Skip to content
Reading time: 2 minutes
Davianna Pomaikai McGregor and Ricardo Trimillos
Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor and Ricardo Trimillos (Photo credit: Alan Kubota)

Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor and Ricardo Trimillos, renowned professors who have made lasting contributions to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the greater community, were celebrated as Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi on February 10. The 49th annual ceremony paid tribute to individuals who have significantly enriched the cultural tapestry of the islands.

Ricardo Trimillos with his ukulele
Ricardo Trimillos

Trimillos, a professor emeritus of ethnomusicology was recognized for his profound influence on the preservation and perpetuation of the islands’ cultural, musical and artistic traditions.

“This is an honor that was completely unanticipated, but it also is an important way station to where I have been, and the people that helped me to get there,” Trimillos said. “Looking out over the assembled audience I was moved to see how many parts of my life were represented by the five tables of friends and students who attended and supported me. I haven’t processed the entire experience, but it is certainly one of the high points of my retirement age!”

Davianna Pomaikai McGregor sitting
Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor

McGregor, a professor emerita and trailblazer in the ethnic studies field received acclaim for her steadfast dedication to education, cultural preservation and shouldering efforts to stop the bombing and heal the island of Kahoʻolawe.

“In honoring me, really it’s honoring my mentors, my colleagues at the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as my students and those who I have worked with in the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and my own ʻohana,” said McGregor. “Because whatever I’ve accomplished it’s always been with a team of people.”

Honoring excellence

Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi was created by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi in 1976, inspired by the Living National Treasures of Japan. It honors those unique to the islands who demonstrate excellent and high standards of achievement in their particular fields and continue to make a significant contribution towards enriching our society.

In addition to the two UH Mānoa professors, 2024 honorees include UH Mānoa alumna Sarah Keahi, a notable kumu ʻōlelo (Hawaiian language teacher) and advocate, award-winning composer and educator Julian Keikilani Ako and historian Douglas Chong, a former employee at Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi and Windward Community College lecturer.

Those honored in previous years include dozens of UH employees and alumni.

7 people on stage, 5 holding award
Honorees from left, Julian Keikilani Ako, Douglas Chong, Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, Ricardo Trimillos and Sarah Keahi. (Photo credit: Alan Kubota)
Back To Top