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My mother establishes a UH scholarship fund

March 31st, 2011 · 14 Comments · Education, History

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.

[text]“This was the gym,” she quickly recalled. “Not this building, but the gym was here.”

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.

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14 Comments so far ↓

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  • Reader

    What a perfectly wonderful story, thank you!

  • Ulu

    This made my day!

  • Richard Gozinya

    Loved the story. Just remembering that one could major in “Home Economics” brought a smile. I haven’t heard that term for donkeys’ years.

  • maunawilimac

    Back in the fall of 1950 at UH I ran into one of the brightest women in our high school class of ’49. I asked her what subject she intended to major in. She replied “Home economics — and don’t laugh!”

  • Papacostas

    In case you missed this, here is a UH Library Department website with old photos of the Manoa Campus. One taken in 1932 and another in 1937 straddle your mothers graduation year:


  • zzzzzz

    I think our moms probably overlapped at UH–my mom was a Home Ec major who matriculated just before the war started,

    • Ian Lind

      My mother worked in Home Ec following her graduation, and up through mid-1942, if I’m not mistaken

  • Mahina

    Mahalo Mrs. Lind!

  • gbb

    Loved this story — your mom looks fantastic!
    Don’t remember you from University High (think you were a friend of my brother, Ben’s), but I do remember Bonnie fondly and enjoy your blog.

  • thanks_Ian

    beyond all the noise, there are some really good people out there in our world — picture #3 speaks a thousand words

  • mainlander

    Excellent! Wonderful in every way. You’re lucky, Ian. In every way.

  • damon

    Ian you and your families contributions to Hawaii should be recognized by government officials.

    Thank you for continuing the hard work and “legacy” of your parents.

    This scholarship fund will provide many bright smiles in the future!

  • Lanning

    This is a great story, Ian. Mahalo to you and to your mom.

  • Andrea Heid

    Ian, what a wonderful story! And thanks to your mother for remembering others and giving back to the University of Hawaii. I’m not on the UHS listserv, but my younger sister brought your story to my attention, and I’m glad she did.


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