A History of the University of Hawai`i
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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This history of our university is written for all of us who have been influenced by it. Whether we are alumni, dropouts, or eager learners enrolled there now, or are teachers, researchers, secretaries, administrators, technicians, or custodians of its ten campuses, or are simply interested bystanders, we have been affected in countless ways by the services it performs for all the people who live in these islands of ...
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A university is a strange institution, easier to describe than explain, particularly if it is a public university encompassing the full range of higher education from community colleges to professional schools. Its most appreciated function is to prepare people for an enormously wide range of careers, but in a democracy it also serves another purpose, less often noticed. That is to help students prepare for responsible citizenship, many in leadership roles, by sharpening their ...
1. ORIGINS AND EARLY YEARS: 1907-1946
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Hawaii at the beginning of the twentieth century needed an institution of higher learning. The further integration into the United States desired by those who had sided against the Hawaiian monarchy, if it was to work politically, required the further development of American culture here. Across the nation, every state and incorporated territory except Hawaii and Alaska had a college. Without one of its own, the far offshore Territory of Hawaii would present itself as ...
2. BECOMING A STATEWIDE SYSTEM: 1947-1968
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The University emerged from World War II with a disheveled campus, a depleted faculty, and the promise of better times to come. As in colleges across the nation, the invigorating force was to be a tide of students returning from the war. The GI Bill of Rights offered veterans unprecedented financial support--covering tuition ($50 a semester), books, and supplies, plus enough cash for a frugal student life--and thus provided the University with a speedily enlarged student body. By September 1947 enrollment on the Manoa campus had surpassed its prewar ...
3. EXPERIENCING MATURITY: 1969-1995
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When the regents accepted Thomas Hamilton's resignation in May 1968, Vice-President for Academic Affairs Robert Hiatt was named acting president. Student protests on a number of campus issues continued, notably on course requirements for graduation and the lack of student housing, but in a lower key. Committed to academic freedom and freedom of speech, Hiatt was open to students and faculty who raised questions about the University as well as about larger ...
PART I I
4. THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE AND HAWAIIAN STUDIES
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The University of Hawai'i may not leap to mind as a guardian of Hawaii's indigenous speech and culture, but that in fact has been its historical role. Only the University's abiding commitment to teach Hawaiian has kept it alive as a disciplined language spoken now by increasing thousands of people in these islands. At the beginning of this century, when the University was starting up, Hawaiian was alive in Hawaiian-speech communities, still numerous but in decline. There was ...
5. THE PACIFIC ISLANDS PROGRAM
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Organized interest in the Pacific at the University of Hawai'i dates from 1932, when the University, with the assistance of the Carnegie Corporation, established a School of Pacific and Oriental Affairs. Initial attention was focused on large Asian nations bordering the Pacific, which then eclipsed island areas within the vast ocean. Nevertheless, out of this slowly evolved what became the ...
6. ASIAN PROGRAMS AND LINKAGES
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From its early days the University was envisioned as an institution of higher learning that would connect America with Asia. Hawaii's intercontinental position and its multiethnic environment, in which scholars from Asia could find languages, cuisines, and religions familiar to them among the exotica of America-in-Polynesia, argued for developing here a university to span the Pacific. William Kwai Fong Yap's 1919 petition made that connection a chief justification for transforming ...
7. THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
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Engineering and agriculture share the distinction of being the progenitors of all higher education in Hawaii. When the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts of the Territory of Hawaii opened its first full academic year in September 1908, four of the five regular students were engineering students, but John Mason Young was the only engineer in a faculty of thirteen. After the school moved its expanding program to the Manoa campus in 1911, Young taught approximately ...
8. THE COLLEGE OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
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The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) has origins predating those of the University. It was shaped by federal legislation that profoundly affected agricultural research and the spread of higher education throughout the United States. ...
9. ARTS AND SCIENCES AFTER STATEHOOD
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The College of Arts and Sciences was established at the founding of the University in 1920, when the College of Hawaii was expanded from a technical school, concentrating on the training of engineers and agricultural specialists, to a broader institution of learning that--in the words of the statute that created the University--would also provide "thorough instruction" in the "physical, natural, economic, political and social sciences, language, literature, history, philosophy. . . ." ...
10. THE UNDERGRADUATE HONORS PROGRAMS
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In the 1930s a faculty committee allowed talented undergraduates to substitute for their major a two-year course of independent study culminating in the award of "Special Honors," but for the next two decades the honors degree depended solely upon grade-point average. By the mid-1950s, however, faculty members at Manoa, like those across the country, had become disturbed by the neglect of our ...
