L-R: Dr. Kathryn L. Braun and Dr. Noreen Mokuau
Residents in Hawaiʻi have the longest life expectancy out of all 50 states in the U.S. About 14 percent of the population is aged 65 or older, compared with 12 percent nationally.
The Barbara Cox Anthony Endowment sustains the University of Hawaiʻi’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life of older adults in Hawaiʻi.
In 2008, Blair Parry-Okeden, daughter of the late Barbara Cox Anthony, a renowned philanthropist and former director of Cox Enterprises, donated $2 million to the Center on Aging at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to establish the endowed Barbara Cox Anthony Chair in Aging.
In 2015, two of UH Mānoa’s highly regarded gerontology scholars were selected as co-chairs for the endowment - Dr. Kathryn L. Braun, professor and director of the Office of Public Health Studies and Dr. Noreen Mokuau, dean of the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. Under their leadership, the Center on Aging will shape research, education and service across multiple disciplines in the area of aging.
Dr. Braun has enjoyed a long career with the Center on Aging. In 1988 she joined the team in developing a 13-hour telecourse on aging, later licensed and taught by universities across the U.S. From 1995 – 2009 she served as Director of the Center, where she successfully secured numerous federal and state grants and contracts that fostered interdisciplinary and community-based work in aging.
Dean Mokuau’s specific contributions focus on the cultural lens for exploring issues in aging with relevance for Native Hawaiian historical trauma, care-giving, and the perpetuation of cultural legacy through generational relationships.
As co-chairs, Drs. Braun and Mokuau state “Our vision for the Center on Aging is to be a catalyst of academic excellence in gerontology.”
"This generous endowment is accelerating our ongoing efforts to develop the interdisciplinary Center on Aging at UH Mānoa.” He continued, "The appointment of Drs. Mokuau and Braun to this prestigious chair and the anticipated impact their work will make for Hawaiʻi’s seniors, will build on Barbara Cox Anthony and her daughter Blair Parry-Okeden’s remarkable legacies as women leaders committed to giving back.”
- Robert Bley-Vroman, Chancellor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Barbara Cox Anthony was the daughter of three-time Ohio Governor and Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox. She was a noted philanthropist in Hawaiʻi and throughout the U.S. whose generosity impacted areas including education, the arts and organizations that serve the health and welfare of people and animals.
In addition to serving as director of Cox Enterprises, one of the largest diversified media companies in the United States, the longtime Honolulu resident was also a mother and avid athlete who enjoyed sports ranging from tennis to car racing.