Family of Scholarship Founder Makes Supplemental Contribution to UH Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Oct 29, 2001

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has received a second contribution to a new scholarship endowment established to assist students of Chinese ancestry. Chancellor Rose Tseng recently accepted a $17,700 check from Rodney Wong, whose father founded the Lin Hing Society Endowed Scholarship Fund earlier this year.

The Lin Hing Society, co-founded by Wong's grandfather Wong Kit, provided a network of social and religious activities for Chinese immigrants who came to Hawaiʻi as contract laborers. The society also provided various services including immigration paperwork and bookkeeping functions to help the members adjust to life in their new homeland. A converted temple on Kilauea Avenue, owned by the Society, became home for many of its members. Those residing at the facility pooled their finances to pay for monthly living expenses and help support them in retirement. Many of them died, with no family to inherit their share of the proceeds, which Wong's father had invested in savings accounts and certificates of deposit. As the sole surviving member, Man Chong Wong became the beneficiary of the Society's assets. Prior to passing away in May, he chose to donate the money to a cause that would honor the organization's members. His $40,000 contribution to the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation in January formally established the scholarship that bears the Society's name. The second donation represents the balance of Society monies in time deposits, which only recently matured. The Lin Hing Society Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide scholarship assistance to students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College, with preference given to applicants of Chinese heritage from Hilo, the Big Island or Guandong Province, China.

"You can't help but be inspired by the story of the Lin Hing Society and what they were able to accomplish," Tseng said. "Despite their obvious hardships, they made a new life for themselves, took care of each other, and left one of the greatest gifts of all to future generations." "With this donation, the Society will exist solely in the UH Foundation," Wong said. "But that's fine, because now it will live forever."