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May 12 gala to honor seven distinguished UH alumni

University of Hawaiʻi
Stacia Garlach, (808) 956-4551
Director of Marketing and Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Apr 7, 2011

HONOLULU — Nearly 600 University of Hawaiʻi alumni and friends are expected to gather for the UH Alumni Association’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and silent auction on Thursday, May 12, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. To purchase tables or reserve seats by May 6, or for more information, visit or call (808) 956-2586 or 1-877-UH-ALUMS (1-877-842-5867).
This year’s honorees are:
  • L. Tammy Duckworth (BA ’89 UH Mānoa), Major, U.S. Army National Guard, Iraq War veteran
  • Gary Galiher (JD ’77, MEd ’71 UH Mānoa), Senior Partner, and Diane Ono (JD ’91, BA ’73 UH Mānoa; AS ’82 Kapiʻolani Community College), Managing Partner, Galiher DeRobertis Ono
  • Richard Ha (BBA ’73 UH Mānoa), Founder and President, Hamakua Springs Country Farms
  • John T. Komeiji (BEd ’75 UH Mānoa), Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hawaiian Telcom
  • Hing Leung Sham, PhD (PhD ’80 UH Mānoa), Senior Vice President of Chemical Sciences, Elan Biopharmaceuticals
In addition, the 2011 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the family of Isabella Aiona Abbott, PhD (BA ’41 UH Mānoa), ethnobotany professor emerita, UH Mānoa.
Benny Chong & Byron Yasui (BEd ’65 UH Mānoa) will jazz up the evening, ukulele-style. Chong is regarded by many jazz musicians as the world’s premiere jazz ukulele artist. Bassist and ASCAP award-winning composer Yasui is professor emeritus of composition & theory in the music department at UH Mānoa, where he taught since 1972 and retired last year.
The annual event will raise essential funding for the UH Alumni Association, a not-for-profit organization that awards student scholarships, connects alumni through its events and the UHAA Online Ohana at, supports UHAA chapters & UH campuses, and facilitates communication between UH and its alumni.
This year’s silent auction will feature many goods and services donated by alumni and businesses to help raise money for UHAA. Items up for bid include a four-night Hawaiian Package at the California Hotel, neighbor-island and mainland hotel stays, dinner for two at Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Maui Divers Jewelry gift certificate, art by Gary Reed, fine wine, and much more. To donate to the silent auction, visit
For photos, logos, PSAs or assistance in setting up interviews with honorees, please contact Stacia Garlach at (808) 956-4551 or
The University of Hawaiʻi Alumni Association promotes and supports the University of Hawaiʻi by connecting alumni and friends with the university and with each other, strengthening stakeholder relationships in the community, and inspiring pride among the University of Hawaiʻi ohana. Alumni from all 10 campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi System are unified as members of the UH Alumni Association.