Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex holds blessing, dedication

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, UH Foundation
Posted: May 15, 2015

Trustees from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation
Trustees from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation

Community leaders and friends of the University of Hawai‘i came together today for the blessing and dedication of The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex at UH Mānoa. Thanks to a $5 million gift from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation and a public-private partnership that included support from the state and university, UH Mānoa’s only on-campus, all-purpose track and field, football, soccer and recreational facility has been transformed  into a dynamic center for student activity.

“We are grateful to The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for collaborating with the State to build a facility that truly took a great deal of teamwork to accomplish,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman. “This was the first gift that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation made and what better place to see its fruition than in a facility that will truly benefit the University, student-athletes and the community for years to come.”

Said Athletics Director David Matlin, “At the start of every book is a good story waiting to be unveiled.  The support received toward this new facility is a great stepping stone in UH Athletics’ next chapter, and our UH Mānoa community plays a big role in continuing to tell our story.”

The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, a LEED Gold Certified building, includes a three-story building on the mauka side of the existing Clarence T.C. Ching Field. The facility supports a wide variety of activities and events, and provides grandstand seating for approximately 2,500 fans.

The interior of the building features offices, locker rooms and a meeting room for women's soccer, cross country, track and field, and sand volleyball. The complex also has a sand volleyball venue with 778 seats and two competition courts. The entire complex seats approximately 4,100.

Said Women’s Soccer Head Coach Michele “Bud” Nagamine, “Having a place for equity sports to call home is a dream come true.  The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex is something our women’s sports can be proud of, with our own space to hold meetings and build camaraderie with our team.  When recruits come to visit, we now have a facility that we can show with pride, and it helps keep us competitive.”

Added Women’s Track and Field Head Coach Carmyn James, “The Track and Field/Cross Country Team is very appreciative to have a place called home on campus. The proximity to the track and to the coaches' offices has enhanced both our team chemistry and communication. Much mahalo goes out to The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for supporting our team and investing in women's athletics."

“In 2008, we worked very closely with UH System President David McClain to make the $5 million grant,” said Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation Chairman Jack Tsui. “We had hoped that it would be the impetus to structure many more private/state partnerships.  The fact that this facility is used by student-athletics, as well as the student body at large, is most gratifying.”

The late Clarence T.C. Ching was a developer, realtor, banker, affordable housing pioneer, and philanthropist. He was born on Kauaʻi in 1912. His father, an immigrant from Canton, China, who came to Hawaiʻi to work in the rice fields, sent his sons to St. Louis School because he wanted them to get the best education they could. Clarence graduated in 1932, and later entered a business school for evening courses. He was well known for developing the areas around Honolulu Airport, Salt Lake, Moanalua, Fort Shafter and Tripler with noted Hawaiʻi businessman and former St. Louis classmate K.J. Luke. In 1970, he built Kukui Gardens, one of the largest affordable rental projects in the state, home to roughly 2,500 residents in 857 units on 22 acres in downtown Honolulu.

In 1967, Clarence founded The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation to support charitable and educational functions. The foundation has provided support for St. Louis School, Chaminade University, St. Francis Healthcare System and the University of Hawaiʻi, among many others. He organized the non-profit organization that built the Chinese Cultural Plaza and was appointed by Governor John A. Burns to serve on the board of the University of Hawaiʻi Research Corporation in 1965.

Shared UH Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich, “We are truly honored to be the recipients of the first grant made by The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation.  It is tremendously encouraging to know that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation chair’s vision was to have their philanthropic investment in UH serve as an example to others, so that they too will invest in our students. These types of private investments are key to our ability to continue to have Division 1 competitive sports at UH. We are looking forward to growing private support for our student-athletes and programs.”

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