HILO — Members of The Order of the Eastern Star Hawaii Chapter No. 1 (OES) recently joined with UH Hilo faculty and friends to celebrate the establishment of the Eastern Star Hawaii Chapter No. 1 Scholarship Endowment at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The group's generous contribution of $27,000 will be equally matched thanks to a scholarship matching program at UH Hilo.
"The cost of higher education continues to increase, and we are grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution to help students achieve their goals and to positively impact our community," said OES Trustee Martha Bell.
The OES Hawaii Chapter No. 1 Scholarship will support students enrolled full-time in any area of study at UH Hilo, with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Preference will be given to those who self-identify and describe an affiliation with a Masonic Group. The scholarship can be used for costs associated with attendance,
including tuition, books and fees.
"On behalf of the University of Hawaiʻi at
Hilo community, I'd like to express gratitude
to the OES Hawaii Chapter No 1 for
investing in the future of our island by
funding a scholarship that supports students to complete their education and contribute to their community," said Chancellor Don Straney.
Lifetime member and trustee Elizabeth Frendo said the decision to establish the fund stemmed from one of the group's founding members. "This endowment also honors Mrs. Mabel Hitchcock Schoen, a devout chapter member. I know she would be pleased to know that the educational seeds she planted years ago will flourish into an educational legacy for years to come," Frendo said.
The Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No.1 is a social order affiliated with numerous Masonic groups, including the Shriners and Freemasons. The OES Hawaii Chapter No. 1 was instituted in 1899 and was the first chapter located outside of the continental U.S, followed by five registered Masonic lodges across the state in the early 1900's. Several prominent Hawaiian leaders and individuals with royal Hawaiian lineage were Freemasons including King David Kalakaua, John Dominis (Queen Liliʻuokalani's husband), and Prince David Kawananakoa.
The dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity was made possible by a $1.5 million anonymous gift to UH Hilo in the spring of 2009, of which $1 million was designated for financial assistance. Matching scholarship packages are designed to leverage private giving in the community and efforts have met with great success. Since the program was launched, more than a dozen new scholarship endowments have been created.