My brother James P.D. Thropp Jr. graduated from Punahou School and California State Polytechnic College before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. A soil agronomist at several sugar plantations before his retirement, he was a longtime member of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. He expressed how important UH was in his life when he included scholarships in his estate plan.
The Thropp College of Business Education Scholarship and the Thropp College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management Scholarship will assist students at his Hilo alma mater, while the James P.D. Thropp Scholarship and Thropp Agricultural Scholarship will aid business and agriculture students at UH Mānoa.
Jimmy decided many years ago to make this bequest in his original will in 1992. His business classes at UH were an excellent asset, and he applied the knowledge to his hobby: the stock market.
Jimmy worked in the sugar industry on several islands. When the second company, Hamakua Sugar, went bankrupt, Jimmy was 50 or so. In 2011, his rented plantation house was $214.16 per month.
Jimmy also donated to Punahou School and West Hawai‘i Community Hospital – now owned by Queen’s Hospital.
Jimmy was smart, thoughtful, and caring. He quietly did things for others as he lived his Christian religion. He had a truly wonderful, dry sense of humor. When I was a teenager, I appreciated it when it was not directed at me!
Summers, when he was at the University of California at Davis, he worked on a ranch with a group of Mexican laborers. He asked them why they accepted him. They answered, “You work hard.”
I know all the recipients will appreciate Jim’s scholarships. I hope they study, work hard, and have good, full lives.
Story by Nancy Lea Skelsey
James P.D. Thropp Jr.