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$1 million gift supports Hawai‘i CC students and professional development

Students, staff and faculty at Hawai‘i Community College will soon benefit from a new scholarship and professional development opportunities thanks to an anonymous $1 million gift. 

Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas said, “We are eternally grateful to the generous donor who is forever shaping the life trajectory of so many of our Hawai‘i Island residents by making a quality higher education affordable.”

photo of rachel solemsaas
Rachel Solemsaas

Typically, 78% of Hawai‘i CC alumni stay on island and contribute to the Hawai‘i Island community.

Solemsaas continued, “With 97% of our students coming from Hawai‘i, and 89% of them from Hawai‘i Island, this gift is directly supporting our community’s future teachers, farmers, nurses, chefs, social workers, auto mechanics and so many other sectors so vital to our quality of life.”

$920,000 of the gift funds the A Hua Maila Endowed Scholarship, supporting full-time and part-time students pursuing a degree in any area of study. The phrase, A Hua Maila (and/until it is realized), carries with it the intent to not only revisit and reinforce one’s hua (purpose, impetus), but also holds a commitment and intent to produce something, playing off another meaning of hua (fruit, product, end result). 

Ka ‘Īkoi Leo committee chair and Hawaiian Studies instructor Ākeamakamae Kiyuna said, “This fund will not only continue a student’s huaka‘i and their reinforcement of their hua, but it will also lead them to graduation and beyond, an expected hua of their journey here at Hawai‘i Community College.”

$80,000 funds the E Huaka‘i (to journey) Professional Development Endowment, supporting professional development for Hawai‘i Community College faculty, staff and student leaders. This fund provides the monies essential for professional development opportunities that help to reinforce the hua of individuals or departments/divisions, and also lead to new growth and accomplishments.

UH Foundation CEO and UH VP of Advancement Tim Dolan said, “These generous donors have immense vision and drive to profoundly improve the lives of our Hawai‘i Island families. Strategic philanthropy in higher education has powerful outcomes, and truly changes lives for the better. We are excited about the impact their giving is poised to make for so many of our neighbors! Mahalo!”