Simons. “In addition to this generous gift Southwest provided interisland flight vouchers last year to help our graduate students support various community events around the state and receive valuable observing experience at the Maunakea observatories. Connecting students with learning opportunities unique to IfA and Hawaiʻi makes a big difference in our program.”

Flight vouchers for events such as AstroDay on Hawaiʻi Island, or taking a tour of the summit have helped alleviate the financial burden for UH students and provided invaluable opportunities.

The newly designed aircraft was unveiled on the anniversary of the airline’s first inter-island service in Hawaiʻi. Southwest Airlines used eight elements from Hawaiian culture that also aligned with their values. Eight organizations were selected for their alignment with a particular value and each received a $10,000 donation.

To donate to IfA, visit the UH Foundation website.


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