Dr. Ricardo Trimillos named Living Treasure of Hawaiʻi

In Alumni Accolades, Ethnomusicology, Faculty News by General Entries

Adapted from UH News

Ricardo Trimillos, renowned professor who has made lasting contributions to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the greater community, was celebrated as Living Treasure of Hawaiʻi on February 10. The 49th annual ceremony paid tribute to individuals who have significantly enriched the cultural tapestry of the islands.

Trimillos, a professor emeritus of ethnomusicology was recognized for his profound influence on the preservation and perpetuation of the islands’ cultural, musical and artistic traditions.

“This is an honor that was completely unanticipated, but it also is an important way station to where I have been, and the people that helped me to get there,” Trimillos said. “Looking out over the assembled audience I was moved to see how many parts of my life were represented by the five tables of friends and students who attended and supported me. I haven’t processed the entire experience, but it is certainly one of the high points of my retirement age!”

Honoring excellence
Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi was created by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi in 1976, inspired by the Living National Treasures of Japan. It honors those unique to the islands who demonstrate excellent and high standards of achievement in their particular fields and continue to make a significant contribution towards enriching our society.

In addition to Trimillos, 2024 honorees include UH Mānoa professor emerita Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, trailblazer in the ethnic studies field , UH Mānoa alumna Sarah Keahi, a notable kumu ʻōlelo (Hawaiian language teacher) and advocate, award-winning composer and educator Julian Keikilani Ako and historian Douglas Chong, a former employee at Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi and Windward Community College lecturer.

Those honored in previous years include dozens of UH employees and alumni.