Skip to content →

Statement from UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney on the passing of Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Senator Inouye and his wife Irene (at center) attended a reception last year held at Washington Place, Honolulu, for officials and community leaders associated with the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Senator Inouye was a champion of several major initiatives on the Big Island, including UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hawai‘i’s senior U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Although I’ve been in the islands for only a short time, I have long admired his distinguished career of service to his state and country.

From his time as a member of the famed 442nd infantry to more than a half-century of service in the nation’s capital, Senator Inouye served with honor, integrity, humility and a level of enthusiasm that never wavered.

He was also an invaluable friend to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where his vision and leadership led to the establishment of several major initiatives, including the College of Pharmacy, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.

With his passing, we have lost a great man, the likes of which we may not see again soon. Yet, despite becoming one of the most powerful figures in Washington, he never forgot where he came from as he remained a dear and close friend to all who knew him.

The entire UH Hilo community joins me in mourning his passing, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and staff.


Photo, left to right: UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Dilling Yang, University of California System President Mark Yudof, UC Berkeley Professor Steven Beckwith, Senator Daniel Inouye and Irene Inouye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan Director General Shoken Miyama, UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood, UH Institute for Astronomy Director Gunther Hasinger, UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau. Photo courtesy of UH System.

Published in All Posts Remarks, Messages, & Writings