Innovative leadership, First Hawaiian's support transform the CBA, the University - and the State

University of Hawaiʻi
David McClain, 808/956-8377
College of Business Administration
Posted: Jul 23, 2002

On Wednesday, July 17, First Hawaiian Bank made the final quarter-million dollar installment in a million-dollar gift to the UH College of Business Administration.

The $1M gift, made in support of innovation and leadership at the CBA, endowed a professorship in Leadership and Management to be held by the Dean of the College of Business Administration at UH Manoa. Three years later, in the wake of the College‘s dramatic growth under Dean David McClain, the impact of the gift has been felt across the University--- and the state.

"The business community, led by First Hawaiian Bank, understands that the College of Business Administration is bullish on Hawaii‘s future. We hope more private investors will see the value of these partnerships, and will work with us as we help bring Hawaii‘s business community to the forefront of international commerce," said University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle.

"First Hawaiian Bank‘s ongoing support for the College of Business Administration is invaluable," said McClain. "With this gift, First Hawaiian and the College created a partnership that signals the commitment of both institutions to Hawaii‘s economic future. We at the College are building a powerful knowledge-fueled engine of economic innovation in Hawaii. The investment by First Hawaiian in the College leverages our efforts and sends a terrific message to the community."

McClain‘s appointment as the First Hawaiian Bank Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Management in January 2000 marked the beginning of a period of dramatic growth for the College of Business Administration. In his first 2 1/2 years, Dean McClain raised over $3 million toward the creation of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and E-Business (PACE). PACE integrates entrepreneurship and e-business initiatives and provides outreach programs for the University and business communities, including the College‘s signature annual Business Plan Competition, an entrepreneurship course for scientists and engineers, and the current Hawaii Entrepreneurs‘ Bootcamp. In the process CBA has helped rekindle the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Islands, a sure prerequisite for the revitalization of Hawaii‘s economy.

McClain‘s passion for community outreach has led many local business leaders to volunteer their expertise in mentoring relationships with CBA students. This increased focus on business-academic partnerships is also evident in the dynamic internship program, which has tripled in the past few years.

The College has built on its strength in international business and recently received once again a Top 20 ranking in U.S. News and World Report‘s list of Best Graduate Schools for its graduate program in International Business. This year, it added to its global reach by offering a College of Business MBA degree in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Hanoi School of Business.

The gift installment was presented to University President Evan Dobelle by Mitchell Kaʻaialiʻi, manager of the Manoa Branch of First Hawaiian Bank. Mr. Kaʻaialiʻi holds a BA and MBA from the University of Hawaii, and is a former member of the football team. Dean McClain was also in attendance.