The University of Hawaii has raised $1 million and counting for a new scholarship endowment that is being named after former Sen. Daniel Akaka and is earmarked for outstanding Native Hawaiian students.

The funding will go toward students who are already selected for the UH Regents Scholarship, which is aimed at helping “Hawaii’s most promising students pursue their higher education ambitions right here at home.”

The goal of the Akaka scholarship is to increase the number of Native Hawaiian leaders who follow in the former senator’s footsteps. The program in part commemorates Akaka’s accomplishments throughout his life, from when he was a public school teacher to when he served in Congress.

The scholarship endowment, which was established in partnership with the UH Foundation, is being funded by organizations such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which contributed $300,000, and Kamehameha Schools, which gave $250,000. Individual gifts account for the rest of the $1.1 million.

“This scholarship will help many of Hawaii’s most promising students access the transformational opportunities UH provides, and empower them to be leaders rooted in the spirit of aloha. These are the leaders our world needs,” said Akaka, who attended UH as a student, in a statement.


Photo: Daniel Akaka (Courtesy of UH)

— Alia Wong

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