A founder of the UH Hilo agricultural college establishes endowed scholarship

Jim and Jeanne Carpenter have made a $75,000 gift to create endowed scholarships at UH Hilo and UH Mānoa.

Group photo, group is holding oversized check for $75,000: Matt Platz,, Bruce Mathews, James Carpenter, Jeanne Carpenter, and Don Straney
At UH Hilo (l-r) Matt Platz, vice chancellor academic affairs; Bruce Mathews, interim dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management; James Carpenter; Jeanne Carpenter; and Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. Courtesy photo.
Jeanne and Jim Carpenter seated at table, signing papers.
Jeanne and Jim Carpenter in the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Office. Courtesy photo.

Jim Carpenter, a retired professor from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa who helped start the agricultural college at UH Hilo, and his wife, Jeanne Carpenter, retired from the Hawai‘i Department of Education, have made a $75,000 gift to create endowed scholarships at UH Hilo and UH Mānoa. The Carpenters care deeply about animals and have established the scholarships to help prepare future veterinarians and others who work with animals.

“I have enjoyed a very rewarding career at the University of Hawai‘i, and the students and people of Hawai‘i have been an integral part of our family’s life,” says Jim Carpenter. “Because we have been blessed in our careers, health and spiritual growth while living in Hawai‘i we wanted to give back to the community. With these scholarships we can help young people fulfill their dreams to attend UH and attain degrees that will prepare them for rewarding animal-related careers.”

Carpenter adds, “We hope these scholarships will allow students to place greater emphasis on their course work and other educational requirements, rather than being pulled away from campus to work. Good internship experiences and opportunities to be involved in research projects with faculty members during their time at UH are invaluable learning experiences. We hope that these scholarships give students the time and resources they need to make the most out of these critical opportunities.”

The James and Jeanne Carpenter Endowed Scholarship at UH Hilo will assist full-time undergraduate students pursuing a degree at the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) with a pre-veterinary medicine or livestock production specialty in animal science or aquaculture.

Bruce Mathews, dean of CAFNRM, says, “The scholarships will be key in advancing the careers of promising students in animal science and aquaculture and it is hoped that many of them will eventually contribute to the revitalization and advancement of Hawai‘i’s terrestrial and aquatic animal production sectors.”

The scholarship at UH Mānoa will assist full-time undergraduate students pursuing a degree in animal Sciences and/or studies in the pre-veterinary program in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

A founder of UH Hilo’s agricultural college

Jim Carpenter grew up in Vermont where both his paternal and maternal grandparents had dairy farms. His love for animals and recognition of the importance of their proper growth and development greatly influenced his career. He earned his master of science in animal science at UH Mānoa, and his doctor of philosophy in ruminant nutrition from Cornell University.

He began his career in academia as an assistant professor of animal science at the College of Agriculture at UH Hilo in 1975 where he was one of three faculty members who started the college.

In late 1979, he joined the faculty in the human nutrition, food, and animal sciences department in CTAHR at UH Mānoa where he worked for the remainder of his career. He retired in Dec. 2009 and during his time at the two campuses taught 16 different animal science related classes. Twice during his tenure, he was appointed chair of the department.

Carpenter was actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate education through teaching, coordinating the animal science internship program, advising and other academic affairs activities.

He received the 1992 National Association of College Teachers in Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit, the UH Mānoa Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 1993, the 2005 National ABC-USA New Life Award for outstanding leadership in his church, and in 2007 the Western Section, American Society of Animal Science Distinguished Teacher Award.

-Adapted from UH Foundation media release.