$1.6 million gift for sustainability education at UH community colleges

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Oct 27, 2010

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i Foundation has received a $1,634,025 realized bequest from the estate of the late Isamu Shinshiro to create an endowment establishing the Isamu Shinshiro Scholarship for Sustainable Technology Education and Training Fund. Income from the endowment will provide University of Hawai‘i community college students financial assistance to complete two-year degrees or certificates in a broad range of sustainable technology programs throughout the community college campuses.
“Student interest is very high in wanting to be a part of the solution to Hawai‘i’s sustainable future,” said John Morton, vice president for community colleges. “These students will now benefit from Mr. Shinshiro’s foresight and generosity and we will all benefit from having a skilled workforce focused on sustainability.”
Shinshiro was a retired sewage treatment plant operator who lived a quiet life and rarely drew attention to himself. In his later years, he decided to leave a legacy for the future generations of Hawai‘i, and enlisted the help of a close friend in making a bequest. His desire was to help lower or eliminate financial barriers that prevent students from accessing a good education and training in industries that sustain Hawai‘i’s natural environment, ecosystems and resources.
“Mr. Shinshiro cried when he heard what his estate would do. Although he knew he would not be alive to see this happen, he was happy to know he was going to be able to help the youth of Hawai‘i,” says his close friend. “He knew that community colleges help a great number of students and that they even nurture those who need that extra boost. The action of this quiet and unassuming gentleman will touch the lives of so many and will definitely make Hawai‘i a better place.”
Shinshiro died last October at 96 years old. Thanks to his foresight, his legacy lives on and will support generations of students for years to come.
“Gifts from people like Isamu Shinshiro are deeply heartfelt and we are honored to be in a position to help him realize his passion for Hawai‘i’s future,” says Donna Vuchinich, president and CEO of the UH Foundation. “Mr. Shinshiro makes it possible for community college students to take advantage of all the best the community colleges have to offer those who wish to enter into sustainable technology careers.” She continued, “We are pleased we can work with our academic partners to make sure the training they offer remains competitive for Hawai‘i’s future.”
If you’d like to support the legacy of Isamu Shinshiro, contributions can be made at https://www.uhfoundation.org/ShinshiroScholarship or sent to the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828-0270 (please write “Isamu Shinshiro Sust. Ed. Scholarship” on the check).
Each year we will recognize the students who are awarded scholarships from this fund and take pride in sharing his story with each of them about the support they receive to make college and the careers they dream of a reality.
For more information about how you can support the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, please contact Donna Vuchinich at donna.vuchinich@uhfoundation.org.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. www.uhfoundation.org