Hawai‘i Pacific, Oceanic Institute grieve loss of Sen. Inouye

December 17, 2012

Senator Daniel Inouye
Sen. Daniel Inouye
Sept. 7th, 1924 - Dec. 17th, 2012

HONOLULU – Leadership, faculty, staff and students of Hawai‘i Pacific University today joined with colleagues around the islands and the nation in mourning the passage of Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Individuals around the country knew the senator as a senior statesman and fixture in Washington’s halls of power. In his home state, constituents knew the senator as a warm and caring public servant, his commitment to service reflected in the extraordinary length of his career in elected leadership. 

At HPU, Sen. Inouye made a difference through his support of marine science research at the university’s affiliate, the Oceanic Institute, through advocacy for Native Hawaiian scholarships, through support for military education programs and more.

“Senator Inouye was more than a friend to Hawai‘i Pacific University, he was a friend to the cause of education,” said Geoffrey Bannister, president of Hawai‘i Pacific University. “He understood the critical importance of higher education to society, and that for Hawai‘i and its many challenges it played an even more valuable role. We’ll remember him for his gentle wisdom, his sense of honor and duty and his warm friendship.

“So few leaders ever come along of the longevity and distinction of The Senator, and we are fortunate, indeed, to have known him. Hawai‘i will miss this man sorely.”

“The roots of Sen. Inouye’s legacy run deep and strong throughout Hawai‘i. The students of Hawai‘i Pacific University were beneficiaries of his leadership, and he was part of the ‘ohana of our island,” said HPU Student Body President Collin Paran. “He inspired young people, especially young people from Hawai‘i, through his service. And as someone who served in the military myself, I deeply respect the fact that he gave so much to his country, and that his commitment provided such a great example for generations to come.”

“The Oceanic Institute wouldn’t exist, had it not been for the senator’s leadership, literally over decades,” said Janet Kloenhamer, acting chief executive officer of the Oceanic Institute. “His advocacy in the areas of food security, aquaculture, marine science and scientific collaboration around environmental issues was invaluable. Hawai‘i and this nation were fortunate to have experienced his tireless, selfless devotion to our challenges and needs.

“We won’t soon see another like Sen. Inouye.”

(HPU faculty from communication, economics and social sciences have been interviewed by the news media, commenting on the incredible legacy that Inouye leaves behind, in Hawai‘i and around the world. See the special section "Remembering Senator Inouye" on the HPU in the News page.)