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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 24, 2005

UH group raises nearly $35 million for year

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer


The University of Hawai'i Foundation has ended the fiscal year by raising $34.8 million — almost $9 million more than the previous year.

It was a gratifying boost for the foundation, especially in the tumultuous year after the ouster of UH President Evan Dobelle and concerns over whether that would create a backlash for fundraising efforts.

It did not.

"People are generous," said Donna Vuchinich, foundation president. "We've been focusing on the mission and the programs."

A year ago fundraising efforts brought in $26 million, and Vuchinich said the foundation has an even more ambitious goal for the coming year. "We'd like to do $40 (million) to $42 million this coming year to fulfill our contract with the regents," she said.

The foundation also is focused on raising at least $200 million by 2007 as part of the university's Centennial Campaign.

It has launched ambitious fundraising opportunities for some of the most glamorous new areas within the system, everything from the new John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kaka'ako to UH-Hilo's new College of Pharmacy.

The medical school has naming opportunities in the education building that would raise $100 million for the school. Additional naming opportunities will be available in the research building.

The medical school, in particular, will be partially dependent on fundraising to hire researchers who will then bring in millions in federal grants to the state.

Included in some of the foundation's additional endeavors is a newly endowed chair honoring U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. That effort broke all records in reaching $1.6 million in its first month.

"This particular effort for the senator is unusual in that it's a group effort," Vuchinich said. "And usually these programs aren't necessarily the easiest to have success with. I think this shows how much people recognize how much he's done for the state of Hawai'i."

The endowed chair, which could bring retired Supreme Court Justices or top journalists to the university for a year in residence, will be funded at the $2 million level to provide enough proceeds annually to support the program.