UH Board of Regents Approves Honorary Degree Award to "Auntie Genoa Keawe"

Board also approves in concept naming opportunities for private gifts to the university

University of Hawaiʻi
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jan 25, 2005

At its monthly meeting held last week at Kapiʻolani Community College, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) approved a request for an honorary degree to be conferred upon Genoa Leilani Kawaihapai Adolpho Keawe, affectionately known as "Auntie Genoa Keawe."

"Auntie Genoa has been in the forefront of promoting Hawaiian music as a performer and continues to share her music as a professional entertainer. Throughout the years, she has given freely of her time and talents to perpetuate the rich sound and history of traditional Hawaiian music preserved in her many recordings ranging from 78 rpm to compact disc. It is an honor for the Board of Regents to approve conferring her with an honorary degree," said UH BOR Chair Patricia Lee.

The request was introduced by Chancellor Angela Meixell of Windward Community College, the sponsoring campus, and supported by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Keawe will receive the honorary degree at the Windward Community College Spring 2005 Commencement in May.

The honorary degree is awarded in recognition of Keawe‘s national stature and musical achievements. The sole living member of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame, Auntie Genoa is the recipient of many awards. She has also been an instructor in ʻukulele workshops as part of the Windward Community College Hawaiʻi Music Institute.

"Auntie Genoa has also distinguished herself through years of dedicated and extensive public service as a teacher and mentor to musicians of all ages. The University of Hawaiʻi has been privileged to have her be a part of the UH family by sharing her knowledge and talents with our students," said UH Interim President David McClain.

The BOR also approved in concept private gift naming opportunity guidelines for the University of Hawaiʻi. When promulgated, the guidelines will enable the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, in conjunction with the university, to provide a donor recognition program that further supports the Foundation‘s efforts to raise the size and quantity of private gifts for the benefit of the university.

In other action, the BOR approved the appointment of Jon Matsuoka as dean of the School of Social Work at UH Mānoa. Matsuoka has been at the University of Hawaiʻi since 1985 and was named interim dean at the School of Social Work in 2000.

The board also approved proposed amendments to student housing rental rates at UH Hilo. The amendments increase student housing rental rates for Fall 2005 by 20 percent, Fall 2006 by 15 percent and Fall 2007 by 10 percent.

With the increase, the UH Hilo administration will be able to address a number of issues to improve student housing on the Hilo campus, including an aging physical plant, inflation and new costs, personnel expenses, improvements to quality of life, maintaining fiscal support and responsibility, and providing additional housing services to all residents including off-campus residents.

The Regents voted to approve Maui Community College‘s Oral Health Initiative, which involves operation of the Maui Oral Health Center in Wailuku and mobilization of the Mobile Dental Van. The program demonstrates the community college‘s commitment to providing a Dental Assistant Program to meet student career goals that coincide with community needs.

The BOR also provided a conditional approval on courtside seating for men‘s and women‘s volleyball events at UH Mānoa, contingent upon the purchase of additional insurance for all activities at the Stan Sheriff Center. In October 2004, the BOR approved courtside seats for UH Mānoa men‘s basketball events and the seats sold rapidly, fans have given positive reviews, and the additional revenue has helped the Athletics department with its operational budget. Single game tickets for the men‘s volleyball 2004-2005 season will be offered, and season tickets for women‘s volleyball will be offered for the 2005 season.