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Bequest Gift From UH Alum Inez Kong Pai to be Used Where Need is Greatest

(Honolulu, Hawaiʻi) - The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation has received a $10,000 bequest gift from UH Mānoa alumna Inez Kong Pai in support of the Foundation's Fund for Excellence, a fund applied to where the need is deemed the greatest.

"We are very grateful to Ms. Pai and the Pai family for their continued generous support of the University of Hawaiʻi and the UH Foundation," said Donna Vuchinich, acting president of the UH Foundation. "With nearly 99 percent of private philanthropic gifts designated by donors to specific units or purposes, unrestricted gifts – or gifts to our Fund for Excellence - are important because it provides us with the means to accomplish unanticipated priorities, as determined by our Board of Trustees" explained Vuchinich.

Inez Kong Pai earned her master's degree in Asian history from UH Mānoa. Born on O’ahu, she published "The Ever White Mountain," a compilation of classical Korean Sijo poetry that she collected and translated in the 1950s. A fiery Korean nationalist in her youth, Pai played an intriguing role in Korea's fight for independence. She worked with Syngman Rhee in Washington, DC after graduating from George Washington University; made speeches on behalf of the Korean independence movement; and then married Edward Pai, who eventually served as the Korean Ambassador to Japan, Argentina, and England and negotiated the first normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan after World War II. Three weeks before her death in 1998, she received the Award of Merit from South Korean President Kim Dae-jung for her efforts on behalf of Korean independence.

A long-time supporter of UH and a lifetime member of its Presidents Club, one of the most significant group of supporters for the University of Hawaiʻi System, Inez's bequest gift was presented by her son Hawaiʻi economist Gregory Pai and daughter Sunyeen Pai. Gregory Pai earned his BA degree from UH Mānoa in 1967, and completed his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He eventually served as Special Assistant to the Governor for Economic Affairs under Governor Waihee, as well as Director of the Office of State Planning and as a Public Utilities Commissioner under Governor Cayetano. Sunyeen Pai earned her Ph.D. in Communications and Information Sciences in 2000 and is completing an M.S. in Library Information Science from UH Mānoa.

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

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