UH Foundation hires Robert Saarnio as major gifts officer

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Dec 3, 2010

Robert Saarnio
Robert Saarnio
HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i Foundation is pleased to announce that Robert Saarnio has joined the development team as the major gifts officer for the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa. Saarnio will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of private philanthropic major gifts to the college.
Saarnio comes to the UH Foundation with extensive fundraising and development experience. A native of Northern Minnesota, Saarnio began his career while serving as curator of architecture at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. Since then, he has held a number of leadership positions in the museum field including serving as the director of museums and curator of university collections at Johns Hopkins University.
In 2006 he was appointed associate director and historic property manager of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Shangri La estate and museum in Honolulu. In June 2008 he assumed the position of deputy director of the Honolulu Academy of Arts where he collaborated with the director, board and senior management team in all aspects of museum operation, finance and planning. Since spring 2010 he has served in a special projects capacity for the dean of the School of Architecture, UH Mānoa, and as consulting executive advisor to Washington Place Foundation.
Saarnio received his AB degree in fine arts/architectural history from Harvard University and his MS degree in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
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. www.uhfoundation.org