I drove my mother, Helen Yonge Lind, up to University of Hawaii Foundation offices on the Manoa campus yesterday morning where she signed the final paperwork to establish a small scholarship fund to support nontraditional students in the UH system.
There was a time when she wanted to go back to school and couldn’t afford it. The Yonge-Cathcart Scholarship Fund is named for her grandfather, Robert William Cathcart, and her mother, Heleualani Yonge. Cathcart put his daughters through school at the Priory in Honolulu. Lani, who later was a school teacher, continued his emphasis on education by supporting my mother and her sister through their years at UH.
My mom graduated in the UH Class of 1935 with a degree in Home Economics, and worked in the department until after the start of WWII. In those days, there was no such thing as a scholarship. You took out loans to go to school. She hopes this scholarship will help other women and Hawaiians to return to further their educations.
We were welcomed by Malia Peters, the foundations director of scholarship development, and her staff, along with Rockne Freitas, UH VP for student affairs and university and community relations.
We were in Bachman Hall, and I asked my mother, who turns 97 in just six weeks, what had been in that location during her time at UH. She didn’t have to think long.
The swimming pool was located just a short distance above the gym, below what is now the Campus Center. She was a member of the first UH women’s swim team in 1934. The photo is is from the UH yearbook, Ka Palapala. I know there’s at least one other picture that I’ve scanned from this period, but I haven’t found it this morning.
Rockne was interested in hearing that my mom graduated from Kamehameha School for Girls in 1931, the year before the school moved up the heights to its current location. She is reportedly the only surviving member of that class, and perhaps the oldest surviving graduate of Kamehameha, although I haven’t tried to confirm that.