Frear Trust establishes endowed scholarship fund

Trustee Announces $750,000 Gift In Memory of Prominent Hawaiʻi Couple

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Aug 18, 2008

Shortly after Walter F. Frear retired from the Bishop Trust Company, he and his wife Mary Dillingham Frear established a Trust to provide critical funds in perpetuity for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes.

Officials from the Bank of Hawaiʻi, which serves as the Trustee of the Mary D. and Walter F. Frear Eleemosynary Trust, attended the dedication ceremony for the new Frear Hall Dormitory on August 12, and presented a check for $750,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund to assist students at any campus within the UH system.

Mary Emma Dillingham Frear was a daughter of Benjamin F. Dillingham, one of the most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs in Hawaiʻi, and Emma Louise Smith, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Lowell Smith, who had come to Hawaiʻi from New England in 1833. She was an active member of the Daughters of Hawaiʻi and helped to establish the College Club of Honolulu and the local YWCA. A gifted author of prose, particularly on Hawaiian subjects, she served as a regent of the University of Hawaiʻi for 23 years.

Walter Francis Frear was a lawyer, a jurist, the Chief Justice and the Governor of the Territory of Hawaiʻi, an innovator in civic organizations and a published author on subjects concerning Hawaiʻi. He served as chairman of the Hawaiian delegation to the Republican National Convention in 1912, president of the trustees and a deacon of Central Union Church, trustee of Oahu College (Punahou School) and vice-president of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association and the Pan-Pacific Union. He assisted in the development of the local YMCA, the Social Service Bureau, Palama Settlement, the United Welfare Campaign and the Hawaiian Historical Society. Judge Frear was instrumental in obtaining a grant from Andrew Carnegie to build the Library of Hawaiʻi.

"Walter and Mary Dillingham Frear helped shape the Hawaiʻi we know today," said Donna Vuchinich, president of the University of Hawai ʻi Foundation. "They were true innovators who devoted their lives to serving the people of Hawaiʻi. Thanks to the expert management of the funds by the Bank of Hawaiʻi over the years, this endowment will continue to perpetuate the Frear family legacy. We are especially honored that the estate of a former member of the UH Board of Regents will continue to benefit our students in perpetuity."

The funds will be used to assist students in any area of study with all costs associated with attendance such as tuition, books, fees, meals and supplies for students pursuing studies at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Recipients must be graduates of a Hawaiʻi high school and must demonstrate financial need.