Hamanos honor mother with UH Hilo scholarship

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Aug 16, 2010

HONOLULU/HILO - Wayne Y. and Laurie Hamano of Kailua have created the Momoyo Hamano Endowed Excellence Scholarship at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to honor Wayne’s mother, Momoyo Hamano, who lives in Hilo. The Hamanos started this endowment with a $25,000 gift. Thanks to the Student Access and Success Fund–a matching gift program made possible by a donation from an anonymous donor–UH Hilo is matching the Hamano’s donation dollar-for-dollar, effectively doubling its impact.
The Momoyo Hamano Endowed Excellence Scholarship will provide scholarship assistance to undergraduate students at UH Hilo in any area of study. Qualifying students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and demonstrate financial need; preference will be given to graduates of high schools on the Big Island. The Hamanos’ intent is to have the scholarship support a student through four consecutive years of college, provided all criteria continue to be met.
"As the child of hard-working immigrants, my mom was never afforded the opportunity to finish high school, let alone college. We hope that the endowed scholarship in her name will make it possible for future generations of students to successfully complete a university education,” stated Wayne Hamano, vice chairman of Bank of Hawaii.
Momoyo Nishida Hamano, the oldest of five children, was born and raised in the Big Island plantation town of Kukuihaele, near Honoka‘a. Her parents were Japanese immigrants who worked the sugar plantation. Sadly, her father passed away when she was in the 8th grade, and her mother had no choice but to pull her out of school so she could work on the plantation and help support the family. Momoyo later worked in Hilo at Kalakaua Laundry, Kress Store, Robins clothing stores and Hilo Hattie. While she always regretted not being able to return to school, she successfully passed on her value of higher education to her two sons, Wayne, an executive with Bank of Hawaii, and Paul, an attorney in Hilo.
UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney commented, "It is a privilege to see the launch of the Momoyo Hamano Endowed Excellence Scholarship. This is the type of commitment that will help UH Hilo open the doors to opportunity by attracting and retaining high caliber local students.”
Student Access and Success Fund
UH Hilo is pleased to offer a first-ever series of matching gift opportunities that will greatly increase student scholarship support and help remove barriers to student access and success during these challenging times. For a limited time only, several scholarship matching packages are available, thanks to a very generous $1 million anonymous gift which enables donors to double the value of new scholarship contributions.
For more information please contact the UH Hilo Office of Development at (808) 933-1945 or email Margaret Shiba at Margaret.Shiba@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. Please visit www.uhfoundation.org.
The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is a comprehensive university with five degree-granting colleges, six master’s programs and two doctoral programs. UH Hilo strives to integrate culture and science, offer hands-on learning opportunities to its students and use the Island of Hawai‘i as a natural learning laboratory. Enrollment has doubled since 1980 to nearly 4,000 students coming from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Please visit www.uhh.hawaii.edu.