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Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation gift to enhance UH Manoa athletic facility

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications
Posted: May 30, 2008

"The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation is Mr. Ching's vision realized, creating a longterm funding source for charities and organizations that benefit the people of Hawaiʻi," said Jack Tsui, chairman of the foundation. "During his lifetime, Mr. Ching was a loyal fan of University of Hawaiʻi athletics. We believe he would be pleased that, through the Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex, the foundation will be supporting team- and leadership-building programs, as well as student wellness, for generations to come."

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents today voted to accept a $5 million donation from the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation to assist in the construction of an athletics complex on the makai campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In recognition of this historic gift, the new facility will be named the Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex.

The gift will transform Cooke Field, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's only on-campus, all-purpose track and field, football, soccer and recreational facility, to more fully realize its potential as a center of student activity.

"The UH Mānoa Athletics program has made tremendous strides in recent years," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw. "This investment by the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation is helping us capture the momentum created by our outstanding year in athletics and moving it outward to our students and the community beyond. Becoming a destination of choice requires investment in facilities, and I couldn't have asked for a better partner in this than the Ching Foundation."

"As has been reported both locally and nationally over the past year, our athletics facilities need to be enhanced and upgraded," said UH Mānoa Athletics Director Jim Donovan. "The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation is leading the way to build a partnership that will help create a facility at the center of the makai campus, that will benefit our student-athletes, student-body, and the community as a whole. I am very grateful for the support."

The funds from the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation will be used in conjunction with state funding to support the following:

  • Development of an athletics facilities master plan
  • Enhance athletics facilities on the makai campus including a facility to house and support a wide variety of activities - from band and soccer practice, to intramural sports, and events like the Special Olympics.
"We are delighted and honored to receive such a substantial gift from the Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation," said David McClain, President of the University of Hawaiʻi System. "The Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex will enhance the experience our students get at UH Mānoa, giving students a place to gather to participate in sports, watch those competitions, practices or performances.

According to the UH Foundation, this investment is part of the Centennial Campaign, an historic private fundraising initiative to raise $250 million to support the University of Hawaiʻi's commitment to our students.

"We sincerely thank the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for this generous gift," said UH Foundation President Donna Vuchinich. "Private giving to public universities is a centuries old tradition that transforms good universities into great universities. Alumni, parents, corporations and foundations have long understood that the ability for public universities to achieve their mission is strengthened when state support is enhanced by private philanthropy. This gift from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation will help mobilize other community members to help our university fulfill its mission to serve our students and community through the historic Centennial Campaign."

The late Clarence T.C. Ching was a developer, realtor, banker, affordable housing pioneer, and philanthropist. He was born on Kauaʻi in 1912. His father, an immigrant from Canton, China who came to Hawaiʻi to work in the rice fields, sent his sons to St. Louis School because he wanted them to get the best education they could. Clarence graduated in 1932, and later entered a business school for evening courses. He was well known for developing the areas around Honolulu Airport, Salt Lake, Moanalua, Ft. Shafter and Tripler with noted Hawaii businessman and former St. Louis classmate K.J. Luke. In 1970, he built Kukui Gardens, one of the largest affordable rental projects in thestate, home to roughly 2,500 residents in 857 units on 22 acres in downtown Honolulu.

In 1967, Clarence founded the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation to support charitable and educational functions. The foundation has provided support for St. Louis School, Chaminade University, St. Francis Healthcare System, and the University of Hawaiʻi, among many others. He organized the non-profit organization that built the Chinese Cultural Plaza and was appointed by Governor John A. Burns to serve on the board of the University of Hawaiʻi Research Corporation in 1965.

Clarence T.C. Ching was active in a number of school and community organizations including Sun Yat Sen School, St. Francis Lay Advisory, Downtown Improvement Association, Ching Clan Society, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Committee on Urban Renewal of Chinatown. He was Finance Committee Chairman for Citizens for John A. Burns in 1962, 1966 and 1970 and served as Hawaiʻi Finance Chairman for two presidential candidates.

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is an independent, university-related, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise private funds according to priorities determined by the academic leadership of the University of Hawaiʻi and approved by the Board of Regents. Founded in 1955, the Foundation provides a full range of fund raising and alumni relations services for all 10 UH campuses.

The Centennial Campaign is an historic private fundraising initiative to raise $250 million to support the University of Hawaiʻi's commitment to our students, our community and our world. For more information about the Centennial Campaign, pleasevisit

The late Clarence T.C. Ching established the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation in 1967 as a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization to support qualified, tax-exempt charitable and eleemosynary organizations in Hawaiʻi. Then, in 1970, Clarence Ching established Kukui Gardens Corporation (KGC) to operateKukui Gardens, one of the state's largest affordable-rental projects. After 37 years, Kukui Gardens was sold in December 2007 to Carmel Partners and the State of Hawaiʻi as part of a deal to maintain rents at existing levels through 2011 and then keep monthly rent affordable until 2062. During his lifetime, Clarence Ching was a loyal fan of University of Hawaiʻi athletics.

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