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Gala to honor distinguished UH alumni (May 12)


Nearly 600 University of Hawaii alumni and friends are expected to gather for the UH Alumni Association’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and silent auction Thursday, May 12, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

This year’s honorees are:

Richard Ha

* L. Tammy Duckworth (BA ’89 UH Manoa), Major, U.S. Army National Guard, Iraq War veteran

* Gary Galiher (JD ’77, MEd ’71 UH Manoa), Senior Partner, and Diane Ono (JD ’91, BA ’73 UH Manoa; AS ’82 Kapiolani Community College), Managing Partner, Galiher DeRobertis Ono

* Richard Ha (BBA ’73 UH Manoa), Founder and President, Hamakua Springs Country Farms

* John T. Komeiji (BEd ’75 UH Manoa), Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hawaiian Telcom

* Hing Leung Sham, PhD (PhD ’80 UH Manoa), Senior Vice President of Chemical Sciences, Elan Biopharmaceuticals

In addition, the 2011 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the family of Isabella Aiona Abbott, PhD (BA ’41 UH Manoa), Ethnobotany Professor Emerita, UH Manoa.

Benny Chong & Byron Yasui (BEd ’65 UH Manoa) will jazz up the evening, ukulele-style. Chong is regarded by many jazz musicians as the world’s premiere jazz ukulele artist. Bassist and ASCAP award-winning composer Yasui is professor emeritus of composition & theory in the music department at UH Manoa, where he taught since 1972 and retired last year.

The annual event will raise essential funding for the UH Alumni Association, a not-for-profit organization that awards student scholarships, connects alumni through its events and the UHAA Online Ohana at, supports UHAA chapters and UH campuses, and facilitates communication between UH and its alumni.

This year’s silent auction will feature many goods and services donated by alumni and businesses to help raise money for UHAA. Items up for bid include a four-night Hawaiian Package at the California Hotel, neighbor-island & mainland hotel stays, dinner for two at Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Maui Divers Jewelry gift certificate, art by Gary Reed, fine wine, and much more.

To donate to the silent auction, visit

To purchase tables or reserve seats by May 6, or for more information, visit or call (808) 956-2586 or 1-877-UH-ALUMS (1-877-842-5867).

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