Shidler College of Business namesake increases his gift to $100 million

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dolly Omiya, (808) 956-5645
Public Information Officer, College of Business-External Relations Office
Margot Schrire, (808) 341-5545
Director of Communications, UH Foundation
Posted: Oct 17, 2014

Jay Shidler
Jay Shidler
(L-R) Dean Vance Roley, UH Foundation’s Donna Vuchinich, Jay Shidler and UH President David Lassner.
(L-R) Dean Vance Roley, UH Foundation’s Donna Vuchinich, Jay Shidler and UH President David Lassner.

Jay H. Shidler, Class of '68, commits another $69 million donation to support the future of the Shidler College of Business

The University of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation ("Foundation") today announced Jay H. Shidler -- investor, philanthropist and UH alumnus -- has made an irrevocable commitment to increase his visionary gift to the Shidler College of Business to a total of $100 million.

The Shidler College of Business was named after Shidler when he donated $25 million to the College in 2006, later quietly adding another $6 million. At the time, it was the largest single donation to the Foundation for the benefit of UH.

Shidler is committing to donate over his lifetime and through his estate an additional $69 million for the benefit of the College.

In addition to gifts of cash and marketable securities, Shidler will be contributing interests in income generated by land underlying a number of significant office buildings in the central business districts of major mainland cities. This specific type of interest in land leased to the building owner under a long-term ground lease is referred to as a “Leased Fee.” In addition to the donation of income interests in various Leased Fees, Shidler is contributing a 100 percent ownership interest on a Leased Fee underlying a Denver commercial office building. It is anticipated that, over time, the Foundation will receive a portion of the ownership interests in other Leased Fees that currently provide an income interest. With these gifts, the College benefits from the receipt of escalating ground rent payments over a period of between 65 and 99 years.

Like Kamehameha Schools, which generates significant income from Leased Fees under homes and commercial buildings, the Shidler College of Business will now have an increasing source of predictable cash flow from which to meet long-term financial needs.

UH President David Lassner said Shidler’s latest gift commitment is now the largest to any UH institution by a single donor and brings Shidler’s total philanthropy to UH to $100 million.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Shidler for his continuing support of the University of Hawai‘i and the college that bears his name,” Lassner said. “This latest gift will benefit Hawai‘i residents and businesses for generations. It will have a lasting impact on the Shidler College of Business, the University of Hawai‘i and the State of Hawai‘i.”

Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business, said Shidler’s donation will solidify the College as one of the best business schools in the country.

“This generous, reputation-building gift will enable us to continue to attract top talent, both students and faculty, while improving our graduate and undergraduate business programs,” Roley said. “This donation is another example of Mr. Shidler’s long-term commitment to the College. It will be used to support the creation of additional scholarships and professorship endowments, and build on the significant progress the College has made as a result of Mr. Shidler’s original gift.”

Shidler said he was encouraged by the College’s achievements since his first gift and wanted to ensure that progress continued.

“I’m proud of what the College has been able to achieve over the past eight years in elevating its programs and securing its place among the top-ranked business schools,” Shidler said. “I know firsthand the impact the College has on emerging business men and women, and I am committed to do what I can so that Hawai‘i continues to have a strong business school that will allow future generations of leaders to excel.”

As part of the new $69 million gift commitment, Shidler has begun transferring to the Foundation direct ownership interests in the Leased Fee underlying an office building in Denver, and income interests in Leased Fees underlying office buildings in Chicago, Charlotte, Columbus and Nashville. Shidler also owns the Leased Fees under office buildings in Midtown Manhattan and other U.S. cities, which may become part of the gift.

UH Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich said these kinds of management-free, long-term Leased Fee assets are an ideal form of income to be used to build an endowment and will provide secure and predictable income for the Shidler College for many decades to come.

“The ownership of Leased Fees has greatly benefited a special group of educational institutions and their foundations across the country,” Vuchinich said. “In Hawai‘i, the best-known example is Kamehameha Schools, which derives its multibillion-dollar endowment primarily from the ownership of Leased Fee interests. On the mainland, universities benefiting from ownership of Leased Fees include Columbia University’s historical ownership of land under Rockefeller Center, Cooper Union’s ownership of the land under the Chrysler Building, Stanford University’s land under various commercial complexes in Palo Alto, and University of Washington’s land under numerous office buildings in downtown Seattle.”

“The management-free, highly secure, fixed-income nature of Leased Fee interests has caused them to be called ‘the U.S. Treasuries of commercial real estate,'” said Randy Moore, Chairman of the UH Board of Regents. “A portfolio of these Leased Fees and their income streams is an excellent way to secure the long-term financial health of the University.”

Shidler said he hopes this Leased Fee-based endowment model will be used by future UH donors to supportand improve other UH schools, colleges and programs.

“This is a way to provide the Foundation with a portfolio of Leased Fee interests that will ultimately create steady investment income for the remainder of the 21st century,” he said.

Shidler, an alumnus of the College (BBA ’68), is the founder of Honolulu-based The Shidler Group, which over the past 40 years has acquired and owned over 2,000 commercial properties in 40 states and Canada. Shidler has founded and been the initial investor in over 20 public and private companies, five of which have been listed on the NYSE. Shidler served as a board member of the Foundation from 1994 to 1997.

For more information on The Visionary Gift including a video, please visit


(full caption)

From left, Dean Vance Roley, UH Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich, Jay Shidler and UH President David Lassner.

To find out how you can support the Shidler College of Business, please contact Unyong Nakata,
Senior Director of Development, at or (808) 956-3597.

Shidler College of Business BROLL (1 minutes, 28 seconds) link:

  • Exteriors of college (2 shots)
  • Shidler signs (2 shots)
  • Shidler courtyard (2 shots)
  • Students in hallway (1 shot)
  • Students in class  (9 shots)