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Janis Magin   |   Staff Writer
February 2, 2024
  • Rie Wong photo

Student-athletes at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa who grew up in Hawaiʻi will have more opportunities to succeed in school and on the court, field or pool, thanks to a generous endowment established by Rie Wong, a devoted supporter of UH Athletics.

The $1.05 million gift from Rie Wong establishes the Edwin & Rie Wong Endowment Fund to provide academic and student support for UH Mānoa student-athletes who are graduates of Hawai’i high schools. The endowment is open to men and women student-athletes in any sport and extends to helping them with the costs of attending summer school.

Rie Wong is a longtime supporter of UH Athletics. Her late husband, Ed Wong, was a UH alumnus and one of the founding members of the Nā Koa Football Booster Club who also served as its president. Ed Wong was posthumously elected to the 38th class of the UH Sports Circle of Honor in 2021, along with national champion high jumper Amber Kaufman, Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan and broadcaster Robert Kekaula.

During his life, Ed Wong had served on the boards of various UH and community organizations, including the UH President's Club and the UH Alumni Association, and was a successful businessman who served as senior vice president of Alexander & Baldwin and was chairman, president and CEO of Waterhouse, Inc. He was also a close friend of Alexander “Alec” Cooke Waterhouse, one of the founders of ʻAhahui Koa Ānuenue and a strong supporter of UH Athletics.

“We have been associated with UH Athletics for many years and wouldn't be able to make this donation without the great relationships from Hugh Yoshida, Jim Donovan and Coach June Jones,” Rie Wong said. “We are confident the future is bright under AD Craig Angelos and his team and hope this gift will encourage others to support and appreciate Hawaiʻi Athletics like we have.”

Angelos said: “Rie's generous gift will make an immediate impact to our student-athletes by creating this endowment.”

“Throughout the years, she and Mr. Wong's support have impacted areas such as the Wong Hospitality room, Alec Waterhouse Weight room, and starting the Na Koa Football club and this amazing gift cements their legacy with our department,” Angelos said. “On behalf of all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, thank you for your dedication and loyalty to Hawaiʻi Athletics.  Go Bows!”

About UH-Mānoa Athletics

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is the only NCAA Division I institution in the state of Hawai‘i. The UH athletics department consists of 21 men’s, women’s, and coed teams and compete primarily in the Big West Conference and Mountain West for football only. UH’s men’s teams are referred to as the Rainbow Warriors and consist of baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball while the women’s teams are referred to as the Rainbow Wahine and consist of basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, sailing, softball, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. Coed teams are sailing and cheerleading. UH became a member of the NCAA in 1946 and joined its first major intercollegiate conference in 1979. UH boasts eight team national championships and 11 individual national champions.

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.