Categorized | Education

Subaru Telescope invests in the next generation of scientists


Dr. Rose Tseng (second from left), UH Hilo Chancellor, accepted a scholarship gift for the university from Subaru Telescope Director Dr. Masahiko Hayashi (second from right).

HILO – The future of astronomy in Hawai‘i has received a boost from Subaru Telescope, which recently presented a generous gift of $8,600 to UH Hilo on behalf of the Japan Foundation for the Promotion of Astronomy (JFPA). The donation establishes a new Subaru Telescope Success Scholarship, which will support a UH Hilo student pursuing a degree in physics or astronomy over four consecutive years of study. As a result of a limited-time matching gift program made possible by a donation from an anonymous contributor, UH Hilo will match the Subaru donation dollar-for-dollar, effectively doubling its impact.

The Success Scholarship is a new UH Hilo initiative to ensure student retention by providing four years of consistent support to qualified students who demonstrate financial need. The Subaru Telescope Success Scholarship is the first one established for the Department of Physics and Astronomy and will provide sufficient resources for an undergraduate student to focus on the study of astronomy and develop the skills that a science education offers.

When presenting the contribution, Dr. Masahiko Hayashi, Director of Subaru Telescope, emphasized its meaning: “Since the establishment of our local telescope facility in 1999, Subaru has been indebted to the people of the Big Island for their support of our mission, and we are happy to be able to give back to the local community by helping to support the education of a future astronomer.”

In accepting the gift, Dr. Rose Tseng, UH Hilo Chancellor, commented, “Science enrollments at UH Hilo have increased some 36% over the past two years, and this latest gift from our good friend and neighbor, Subaru Telescope, will help us to sustain this momentum, which is so crucial to supporting our nation’s ability to compete internationally in the 21st century economy.” Also attending the presentation were Dr. Hideki Takami, Associate Director at Subaru Telescope and UH Hilo’s Dr. Philippe Binder, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Margaret Shiba, Senior Director of Development.

Over the past ten years, Subaru Telescope, on behalf of JPFA, has made $78,000 in donations to UH Hilo for supporting initiatives that foster education about astronomy in the local community. The creation of exhibits and planetarium shows at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, construction of a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe, and programs at the Center for Global Education and Exchange are some of the other ways that UH Hilo has used these donations.

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