Maui News


December 19, 2008, 10:15 AM HST
* Updated December 19, 6:27 PM
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The University of Hawai`i Board of Regents approved the conferral of an honorary degree upon Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, the great grand niece of King David Kalākaua and Queen Kapi`olani. The Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters is awarded to individuals distinguished by their national or international reputations or accomplishments in scholarship, public service, profession, or industry.

The request was introduced by Chancellor Gene Awakuni of UH West O`ahu, the sponsoring campus.  UH President David McClain remarked, “Princess Kawananakoa’s philanthropic work has been essential to the preservation of Hawaiian culture as a heritage for future generations. Through her dedication and generosity, she has helped to sustain authentic Hawaiian history, music, hula, literature and language.” Among Kawananakoa’s many accomplishments was serving as president of the Friends of `Iolani Palace for nearly 30 years where she was recognized as the moving force behind the palace’s monumental and historic restoration project.  She has generously supported many projects throughout the state, from Hawaiian language immersion schools to the historic renovation of The Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum. UH officials say her strong ties with royals throughout the South Pacific is also a testament to her goodwill toward cultures around the world.

(Photo courtesy:  Bishop Museum.  The Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kahili Room honors cherished alii and displays the precious feather standards associated with them.  The room was named after the Princess last year to celebrate her lifelong commitment to the preservation of Native Hawaiian artifacts and culture.)

(Posted:  9:20 a.m. Friday, December 19, 2008 by Wendy Osher, Pacific Radio Group)

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