Family foundation funds new programs

New gifts bring in UH West O‘ahu visiting scholars and support Kapi‘olani Community College

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Apr 8, 2011

O‘AHU – Students and faculty at UH West Oʻahu and Kapi‘olani Community College will soon benefit from two new programs thanks to generous gifts from the James C. and Juanita Wo Foundation.
“The Wo family has long dreamed of a better Hawai‘i for all our residents,” said James C. Wo. “We believe that a strong higher education system is key to creating that better future for all. With this in mind, we started partnering with the UH community colleges 10 years ago. We’ve seen the significant improvements our colleges have made, and the impact they've had on our communities. This has inspired the family to build on our early investments and in addition, support the growing UH West O‘ahu community too.”
The UH West O'ahu Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, established with a $250,000 pledge, will bring seasoned scholars and practitioners in the humanities, social sciences, and indigenous arts, traditions and cultures to the growing West O‘ahu campus. This program will help UH West O‘ahu build and expand its curricula and programs so it can meet the demands of a fast-growing student population. The caliber of the visiting scholars will also help recruit and inspire exemplary students, and promote the university's intellectual, creative, cultural and community resources.
“This generous gift from the James C. and Juanita Wo Foundation gives us the means to build our intellectual capital and bring top scholars to our campus, adding significant value to the education our students receive,” said Gene Awakuni, UH West O‘ahu chancellor.
The James C. and Juanita Wo Foundation has also made an investment in the faculty and students at Kapi‘olani Community College. The Kapi‘olani Community College Innovations in Professional Development Fund, established with a $100,000 pledge, will support the development and implementation of a professional development program at Kapi‘olani Community College. Ultimately this program will support faculty in their collaborative efforts to introduce innovative new ways of teaching and learning.
“Jim’s and Juanita’s commitment to invest in the professional development of our faculty will have a tremendous impact on the way faculty work together to assess and improve student learning,” reports Louise Pagotto, vice chancellor for academic affairs.
For more information on how you can support UH West O‘ahu please contact Mariko Miho at (808) 956-7983 or You can also make a gift online at
Please contact Linh Hoang at (808) 734-9570 or to find out more about supporting Kapi‘olani Community College. You can also make a gift online at
Kapi‘olani Community College is the largest two-year campus in the 10-campus University of Hawai‘i System. With 9,000 students enrolled per semester in credit programs, Kapi‘olani‘s nationally recognized general education program prepares students for effective baccalaureate transfer, civic engagement, and 21st century careers in programs such as culinary arts and hospitality, nursing and health sciences, business and information technology, new media arts, biotechnology, and teacher education. The college bears the name of Hawai‘i’s Queen Julia Kapi‘olani, and her motto, “Kulia i ka Nu‘u” or “to strive for the highest,” inspires the college’s collective work in support of academic success for Native Hawaiian and other diverse local and international students. For more information, visit
The University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu is comprehensive university with an emphasis on baccalaureate education founded in the liberal arts, service professional, career-related, and applied fields, based on state and regional needs. UH West Oʻahu is committed to providing access to residents throughout the state of Hawaiʻi through its partnerships with the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges and its delivery of distance education programs. For more information, visit
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.