Patti Lyons, Gordon and Betty Moore to be awarded honorary degrees

University of Hawaiʻi
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer, External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Apr 15, 2010

HONOLULU – For their distinguished contributions and accomplishments in public service, the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents voted today to award the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to family and child advocate Patti Lyons and philanthropists Gordon and Betty Moore.
The honorary degrees to Lyons and Gordon Moore will be presented by the UH Mānoa campus, and the honorary degree to Betty Moore will be presented by the UH Hilo campus.
“These honorees improve all of society through their efforts – Patti Lyons has pioneered improvements in child neglect and abuse programs through her passionate protection of Hawai‘i’s children,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “Generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is critical to sustaining UH Mānoa’s world-class research in astronomy, oceanography and marine science.”
Lyons is recognized for her outstanding contributions in the field of social work, especially in the prevention and treatment of child neglect and abuse. As president and CEO of Child and Family Services, Lyons pushed the Legislature to recognize abuse as a significant social, psychological and community problem. Her advocacy and efforts prompted the Legislature to act in union and with commitment to fund the first Child Protective Services Center and eventually pass several child protective laws that have now become a standard of commitment to the well being of Hawai‘i’s children.
She built a foundation of support leading to the adoption of Hawai‘i’s Healthy Start, which is now a nationally and internationally recognized program dedicated to identifying children from birth as “at-risk” and providing resources to enforce positive parenting skills in parents. Her efforts have also been on the international front, where she has focused on the ills of poverty in the Philippines. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Consuelo Foundation, a cornerstone program serving children and women in the Philippines and Hawai‘i.
Dr. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, and his wife, Betty, established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2000. Focusing on the interests of the couple, the foundation supports environmental conservation and cutting edge research and science worldwide. It began with a $5 billion endowment and currently funds several projects in Hawai‘i, including providing $215 million for the design and construction of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope, which the UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy is working to place on Mauna Kea. In addition, it also provided $10 million in funding for the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, a science and technology center established by the National Science Foundation and led by UH Mānoa researcher David Karl.
The Moores are part-time residents of the Big Island and have also supported a number of programs at UH Hilo. A $1.18 million grant to the UH Hilo Department of Biology will engage UH Hilo undergraduate and graduate students, technicians and post-doctoral associates in studying the biodiversity and genetics of several groups of Native Hawaiian plants and insects. The foundation has also provided the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center with support for educational outreach to K-12 students on the Big Island, and a $100,000 gift from Betty to the UH Hilo Nursing Department was used for a set of high fidelity state-of-the-art simulation mannequins that will provide students with valuable experience from training in realistic simulations with patient-care situations.
“I have the utmost respect for Betty Moore as someone who truly makes a difference in the realms of healthcare and philanthropy,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. “She has been extremely supportive of UH Hilo, and her commonsense approach to making widespread improvements to quality-of-life is inspiring for anyone wishing to become an agent for positive change.”