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The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation launched For UH • For Hawaiʻi, the public phase of the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign in Hawaiʻi’s history, to raise $1 billion for current and future students, faculty and researchers at all 10 UH campuses.

UH has a unique responsibility as Hawaiʻi’s sole public university to provide high-quality higher education opportunities that improve the quality-of-life for our people and communities throughout the islands,” said UH President David Lassner, ’98 PhD. “Private support is critical to helping students and families for whom higher education is the bridge to a thriving future as well as to ensure we can recruit and retain top-tier faculty and graduate students who are addressing some of the most important challenges and opportunities facing Hawaiʻi and the planet.”

UH plays a central role in the diversification of Hawaiʻi’s economy and workforce development, with innovative programs of study that nurture innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability and research that spans a wealth of disciplines, tackling such challenges as sustainability and climate change.

Walter A. Dods Jr., an alumnus of UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business and longtime donor to UH, will serve as the campaign’s chair. Dods previously chaired the 1998 UH Campaign for Hawaiʻi that raised $116 million for the university.

“We believe this historic campaign will elevate UH to its greater potential as a world-class university and provide a solid foundation for Hawaiʻi’s future,” said Dods, ’67 BBA. “There is no better investment than investing in Hawaiʻi’s future leaders.”

Private support for UH is critical for maintaining academic and research excellence as public funding fluctuates with Hawaiʻi’s economy.

UH is Hawaiʻi’s greatest asset as we work to make our economy more resilient and provide more diverse and rewarding career opportunities for our people. From its research excellence to entrepreneurship programs to workforce development, UH offers clear paths to a brighter future for Hawaiʻi,” said Rich Wacker, chair of the UH Foundation Board of Trustees. “For UH, philanthropy provides resources critical to extending opportunity to more of our young people as well as advancing our excellence in areas where UH is a true leader on the world stage.”

Donors personally select the programs and campuses where they want to make an impact with their giving, whether it’s first-generation students, academic excellence for faculty, innovative world-class research or another UH initiative or program that they are passionate about.

“The power of philanthropy allows us to make education accessible for students and their families to bring about profound generational change for Hawaiʻi,” said Karla Zarate-Ramirez, UH Foundation vice president for development. “It gives our donors the power to connect their gifts and their passions with UH programs that have meaningful impact on the lives of students and their teachers, and important research that can only be done in Hawaiʻi. We are so grateful for each and every donor.”

Donors have already committed more than $569 million during the quiet phase of the campaign toward the $1 billion goal, including:

For UH For Hawaii graphic, student getting diploma and diver

For UH • For Hawaiʻi: The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi

The heart of the For UH • For Hawaiʻi campaign is focused on raising funds to support UH priorities that include:

  • Student success: Funding scholarships and access to college through innovative programs leveraging the strengths of our 10-campus system, ensuring students statewide have multiple points of entry to higher learning and the support they need for personal and academic success.
  • Research that matters: UH is at the forefront of leading competitive research in science and technology to improve the quality of life throughout the state, around the Pacific Rim and beyond to solve complex challenges. Tremendous momentum right now makes UH ready to propel even more novel research through greater strategic philanthropic investments.
  • Kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi: UH can be a model for what it means to be an Indigenous-serving and Indigenous-centered institution where Native Hawaiians thrive, traditional Hawaiian values and knowledge are embraced, and UH scholarship and service advance all Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi. This campaign will identify opportunities for all 10 campuses to collaborate on how Indigenous practices might guide the way to solving the problems we face now and in the future.
  • Sustainability, resilience and conservation: UH provides the scientific and intellectual capacity for addressing Hawaiʻi’s problems and opportunities, particularly in the realms of sustainability, energy and climate resilience. With so much at stake in all facets of nowhere-but-Hawaiʻi life in these islands, sustainability and conservation are critical to our work as we seek answers and effective actions.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: UH drives economic diversification and development across its campuses through research, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology with new ideas, new goods and services, new business practices and new ways of thinking about the interaction of Hawaiʻi’s people with their economy. It means improving the climate for exchanging ideas, information and other commodities while equipping leaders for further disruption—and greater innovation.
  • Building Hawaiʻi’s workforce: UH is tasked with educating and training Hawaiʻi residents for Hawaiʻi jobs while meeting the state’s workforce needs of today, always with an eye on the needs of tomorrow.
  • Engaging our community: UH always remembers it is the university of Hawaiʻi’s people. UH campuses welcome their neighbors to ceramics classes and volleyball games. They reach into our neighborhoods with meals for children and concerts in the park. From lifelong learning opportunities to diverse performances in our theatres, UH is integral to our communities’ cultural and intellectual health.

For more information about For UH • For Hawaiʻi, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, please visit

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