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Jay H. Shidler, Class of ’68 - Commits Another $69 Million Donation to Support the Future of the Shidler College of Business

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i (UH) and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation (the “Foundation”) today announced Jay H. Shidler, investor, philanthropist, and UH alumnus, has made an irrevocable commitment to increase his visionary gift to the Shidler College of Business (“College”) to a total of $100 million.

Watch the press conference recap provided by UH News.

The Shidler College of Business was named after Shidler when he donated $25 million to the College in 2006, later quietly adding another $6 million. At the time, it was the largest single donation to the Foundation for the benefit of the University of Hawai‘i.

Shidler is committing to donate over his lifetime and through his estate an additional $69 million for the benefit of the College.

In addition to gifts of cash and marketable securities, Shidler will be contributing interests in income generated by land underlying a number of significant office buildings in the central business districts of major mainland cities. This specific type of interest in land leased to the building owner under a long-term ground lease is referred to as a “Leased Fee.” In addition to the donation of income interests in various Leased Fees, Shidler is contributing a 100 percent ownership interest on a Leased Fee underlying a Denver commercial office building. It is anticipated that, over time, the Foundation will receive a portion of the ownership interests in other Leased Fees which currently provide an income interest. With these gifts, the College benefits from the receipt of escalating ground rent payments over a period of between 65 and 99 years.

Like Kamehameha Schools, which generates significant income from Leased Fees under homes and commercial buildings, the Shidler College of Business will now have an increasing source of predictable cash flow from which to meet long-term financial needs.

UH President David Lassner said Shidler’s latest gift commitment is now the largest to any UH institution by a single donor and brings Shidler’s total philanthropy to UH to $100 million.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Shidler for his continuing support of the University of Hawai‘i and the college that bears his name,” Lassner said. “This latest gift will benefit Hawai‘i residents and businesses for generations.  It will have a lasting impact on the Shidler College of Business, the University of Hawai‘i and the State of Hawai‘i.”

Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business, said Shidler’s donation will solidify the College as one of the best business schools in the country.

“This generous, reputation-building gift will enable us to continue to attract top talent, both students and faculty, while improving our graduate and undergraduate business programs,” Roley said. “This donation is another example of Mr. Shidler’s long-term commitment to the College. It will be used to support the creation of additional scholarships and professorship endowments, and build on the significant progress the College has made as a result of Mr. Shidler’s original gift.”

Shidler said he was encouraged by the College’s achievements since his first gift and wanted to ensure that progress continued.

“I’m proud of what the College has been able to achieve over the past eight years in elevating its programs and securing its place among the top-ranked business schools,” Shidler said. “I know firsthand the impact the College has on emerging business men and women, and I am committed to do what I can so that Hawai‘i continues to have a strong business school that will allow future generations of leaders to excel.”

As part of the new $69 million gift commitment, Shidler has begun transferring to the Foundation direct ownership interests in the Leased Fee underlying an office building in Denver, and income interests in Leased Fees underlying office buildings in Chicago, Charlotte, Columbus, and Nashville. Shidler also owns the Leased Fees under office buildings in Midtown Manhattan and other U.S. cities, which may become part of the gift.

UH Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich said these kinds of management-free, long-term Leased Fee assets are an ideal form of income to be used to build an endowment and will provide secure and predictable income for the Shidler College for many decades to come.

“The ownership of Leased Fees has greatly benefited a special group of educational institutions and their foundations across the country,” Vuchinich said.  “In Hawai‘i, the best-known example is Kamehameha Schools, which derives its multi-billion-dollar endowment primarily from the ownership of Leased Fee interests. On the mainland, universities benefiting from ownership of Leased Fees include Columbia University’s historical ownership of land under Rockefeller Center, Cooper Union’s ownership of the land under the Chrysler Building, Stanford University’s land under various commercial complexes in Palo Alto, and University of Washington’s land under numerous office buildings in downtown Seattle.”

“The management-free, highly secure, fixed-income nature of Leased Fee interests has caused them to be called ‘the U.S. Treasuries of commercial real estate’,” said Randy Moore, Chairman of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents. “A portfolio of these Leased Fees and their income streams is an excellent way to secure the long-term financial health of the University.”

Shidler said he hopes this Leased Fee based endowment model will be used by future UH donors to support and improve other UH schools, colleges and programs.

“This is a way to provide the Foundation with a portfolio of Leased Fee interests that will ultimately create steady investment income for the remainder of the 21st century,” he said.

Shidler, an alumnus of the College (BBA ’68), is the founder of Honolulu-based The Shidler Group, which over the past 40 years has acquired and owned over 2,000 commercial properties in 40 states and Canada. Shidler has founded and been the initial investor in over 20 public and private companies, five of which have been listed on the NYSE. Shidler served as a board member of the Foundation from 1994 to 1997.

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The Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Established in 1949 as the College of Business Administration, the College was 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 graduate schools for international business by U.S. News.  Long recognized for its Asia-Pacific focus, the College is a professional school offering a wide variety of degree, certificate and executive programs. The UH Shidler College of Business is the only graduate program in the State of Hawai‘i accredited by AACSB International. For more information, visit

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.

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 Shidler Group
For more information, visit