UH Manoa Center on Aging receives $2 million gift

Endowment will honor the memory of Barbara Cox Anthony

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 25, 2008

Blair Parry-Okeden, daughter of the late Barbara Cox Anthony, has presented a gift of $2 million to the Center on Aging at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The fund will be named in honor of Barbara Cox Anthony, longtime Honolulu resident, philanthropist and former director of Cox Enterprises, one of the largest diversified media companies in the United States.

The gift will establish the Barbara Cox Anthony Chair in Aging for a recognized scholar who will solidify existing courses and develop new curricula in an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to issues associated with aging. The chair will work with an advisory steering committee made up of administrators, deans and directors who have programmatic, research and instructional curriculum experience focused on the elderly.

Much has been made about the aging of the "baby boomer" generation and the corresponding ramifications on our society. According to the US census, 76 million American children were born between the end of World War II in 1945 and 1964.

Citizens of Hawaiʻi are among the oldest in the nation with 14 percent of the population aged 65 or older, compared with 12 percent nationally. To address education, research and service across multiple disciplines in the area of aging, the Center on Aging was established at UH Mānoa by the Board of Regents in 1988.

"This generous gift will accelerate our ongoing efforts to develop the interdisciplinary Center on Aging at UH Mānoa," said Dr. Gary Ostrander, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. "The timing of the gift is fortuitous as various independent efforts at UH Mānoa have been coming together to address what will be significant challenges for the people of Hawaiʻi as our population continues to age faster than nearly every other state."

"This gift, which will truly benefit the people of Hawaiʻi in the area of aging, is a wonderful memorial to an exceptional woman philanthropist. It will allow the university to attract and retain an outstanding scholar and to expand the impact of our Center on Aging in perpetuity," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.

Barbara Cox Anthony was the daughter of three-time Ohio Governor and Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox. She was a noted philanthropist in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland.