The newly modernized Roland and Evelyn Casamina House of Finance Undergraduate Student Leadership Center was unveiled during a blessing ceremony held on January 6 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business. The $250,000 renovation was made possible due to the generosity of alumnus Roland Casamina, BBA ’76, founder and CEO of House of Finance, Inc. and founding president of the Filipino Community Center, and his wife, Evelyn, who is co-founder of House of Finance, Inc.
The newly refreshed space converted former office space into a multi-purpose student lounge area, a separate conference room seating 10 to 12 guests, and additional storage space to house gear for student activities. An open floor plan and flexible furnishings allow for a variety of configurations and meeting needs, complemented by a design aesthetic incorporating natural elements. The renovation was managed by Bowers + Kubota Consulting.
“This Leadership Center is meant to be a place where students can convene and exchange ideas with one another,” Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley said. “It is wonderful to see the space refreshed and modernized thanks to the continued generosity of the Casaminas. The renovation is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also engenders a sense of place for our students to partner, connect and collaborate.”
“The ethos of hard work was ingrained in me at a young age,” Casamina said. “It has always been my hope to inspire future generations to pave their own path and hone their leadership skills. Evelyn and I decided to support the Undergraduate Leadership Center to show students that anything can be accomplished through hard work, persistence and dedication. Given my humble beginnings, it’s an honor to witness this transformation and to positively impact future business students.”
Casamina was born in the Philippines and came to Hawaiʻi in the 1960s. He worked as a busboy while attending Farrington High School and supported himself as a waiter while completing his education at UH Mānoa. In 1995, the Casaminas founded House of Finance, a family-run residential loan funding company. Roland was inducted into the Shidler College Hall of Honor in 2014 for his outstanding professional accomplishments, service to his community and exemplary work.
In 2012, the Casaminas donated $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students at the Shidler College. In 2021, the Casaminas increased their support, with an additional $250,000 to renovate the Undergraduate Leadership Center, named in their honor.
For more information on how to support the Shidler College of Business, contact Kristi Bates, Executive Director of Development, at (808) 956-3597 or email Kristi.email@example.com.
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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. uhfoundation.org