Walter and Diane Dods Donate $1 Million to University of Hawai‘i for Scholarships for Children of ImmigrantsUniversity of Hawaiʻi
University of Hawai‘i alumni Walter A. and Diane N. Dods have donated $1 million to fund UH scholarships for Island public school graduates, with preference given to the children of immigrants, the University of Hawai‘i announced today.
"I think it‘s crucial for leaders in our community to demonstrate tangible support for the University of Hawai‘i and for graduates of our public school system," said Walter Dods, chairman and chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank.
"Diane and I have been most impressed by the initial steps Evan Dobelle has taken to rebuild confidence in UH and to raise the bar for excellence throughout the university system. We hope our gift may inspire other people of means to step up and help the University of Hawai‘i, the single most important institution in our state."
University of Hawai‘i President Evan Dobelle said: "To have my administration validated so early on by individuals of such stature as Walter and Diane Dods is deeply appreciated, as are the values they show for what they want their philanthropy to underline -- every kid having the ability to realize that dreams can come true."
Diane Dods said second-generation immigrants would be given preference in awarding scholarships from the "Walter and Diane Dods Scholarship Fund."
"I remember from my days at Roosevelt High School just how much immigrant parents value higher education and how hard they work to give their children educational advantages in the country they‘ve adopted. Their children struggle with learning a new culture and a new language at the same time, so if we can help more of these families achieve their dreams, we‘ll be delighted," she said.
Walter Dods said the scholarships would be reserved for public school graduates because "Hawaii cannot succeed unless our public education system is viewed as an avenue toward success in life. We are encouraged by the energy and wisdom that Superintendent Paul LeMahieu has brought to the challenge of raising the quality of our school system. We can‘t afford for public school graduates to be viewed as second-class educational citizens."
"This generous donation by Walter and Diane Dods benefits both the University of Hawai‘i and the students in our own public schools. It opens doors for immigrants, a group that otherwise might struggle to find the opportunities they deserve," said Superintendent Paul LeMahieu. "These scholarships will motivate eligible students toward sustained academic achievement in high school and facilitate their quest for higher education."
Walter Dods also co-chaired a recent fundraising campaign that brought $116 million in gifts to the University of Hawai‘i Foundation.