HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Melanie Yamaguchi
Naming four University of Hawaii facilities and programs after the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will help carry on his legacy, university officials said Friday at a tribute ceremony honoring Inouye.
"What it symbolizes is the pathways that his influence opened up for our children, for our next generations," UH Board of Regents Chairman Eric Martinson said. "These are all pathways for education and higher ed that would not have been available to our community, and that's what our university stands for, is presenting opportunities for advancements."
The UH Board of Regents approved naming a selection of UH facilities and programs including the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) at UH Manoa, the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo, the Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center at UH Maui College, and the Daniel K. Inouye Electronics Technology Building at Kauai Community College.
"It was a decision that came easy, but it was a decision that came with a lot of passion, pride," Martinson said.
UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple said Inouye, a 1950 graduate of UH Manoa, made a profound impact on the university by offering guidance and support in the development of the programs and facilities named after him. For example, as a champion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, Inouye had been instrumental in the growth of C-MORE.
"We wouldn't have the dream of doubling the center's research without the senator's guidance," Apple said.
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who also attended the ceremony, said putting Inouye's name on buildings would remind future generations of who he was and what he means for the future.
"Remember, what he has left us more than anything else is hope," Hanabusa said. "What he has left us for any student in this room, any student who looks at this university, is the knowledge that you can do."
Sen. Inouye's widow, Irene Hirano Inouye, and son, Ken Inouye, were also present to formally accept UH's tribute.
"It is about certainly celebrating the moment but more importantly, continuing to look for the future, continuing to imagine what no one would believe could be done but always finding a way to make it happen, and that was so much a part of what he did," Irene Hirano Inouye said.
Ken Inouye said he made a promise to his father the day he died that when his 2-year-old daughter grew up, she would know who her grandfather was.
"This recognition of my father's legacy is actually helping me fulfill a promise I made to him," he said.
Sen. Daniel Inouye died Dec. 17 at 88 years old.