Legacy of "Mom" Kodama lives on through Leeward CC's scholarship

Leeward Community College
Margot Schrire,
UH Foundation
Posted: Jun 1, 2009

"Leeward Community College is very appreciative and pleased to have the Sunao Sandy "Mom" Kodama Memorial Scholarship Fund. For the college to be able to honor this special wife and mother and to provide financial assistance to deserving culinary students is indeed a privilege."
—Manny Cabral, Chancellor, Leeward Community College

LEEWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE - Students at Leeward Community College will soon have more scholarship opportunities, thanks to the generosity of the Kodama family of Aiea. With a $25,000 gift, Tamateru Kodama and his family have established the endowed Sunao Sandy "Mom" Kodama Memorial Scholarship Fund.

This fund will provide scholarships to students enrolled in the culinary program at Leeward Community College, with preference given to students who graduated from a Hawaiʻi high school. The funds shall be used to pay for costs associated with attendance (tuition, books, fees, supplies, etc.).

The creation of the Sunao Sandy "Mom" Kodama Memorial Scholarship Fund is inspired by the life and contributions of the late Sunao Sandy Kodama who had an extraordinary gift of making people feel at home. Sandy was born April 24, 1931 in New York and then raised in Wahiawa. She married Tamateru Kodama in 1953 and together they raised five sons and a daughter.

When her children were grown, she helped at a friend‘s catering service until her son, D.K., expanded his Sansei Restaurant in 2000 from Maui to Honolulu. She became the hostess at her son‘s restaurant and customers and staff alike embraced her as "Mom" Kodama.

"Sandy treated people with love and respect, and always encouraged young people to follow their dreams," said Tamateru Kodama. "With this scholarship in her memory, her legacy of love and support lives on. It is our hope that this fund will help make it possible for local students with a passion for the culinary arts to live their dreams and become chefs."

Scholarship Criteria:
(1) Recipients must be full-time or part-time, undergraduate students enrolled in the culinary program at Leeward Community College.
(2) Recipients shall have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above.
(3) Financial need shall be a criterion in making this award although not necessarily as determined by federal guidelines.

Recipients will be selected by a committee appointed by the Culinary Department at Leeward Community College. The number and amount of awards shall be determined by the selection committee based on the availability of funds.


The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. Our mission is to unite our donors‘ passions with the University of Hawaiʻi's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. Please visit www.uhf.hawaii.edu.

Leeward Community College - As one of the seven community colleges in the University of Hawaiʻi system, Leeward Community College provides access to higher education and plays an important role in workforce development in Leeward and Central Oʻahu. The College focuses on students, teaching, learning, and responsiveness to community needs. With courses in more than 100 subject areas, Leeward CC offers a comprehensive curriculum for immediate entry into the workforce or for transfer towards a baccalaureate degree. High demand programs include business, education, digital media, computer networking, culinary arts, television production, engineering, visual and performing arts and the sciences. Strong support services, such as free tutoring, career development center, and job placement assistance, are focused on helping students reach their educational goals.