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University of Hawaii Gets Donation That Could Equal $7B

HONOLULU — University of Hawaii alumnus and real estate investor Jay Shidler has donated a collection of mainland commercial properties to his alma mater’s business school, which could earn the university $7 billion throughout the next century.

The 71-year-old’s donation is the largest University of Hawaii has received in its 110-year history. Shidler, who the university’s business school is named after, donated his stakes in land under 11 office and hotel buildings in nine mainland cities.

The income from ground lease payments on those stakes throughout the next 99 years will total $2.1 billion, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

After those ground leases expire, the university’s stake would be worth $5.1 billion if the properties only appreciate at the historical annual inflation rate of around 3 percent, Shidler estimated.

University officials said they could use that income stream to eliminate business school tuition within 40 years, along with investing to expand programs, improve facilities and recruit top professors.

“I know it’s going to take a lot of money,” Shidler said in reference to the university being able to invest in itself. “This is more than about impacts today.”

Vance Roley, business college dean, said the gift will extend Shidler’s transformational effect on the school, which has risen in national rankings with its Asia-Pacific focus, expanded programs, added endowed faculty positions and increased student scholarships.

“The college, with this gift, is positioned really well for the long run,” Roley said. “We are incredibly excited for the future.”

Not counting future income from donated real estate, Shidler has made gifts to the business college valued at $228 million since 2006.

Shidler first moved to Hawaii in 1949 as the child of an Army officer. After moving away and graduating from high school in Maryland, he returned in 1964 and enrolled at University of Hawaii, where he earned a bachelor’s in business administration four years later.

While at the university, Shidler worked for real estate appraiser Philip Won and one day came across a Makiki property he believed could be developed. Though Shidler explored developing a leasehold condominium on the site as an academic exercise, Won helped make it a reality that today is a 21-story tower called 1111 Wilder.

Shidler used his share of proceeds from that deal to start his own company, The Shidler Group.

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