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UHF staff
  • Southwest check presentation

The University of Hawaiʻi Institute of Astronomy (IfA) received $10,000 from Southwest Airlines to support education and astronomy in Hawaiʻi. The donation was made as part of Southwest’s unveiling of Imua One, the airline’s Hawaiʻi-themed aircraft, on April 28.

Southwest Airlines has also provided IfA students with 45 vouchers to fly between Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui for community outreach activities over the past year.

Graduate students use Southwest Airlines’ vouchers

“A big mahalo to Southwest Airlines and their support of the education programs at the UH Institute for Astronomy,” said IfA Director Doug Simons. “In addition to this generous gift Southwest provided interisland flight vouchers last year to help our graduate students support various community events around the state and receive valuable observing experience at the Maunakea observatories. Connecting students with learning opportunities unique to IfA and Hawaiʻi makes a big difference in our program.”

Flight vouchers for events such as AstroDay on Hawaiʻi Island, or taking a tour of the summit have helped alleviate the financial burden for UH students and provided invaluable opportunities.

The newly designed aircraft was unveiled on the anniversary of the airline’s first inter-island service in Hawaiʻi. Southwest Airlines used eight elements from Hawaiian culture that also aligned with their values. Eight organizations were selected for their alignment with a particular value and each received a $10,000 donation.

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

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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.