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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 21, 2010

Outgoing chancellor pledges $100,000 to UH-Hilo

Colin M. Stewart
Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Chancellor Rose Tseng and her husband, Raymond, have pledged $100,000 to the University of Hawaii at Hilo as a parting gift.

University system President M.R.C. Greenwood made the announcement at a special reception following Tseng's participation Thursday in her final Board of Regents meeting.

Tseng has led the university through a period of tremendous growth since taking the reins in 1998, and is scheduled to step down at the end of the school year.

"Ray and Rose just announced that they will be making a personal gift to UH-Hilo to launch an endowment that will be called the Rose and Raymond Tseng Distinguished Lectureship at UH-Hilo," Greenwood said.

The endowment will fund visits by leaders from various sectors to deliver presentations "on topics that perpetuate Rose's legacy," she said.

"One can imagine topics like international women's leadership, science and culture, indigenous culture and languages. Or it might focus on affecting lectures from abroad to infuse an international dimension to stimulate international linkages."

Greenwood said she'd been asked not to reveal the amount of the couple's donation, but spilled the beans in a roundabout way.

"I hope that many of you in this audience will consider honoring Ray and Rose with your own gift to match this wonderful endowment to ensure that their legacy and your legacy continues into the future," she said.

"So to start that process, Chair (Howard H.) Karr and I would like to make those first contributions, and we will be making $1,000 contributions tonight. That way, if there are only 98 more of you out there, we can match this gift."

In recognition of the chancellor's donation, the regents proposed renaming the university's reception room to the Rose and Raymond Tseng Terrace.

Thursday's event, held at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, served as a going-away party of sorts for Tseng, although she will remain until the summer, when a new chancellor is scheduled to take over.

Since the Board of Regents meets only once a year in Hilo, Tseng joked that Thursday's meeting was another in a long line of "lasts" for her.

"The last few weeks I feel a little funny already," she said. "They say 'Rose's last alumni award.' 'Rose's last Chinese Civic Association meeting.' 'Rose's last Girl's Day concert.' 'Rose's last commencement.' And so on and on. But today really is Rose's last board meeting at Hilo. So you won't have to hear me proclaim my accomplishments anymore."

Along with Greenwood and Karr, speakers honoring Tseng included state Rep. Jerry Chang, Mayor Billy Kenoi, UHH Student Association President Hoomano Pakele, and Chancellor's Search Committee Co-Chairman Sevki Erdogan.