More than $1 m raised to establish Sen. Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship

OHA, Kamehameha Schools lead the way

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, UH Foundation
Jodi Leong, (808) 492-0597
Director of Communications, External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: May 15, 2014

Sen. Daniel Akaka
Sen. Daniel Akaka
Group Photo
Group Photo

"It is our pleasure to announce the establishment of the Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship Endowment, which will help create the next generation of Native Hawaiian leaders who can carry on the Senator's legacy of selfless service and commitment to his community.” 

-- Walter Dods, co-chair, Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship Endowment Committee


HAWAI‘I - Friends of Senator Daniel Akaka from Hawai‘i and around the nation, are commemorating the senator's outstanding life accomplishments by establishing the Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship Endowment. The co-chairs of the Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship Endowment Committee are Walter A. Dods, Jr., Bert A. Kobayashi, Sr., Lawrence S. Okinaga and Joan M. Ohashi.

“We are all proud to support and honor the Senator with this effort and legacy, and look forward to garnering additional support for this important scholarship endowment,” said Bert A. Kobayashi, Sr. 

Joan M. Ohashi added, “Senator Akaka did so much for so many people during his career. Wherever he went, and in all his capacities, he was a true educator, and ambassador of aloha for Hawai‘i.” Ohashi continued, “We are excited to honor his legacy through this scholarship and investment in the future generations of Hawai‘i leaders. 

Established in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, the Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship will support outstanding students selected as University of Hawai‘i Regents Scholars. The Regents Scholarship Program, established by the Board of Regents in 1986, was created to help Hawai‘i's most promising students pursue their higher education ambitions right here at home.  

"We aspire to increase the number of future Hawai‘i leaders like Senator Akaka, by expanding these prestigious scholarship opportunities," said Lawrence S. Okinaga. He continued, “The scholarship honors the Senator’s passionate commitment to growing Native Hawaiian and Hawai‘i’s scholars and leaders. Throughout his career from public school teacher and administrator to public office, Senator Akaka was intent on finding solutions and strengthening the futures of America’s native peoples through vehicles including education, access to opportunity, and financial literacy.”

Thanks to generous lead gifts of $300,000 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and $250,000 from Kamehameha Schools, along with individual gifts from other donors, pledges and gifts totaling more than $1,142,000 have been raised to date. 

“The OHA board of Trustees voted unanimously to join Hawai‘i’s business community in memorializing the legacy of retired U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka for a lifetime of devoted and unwavering public service to the people of Hawai‘i by providing a grant of $300,000 to establish a scholarship fund in his name to be managed by the University of Hawai‘i Foundation,” said Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo. Apo chairs the Committee on Asset and Resource Management.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools and our entire Kamehameha ‘ohana, we are honored to pay tribute to retired Senator Daniel Akaka who dedicated his life and legacy to the education of Hawai‘i’s youth while tirelessly defending the rights and liberties of native peoples,” said Jack Wong, interim CEO of Kamehameha Schools. “We look forward to this valuable opportunity to partner with the University of Hawai‘i to make this post-high scholarship available to young native Hawaiians on their journey to successfully completing a college education.”


Donors who have made gifts and pledges of $25,000 or more include:

Senator & Mrs. Daniel K. Akaka

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

Bank of Hawaii Foundation

Carlsmith Ball LLC

Central Pacific Bank Foundation

Walter & Diane Dods

First Hawaiian Bank Foundation

First Insurance Charitable Foundation

Hawai‘i Pacific Health

Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.

Hawaiian Telcom Inc.

Island Insurance Foundation

Kobayashi Group, LLC / The A. C. Kobayashi Family Foundation, Inc.

Matson/Matson Foundation

Lawrence & Carolyn Okinaga

The Queen’s Health Systems


Donors who have made gifts and pledges of $20,000 or more include:

James Campbell Company, LLC

Goodfellow Bros., Inc.

Pelatron Center for Economic Development


Donors who have made gifts and pledges of $10,000 or more include:

BEI Hawaii

Stanford & Kathy Carr

Warren & Carolyn Luke

Mid Pac Petroleum, LLC

Monarch Insurance Services, Inc.

Jon & Yuki Yoshimura


Senator Daniel Akaka shared, “Since the 1930s when members of my family first started attending and graduating from the University of Hawai‘i, it has played a pivotal role in our lives and ability to serve our community with the spirit of aloha.” Senator Akaka continued, “This scholarship will help many of Hawai‘i’s most promising students access the transformational opportunities UH provides, and empower them to be leaders rooted in the spirit of aloha. These are the leaders our world needs.”

Interim UH System President David Lassner said, "We are very proud of the myriad accomplishments our fellow UH alumnus Senator Daniel Akaka has made during his stellar career as an educator, advocate and leader,” Lassner continued, “During his tenure he spearheaded legislation and initiatives that addressed many challenges facing communities throughout Hawai‘i and the nation including health care, financial literacy, returning veterans, the U.S. outer space program, and as the Senator refers to it as 'the inner space program' for the earth and ocean. The University of Hawai‘i is honored to have this generous new endowment established in his name.”


Scholarship recipient criteria:

First-time recipients must be first-year, incoming freshman (renewal up to four consecutive years as long as other criteria below are met).

Full-time, undergraduate students enrolled in any area of study at any UH campus.

Graduates of a Hawai‘i high school.

Extracurricular achievements are shown to be remarkable.

Preference for students of Hawaiian ancestry.



L-R: Donna Vuchinich, Bert A. Kobayashi Sr., Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Walter A. Dods, Jr., Carmen Hulu Lindsey, Kama Hopkins, Peter Apo, Joan M. Ohashi, Lawrence S. Okinaga.

If you would like to make a gift in support of the Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholarship Endowment, please contact Malia Peters, Director of Scholarship Development, at 

808-956-6311 or give online at


The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.