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Cultural and Educational Exchange Facility to be Built at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum Site

(Honolulu, Hawaiʻi) - University of Hawaiʻi Professor Emeritus Dr. Tseng Yuho Ecke recently pledged $600,000 to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, to launch plans to build the Shi Wu Tea Lodge at the site of the university's Harold L. Lyon Arboretum in Mānoa Valley. Dr. Ecke's pledge launches a special fundraising initiative for creation of a cultural and educational gathering place for the practice and enjoyment of the humanities, in the manner associated with a traditional Chinese teahouse.

"Through our partnership with Dr. Tseng Yuho Ecke, founder of the Shi Wu Tea Lodge and internationally known artist and scholar, we are proud to announce a special initiative to construct this important cultural facility," said Peter Englert, Chancellor of UH Mānoa. "We offer the University of Hawaiʻi, with its unparalleled location as a gateway to Asia, and its diversity of people and cultures, as the location of the Shi Wu Tea Lodge."

The Shi Wu Tea Lodge will be a guild available to UH Mānoa faculty and staff, their guests and special visitors, for workshops, seminars, meetings and tea service. Workshops may include arts and crafts of China offered by UH Mānoa's Department of Chinese Studies, the Department of Art and many other creative specialists at the university. And, in cooperation with the John A. Burns School of Medicine, talks on Asian and Pacific nutrition and diet, medicinal herbs and natural healing, and preventive health care.

"Shi Wu means to learn and understand universal experiences, to enhance and enjoy the six human senses: what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and comprehend," explains Dr. Ecke. "Throughout my life I have experienced how the arts and scholarship enhance these senses and contribute to the positive side of humanity. I am most grateful to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa for joining with me to create this place to share friendship, knowledge, and the inspiration of creativity in everyday life."

The public will have opportunities to enjoy the lodge through tea service and other events such as film events, lectures, classes, intimate concerts and recitals, and exhibitions. Experienced tea masters from Hawaiʻi and abroad will demonstrate the art of tea. A gift shop will feature Chinese folk art and tea implements and a small gallery will showcase the work of UH art faculty and artists from Hawaiʻi, Asia, the U.S. mainland and Europe.

Plans call for the lodge to be built in the style of a country house, with simple furnishings representative of the tea implements and folk art that flourished in China. The site, located at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, which has been part of UH Mānoa since 1953, looks out upon a tropical garden and mountains. The overall effect will be one of simplicity, tranquility and harmony.

"Under the direction of a distinguished Board of Advisors, the lodge will serve as an effective focal point for the many interdisciplinary subjects related to the aesthetic, scholarly, and healthy attributes of tea. In today's fast-paced world, there must still be a time and a place for the time-honored traditions of scholarship and community that the Shi Wu Tea Lodge will offer," comments Englert.

An estimated $1,200,000 is needed to fully establish the Shi Wu Tea Lodge -approximately $600,000 to build the structure, including fixtures, and $100,000 to purchase furniture, tea and tea implements, and Chinese folk art. An additional $600,000 is needed to establish an endowment to maintain the lodge and its programs. A membership program, fees from tea service and public programs, gift shop proceeds, and an annual fundraising festival will supplement endowment distributions for annual operations.

For information on contribution opportunities, please contact Susan Lampe at the UH Foundation at 808 376-7800 or at e-mail address giftplanning@uhf.hawaii.edu.

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The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations www.uhfoundation.org.

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