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Founded in 1949 as the College of Business Administration, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business has grown to become one of the world’s premier business schools. The college prides itself on its multicultural learning environment that promotes real world experiences through research projects, internships and study abroad opportunities. Its goal is to prepare students to succeed in today’s competitive global business environment.

people sitting in a classroom with an instructor

“I’m most proud of the success of our alumni—that’s number one. Number two, the success of our faculty,” Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley said. “Our alumni have had a great impact in the community here in Hawaiʻi. And the single biggest event for the college in the last 75 years, I believe, has been Jay Shider’s transformative gifts. That has just changed the college forever.”

The college was named in 2006 after alumnus Jay H. Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group. Since his initial gift of $25 million in 2006, Shidler has given approximately $238 million to the college in cash, land leases and in-kind donations. His contributions represent 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.

exterior of a building sign

“Since I graduated from here in 1968, I think the role it has played in the community, which is important, has grown,” Shidler said. “That’s a testament to the legislature’s valuing higher education, the impact that higher education has on its students and the impact students have on the economy of the state.”

More than 40,000 students have graduated from the Shidler College of Business, and many have gone into prominent roles in the business community here in Hawaiʻi, across the country and around the world. Some of the prominent members of the community include: Shidler, Chamber Commerce of Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara, L&L Drive-Inn and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants founder and CEO Eddie Flores, Jr., aio Chairman and CEO Duane Kurisu, and UH regent and Hawaii Dental Service President and CEO Diane Paloma.

RISE opens to students marking milestone in entrepreneurship, innovation at UH, August 22, 2023

The Shidler College of Business is also home to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), which is running entrepreneurship and innovation programs at UH, including the newly opened Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center.

“The thing that I’m most proud of at the Shidler school is the fact that we continue to evolve as the changing needs of the students, our community and basically the needs of the world, change,” said Susan Yamada, current PACE board chair, Shidler College alumna and former PACE executive director. “What we’re trying to do is prepare students for the 21st century workforce so they’re able to address these new realities in a way that previously, 75 years ago, it wasn’t even viable.”

students sitting in a classroom

Among the college highlights celebrated today:

  • U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the college among the nation’s top 25 undergraduate programs for international business.
  • The college is a pioneer in offering country-specific MBA programs such as the Full-time Global MBA with China and Japan tracks, and Vietnam Executive MBA.
  • In 2019, the Shidler College of Business joined forces with the School of Travel Industry Management, helping to strengthen and expand relationships with the tourism industry, community, alumni and students.
  • Each year, approximately 500 graduate and undergraduate students are placed in internships throughout Hawaiʻi, the continental U.S. and abroad.
  • More than $1 million in merit-based scholarships are awarded annually.
  • The college has the only graduate program in Hawaiʻi and Vietnam accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

people sitting in a large classroom

“What I appreciate the most about the courses here at Shidler is how they dive into the industry here in Hawaiʻi—preparing me to be not only a leader within the industry, but a leader within the industry at home,” Paʻana Hanaike, UH Mānoa travel industry management senior and King Kekaulike High School alumna.

The Shidler College of Business will celebrate its 75th anniversary through its series of annual events, starting off with the Executive Vineyards (March 7), Celebrate a Legacy in Tourism (April 10) and Business Night (May 2). For a complete list of events and more information on the 75th anniversary, visit the Shidler College website.

people walking around a courtyard

To donate to the Shidler College Advancement Fund, visit the UH Foundation website. With every donation to the fund commemorating the college’s diamond anniversary, supporters contribute a component to the newly launched Legacy Lei campaign, symbolizing the resilience and unity of Shidler College’s alumni and friends network. Supporters leave their mark by adding their name and a special message to each commemorative piece, weaving a maile lei.

—By Marc Arakaki

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