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  • Susan Yamada, Vance Roley, Dana Tokioka and Kristi Bates hold a large check in front of the RISE project at the University of Hawaii

The Island Insurance Foundation has committed $250,000 to the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation in support of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s RISE project, raising the total of private donations for the project to $1 million.

The live-learn-work community at RISE — Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs — is a world-class innovation and entrepreneurship center coupled with student housing being built on the site of the former Atherton YMCA across from the flagship campus will be operated by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, or PACE, at the UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business.

The Island Insurance Foundation is the charitable arm of Island Insurance, Hawaiʻi’s only locally-owned property and casualty (P&C) insurer as well as a nationally-ranked top 50 P&C insurer. Recognized as one of the top 25 most active Hawaiʻi-based private foundations, the Island Insurance Foundation has been a strong supporter of PACE for many years.

Descendants of Island Insurance founder Masayuki Tokioka have served on the centerʻs board, including Island Insurance Chairman Tyler Tokioka, who recently stepped down, and Dana Tokioka, president of Island Insurance Foundation, who joined the board this year.

The foundation also recently made a substantial gift to the UH Cancer Centerʻs Early Phase Clinical Research Center, and supports the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, UH athletics programs and the Family Business Center of Hawaiʻi at PACE.  

The gift to the RISE project represents, by far, the Island Insurance Foundation’s largest gift ever to any program at UH.

“Our donation to the University of Hawaiʻi’s RISE program is an investment in Hawaiʻi’s future,” said Dana Tokioka. “We see it as a progressive project that will help to positively impact Hawaiʻi’s economy through support of the student-innovators who will be our leaders moving forward.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship

When completed in 2023, RISE will have 7,263 square feet of multi-purpose co-working, meeting, lab and classroom space, as well as 374 dormitory beds for undergraduate and graduate students.

 “The rapid changing of the 21st Century workplace is forcing students to be innovative and entrepreneurial,” said Susan Yamada, vice chair of the PACE board of directors. “PACE builds these skills through programs focused on problem solving, interdisciplinary teamwork and hands-on experience. We greatly appreciate Island Insurance’s long-standing support and generous gift as we expand to serve more students and our community.”

Private sector contributions

The gift from Island Insurance is the fourth major gift so far toward the UH Foundation’s goal of raising $3 million to fund the RISE center’s furnishings, fixtures and equipment along with operational programs and student scholarships over the first 10 years.

“This substantial gift from Island Insurance Foundation brings our total private donations raised to date to approximately $1 million,” said Dean Vance Roley. “It is encouraging to see the private sector come together in support of this groundbreaking project which allows the university to make a lasting impact for current and future students and entrepreneurs.”

The RISE project is being built under a public-private partnership between the UH Foundation, which bought the property on University Avenue in 2017, the University of Hawaiʻi and developer Hunt Development Group. The $70 million construction cost is being funded by tax-exempt bonds, which will be repaid with dorm fees. No taxpayer funds will be used for the project.

Demolition of the existing Mary Atherton Richards House at the corner of University and Seaview avenues was completed in November, while interior demolition of the historic Charles Atherton House is currently underway. Groundbreaking on the new six-story modern building, which will wrap behind the historic pink Charles Atherton House, is scheduled for mid January.

Moss is the general contractor on the project, The Wilhelm Group is the construction manager and Design Partners Inc. is the lead architect.

Rendering showing the RISE project in the early morning from University Avenue

A rendering of the RISE project from University Avenue.

Rendering showing the RISE project from Metcalf Avenue.

A rendering of the RISE project from the Metcalf Avenue side of the property.

Rendering showing the main entry of the RISE project in the evening.

This rendering shows the main entry of RISE in the evening.

FOR UH • FOR HAWAIʻI, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, is focused on raising $1 billion to support UH priorities on all 10 campuses across the state, including student success; research that matters; kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi; sustainability, resilience and conservation; innovation and entrepreneurship; building Hawaiʻi’s workforce; and engaging our community. Learn more at

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.

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

The Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) is the home for an integrated set of leading-edge entrepreneurship programs at the University of Hawai‘i. Based in the Shidler College of Business, PACE is dedicated to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among all members of the University and local community. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @PACEhawaii.

The Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa was established in 1949 as the College of Business Administration and named in 2006 after alumnus Jay H. Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group. The Shidler College of Business is renowned for its expertise in international management education and is consistently ranked among the nation's top business schools for international business by U.S. News & World Report. Long recognized for its Asia Pacific focus, the college offers a wide variety of degree, certificate and executive programs. The college offers the only graduate program in the state of Hawai‘i and Vietnam accredited by AACSB International.

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students thrive in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter