In Memoriam Jean F. Cornuelle, Hawai‘i Pacific University Trustee Emerita

March 08, 2013

Jean F. Cornuelle
Jean F. Cornuelle

The Hawai‘i Pacific University ‘ohana pays tribute to trustee emerita Jean F. Cornuelle, who passed away this week.

“We extend our sincere condolences to Jean’s family at this sad time,” said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D.

In 1976, at the suggestion of her late husband, Herbert C. Cornuelle, former president of the Dole Company, the United Fruit Company, and the Dillingham Corporation, Jean joined the Hawai‘i Pacific College (HPC) Board of Trustees.  She had been an invaluable board member and served the university and its mission for 36 years.

“Jean was among the leaders credited with helping to build HPU,” added President Bannister. “It is through the guidance and entrepreneurial-minded thinking of these leaders that the university is able to continue delivering education to students today.”

The highlights of Jean’s Hawai‘i Pacific leadership included roles as HPC Acting Board Chairman and the campaign chair of a substantial renovation project for HPC’s Meader Library.  The funds raised from the campaign financed much needed books, library equipment, furniture, and the construction and renovation of current and additional library space.

In addition to her HPU commitment, Jean was a fixture in Hawai‘i’s non-profit community, generously giving of her time, talent, and treasure. She had been actively involved with numerous nonprofits including The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, which her late husband co-founded with HPU trustee emeritus Sam Cooke; the Hawai‘i Community Foundation; and Hawaii Public Radio.

“With fond aloha I will remember Jean,” said HPU Board of Trustees Chairman Michael J. Chun, Ph.D. “It was a privilege to work with her not only on behalf of HPU but for our community at large.”

To honor Jean’s outstanding community leadership, she was presented HPU’s prestigious accolade, the Fellow of the Pacific award in 2000. More recently, in November 2012, the Aloha Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals presented Jean with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award at its National Philanthropy Day event.

Jean was a true believer in the importance of education. She was always among the trustees participating in university commencement and attending student award events. In a 2002 article of the university magazine in which Jean was profiled, she said, “If you can’t give your kids anything else, give them an education.”

Aloha, Jean, for all that you did for Hawai‘i Pacific University and our students, present and past.