David Kanashiro: Echoing an 'extreme act of generosity'
Some may remember the late Dr. Arthur Lynn Andrews for his many roles at UH - as an important leader in the school's transition from college to university, English professor, first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, dean of faculties, Board of Regents member, organizer of the first campus newspaper and more. But for the Kanashiro family, Andrews played an even greater role.
James Kanashiro, an immigrant from Okinawa, was working in Kaua'i's sugar cane fields before moving to O'ahu and joining the Andrews' household staff. Andrews sensed potential in the boy and decided to sponsor his education, a journey that eventually led Kanashiro to becoming one of the first Japanese-American dentists in Honolulu.
Thanks to Andrews' sponsorship, Kanashiro graduated from high school and went on to Vanderbilt University before enrolling in the Vanderbilt School of Dentistry. Upon completing the dentistry program, Kanashiro returned to Hawai'i and went into practice, where he remained for 47 years.
"It really shows the importance of a good education and higher learning," added David. "If it weren't for that, my father may have still been working in the sugar cane fields on Kaua'i. His education made all the difference."
In honor of Andrews' generosity, David Kanashiro is working with the UH Foundation Office of Estate and Gift Planning and his estate plan to establish the Arthur Lynn Andrews Regents Scholarship Endowment to support students chosen as Regents Scholars. Selected students will receive a full tuition scholarship for four years of undergraduate study, allowing them to focus on school without the added financial stress.
"The gift given to his father ensured that David's life was also filled with opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise," said Risa Dickson, UH vice president for academic planning and policy. "This is a beautiful example of paying it forward - in honor of the man who changed the course of his own life, David is making possible the exact same opportunities for future generations."
Kanashiro hopes to continue Andrews' legacy of generosity that afforded his father - and in turn himself - the opportunities to succeed in their education and careers.
"Take my father's story as an example of the importance of higher education," he added. "Never give up, and get as much education as possible."
Dr. James Z. Kanashiro receiving a certificate of recognition from Hawai'i Governor John A. Burns for his efforts in teaching citizenship naturalization classes from 1953 to 1961.