Statement by President Evan Dobelle on the Passing of Gladys Kamakakuokalani 'Ainoa Brandt

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jan 16, 2003

It is with heart-felt sadness that the University of Hawai'i mourns the passing of one of its most dedicated and distinguished alumnus, Gladys Kamakakūokalani ʻAinoa Brandt. She was an instrumental leader in the field of education, a state treasure and the uncrowned queen of Hawai'i," said UH President Evan S. Dobelle. "From the day I arrived at the University she, along with Pinky Thompson, was my mentor and my tutor. Whenever I needed guidance Mrs. Brandt gave me vision, wisdom and courage."


Mrs. Brandt, who dedicated her life to improving the educational opportunities of others, began her celebrated career as a public school teacher on Maui and quickly rose through the positions of superintendent of Kaua‘i public schools, principal of Kamehameha School for Girls and University of Hawai'i Regent. In 1998, Gov. Ben Cayetano appointed Mrs. Brandt to the Board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Mrs. Brandt worked tirelessly to establish the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa‘s Center for Hawaiian Studies, later named the Kamakakūokalani-Gladys K. ʻAinoa Brandt Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Mānoa. When asked by a reporter what she hoped the center would represent, Mrs. Brandt responded with "In education, not anger, resides our future. In education, not ignorance, resides our hope. In education, not fear resides justice." Mrs. Brandt left an endowment of $1 million to the Center.

Mrs. Brandt was also the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the 2002 Juliette Award for National Women of Distinction from the Girl Scouts of America, the 2001 Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club Kalanianaʻole Award and the 2000 University of Hawai'i Founders Alumnus Award.