“My family and I are delighted and proud to continue our support of the UH Cancer Center. Our gift underscores our belief in the importance of cancer research and is a testament to our hope that the Center will have a positive impact on our state for many years to come.”
—Joanna Lau Sullivan
Philanthropist and University of Hawaiʻi supporter Joanna Lau Sullivan has pledged $3 million to the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center to help build, furnish and maintain its new state-of-the-art research building scheduled to open in early 2013.
Her support of the UH Cancer Center will provide UH's leading scientists with the environment they need to be successful in their research efforts to prevent and treat cancer and to serve our community. In recognition of her generosity, the Center will name its new conference center the Sullivan Conference Center.
Joanna Sullivan has been a major benefactor to a range of local nonprofits and institutions, including Chaminade University, St. Francis Healthcare System's Cardiac Care Center and Ronald McDonald House. Her ongoing commitment and engagement with the local community is well recognized and she was awarded the prestigious 2008 Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her husband, "Sully" Sullivan, was a successful entrepreneur and legendary philanthropist who founded the Foodland grocery store chain with Joanna and her family in 1948.
A prominent community leader, he recognized the importance of the University of Hawaiʻi and supported a range of its programs. Sullivan also served as a UH Foundation trustee from 1978 to 1984.
The Sullivan family's support of cancer research in Hawaiʻi dates back decades. In 1971, Sully Sullivan established the Mama Lau Cancer Research Center at the University in memory of his mother-in-law. This laboratory led to the development of what is today the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center. The Sullivans have also been major donors to the Cancer Center, establishing a chair to provide leadership for cancer research in Hawaiʻi.