Gartley Hall Groundbreaking
by UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw
Aloha! What a great day! It makes my heart smile when we celebrate a groundbreaking — definitely a Mānoa Moment — because it means our campus is taking another step forward in serving as a destination of choice for great faculty, staff, students, the citizens of Hawaiʻi and beyond.
When I began my service as Chancellor five years ago, I knew UH Mānoa was truly a jewel but I also realized that much of our campus was badly tarnished physically like the present condition of Gartley Hall. Since then, we rolled up our sleeves and engaged our partners — including Hawaiʻi state government, regents, alumni, friends and, of course, Hawaiʻi’s taxpayers — we have all worked together to polish this Mānoa jewel. My nickname is “Mrs. Repair and Maintenance” — that’s mighty fine with me because we had to improve our facilities so we could accomplish our campus academic goals.
We’ve done a lot of polishing — from our residence halls, transformed from “dungeons” to “awesome” to major expansion and improvements to the Campus Center and Hemenway Hall. We’ve delighted in many completions, such as the School of Nursing Simulation Lab, new C-MORE platinum Leeds research building, renovated Music Complex, Clarence T.C. Ching field and we look forward to that same outcome soon for the Cancer Center, Edmondson Hall, and now Gartley Hall.
While our priority of “polishing the Mānoa jewel” yielded new buildings and major renovations, we refreshed both our campus home and ourselves in many ways. Volunteers throughout the campus and beyond joined Mānoa Makeovers to beautify our campus and we invested in creating more gathering places. How wonderful it has been to welcome many more community partners, alumni, donors, retirees and friends back to this campus for events held in improved facilities. That has also been greatly aided by improved communications, advertising and events such as Mānoa Arts & Minds — highlighting our wonderful theatre, music and art programs — Homecoming and the many impressive speakers such as the Dalai Lama.
Our celebration today is fitting in so many ways — this is the 90th anniversary of the original opening of Gartley Hall which was named for Alonzo GARTLEY (1869-1921). He was an accomplished Honolulu businessman and the chairman of the first UH Board of Regents. He was a man of many interests, for example creating innovations in milling machinery, developing the Agnes Galt hibiscus, founding the Hawaiian Engineering Association and also was a highly talented photographer, particularly preserving the scenic wonders of Hawaiʻi. Today we honor him again.
We actually were engaged in plans to renovate Gartley Hall in 2009 when we discovered major structural problems making the building unsafe and had to evacuate it. Mahalo to Dept. of Psychology and our Facilities folks for their cooperation in moving fast to keep folks safe.
Today we begin to rebuild Gartley Hall as a 21st century facility that provides a new home for the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work — a school named for another outstanding leader in our community. All of us cherish his wonderful example of resolving current and future social problems with an emphasis on indigenous Native Hawaiian wisdom and perspectives. So one of the oldest buildings on our campus will facilitate the training of social workers equipped to deal with modern-day challenges facing our citizens from the young to the elderly, the underserved and disadvantaged, and multi-generational families.
We are also grateful for the great leadership of Dean Noreen Mokuau and the faculty and staff in the School and their many supporters — all devoted to making the lives of others better. I know there is a bright future for this School and the new generations of their graduates serving society.
Dean Mokuau is a valued member of our campus leadership team at UH Mānoa — these Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors, faculty, staff and students truly serve with commitment, passion and excellence — very impressive folks. I have great confidence in their abilities to create an exciting future for your flagship campus.
UH Mānoa has momentum and we should feel a strong sense of pride and gratitude for the progress — we build on the past and move forward because of our partnering. Always remember we are truly the only place on earth that can provide “a unique multicultural global experience in a Hawaiian place of learning.”
Mahalo nui loa for your support and for joining us to celebrate this special Mānoa Moment.