11. ORGANIZED RESEARCH UNITS
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When Bruce White retired as graduate dean in 1954, President Gregg Sinclair asked me to serve and added the title of director of research. Prior to that time, in 1948, the Hawaii Marine Laboratory, the first major research unit on the campus, had been organized as a budget entity. We had no particular physical facility. It was just people like me in zoology and botany working in the marine area. We composed a little group. The quarter-time reduction in teaching load we were ...
12. THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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The Hawaiian Islands have been recognized since the late eighteenth century as unique in natural history. The archipelago is the most isolated group of islands on earth; new islands are periodically generated by volcanic activity, providing new habitats for colonization; and they possess an array of animals and plants found nowhere else in the world. This remarkable island biota played a major role in the development of the natural sciences at the University from its founding in ...
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From its earliest years, the College of Hawaii offered astronomy as a course of instruction. Among the small faculty, not yet divided into departments, a mathematician or physicist would teach an introductory course with the aid of a small observatory in nearby Kaimuki. A six-inch refractor, bought by public subscription in 1910, had been installed there on a rise near Diamond Head to observe Halley's comet. Both it and a somewhat better telescope moved there from Punahou ...
14. MUSIC AT MANOA
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In the early days, music on campus was an extracurricular activity--glee clubs or bands. Leona Crawford directed a men's glee club from 1917 until she became busy with her duties as wife of the president. During 1920-1921 a coed glee club introduced Monday noon hour "songfests" under the leadership of Charles E. King, later a celebrated Hawaiian composer, who as territorial senator had cosponsored ...
15. THEATRE AND DANCE
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Theatre came early to the Manoa campus and flourished. As far back as 1913 performances were staged by Theta Alpha Phi (a drama club), by the College of Hawaii Dramatic Club, or by the College itself. In the mid-1920s, a score of theatrical pieces were shown each year, most of them skits or one-act plays, but by 1927 and 1928 the offerings extended to full productions of Shakespeare and modern plays, such as Barrie's The Admirable Crichton. Actors faced their audience ...
16. SUMMER SESSION
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University summer sessions are uniquely American, with roots in three educational movements: the Lyceum lecture and public forum movement begun in 1826; the remarkable Chautauqua movement, which began in 1874 as a summer conference for Sunday school teachers and grew into a major program in adult education; and teachers' summer institutes led by educator Henry Barnard at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1839. These programs spread across the nation and then moved to ...
17. THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I PRESS
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On July 1, 1947, President Gregg M. Sinclair wrote to the territorial attorney general: "I feel it is one of the important obligations of a university to publish under its imprint books written by members of its faculty and by others who make valuable contributions to knowledge and understanding . . . work which, while of great value to society, would not ordinarily be undertaken by private enterprise and therefore would not otherwise see the light of day." In response came the ...
PART I I I
18. THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I AT HILO
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Until 1970, the University of Hawai'i at Hilo (UHH) was a satellite of the Manoa campus that combined a two-year liberal arts curriculum with the offerings of a community college. This curious mixture of programs was the result of an ill-conceived move in 1965 to ensure the survival of a burgeoning and popular college curriculum on the Big Island. ...
19. THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I--WEST O'AHU
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The University strained under the mounting demands of poststatehood Hawaii. With the main campus at Manoa already overcrowded, by the mid- 1960s the wave of students seeking higher education forced UH administrators and downtown political leaders to consider the need for both a community college system and a second four-year campus. In 1966 the legislature funded a study to determine the feasibility of a four-year liberal arts college in Leeward Oahu. In the same ...
20. THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES
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Hawaii was late in beginning a system of community colleges, doing so only in 1964, when three-fourth of the states already had them in operation. The national community college movement began just after World War II, stimulated largely by the Veterans Re-adjustment Act of 1944--the GI Bill of Rights--which provided financial support for veterans resuming their interrupted schooling. ...
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The University of Hawai'i, unique as America's mid-ocean, tropical, multicultural university, also typifies the development of the nation's public institutions of higher learning from small colleges to large, research-centered "multiversities." Beginning, like most state colleges, as a school devoted to training agricultural specialists and engineers, it evolved into a university offering a broader liberal education (1920) and soon acquired its first professional school, Teachers ...
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A NOTE ON SOURCES
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Publication Year: 1998