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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 21, 2001

Dobelle wants to rename stadium after Murakami

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By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Education Writer

A University of Hawai'i stadium and two buildings would be renamed after Hawai'i's favorite baseball coach, a former UH regent and a couple who shared a passion for education if university officials go along with yesterday's request from President Evan Dobelle.

Les Murakami devoted 30 years to UH baseball.

Advertiser library photo • May 12, 2000

Dobelle said he will recommend that the UH Board of Regents rename Rainbow Stadium after Les Murakami, the Center for Hawaiian Studies after Gladys Brandt and the building that houses the College of Arts and Sciences after the late Allan and Marion Saunders.

The changes would go against a standing policy that UH buildings be named after people only after they have been dead for at least five years. Dobelle will ask regents to waive the rule at their September board meeting.

Murakami resigned from UH this year after suffering a stroke in November. During his 30 years at UH, Murakami's teams won six Western Athletic Conference titles and made 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including a national championship runner-up finish in 1980.

Brandt, 94, held the posts of superintendent of Kaua'i public schools, principal of Kamehameha School for Girls, UH regent and Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee. Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, director of Hawaiian studies, said they have been calling the Center for Hawaiian Studies after Brandt since its opening in 1997. "In Hawaiian tradition if you don't name a building, it's bad luck," she said.

Allan Saunders was dean of arts and sciences and founded the American Civil Liberties Union in Hawai'i.

His wife, Marion, was the director of Continuing Education for Women at UH. As a school board member in 1974-81, she sought equal opportunity for girls.

Marion Saunders died in 1998. Allan Saunders' death meets the time requirement for naming a building.