Thropp scholarship assists UH Hilo business students with their summer classes

The Thropp College of Business Education Scholarship is one of several endowments established by local soil agronomist James P. D. Thropp, Jr, an alumus of UH Hilo.

By Susan Enright

Red-roofed UH Hilo College of Business and Economics, covered walkway into the entrance.
UH Hilo College of Business and Economics
James Thropp Jr
James P. D. Thropp Jr

Scholarships funded by the estate of a local soil agronomist helped 52 business and economics majors to attend summer classes.

The first eight students, with declared majors in business or economics, who enrolled in each of the 2020 summer course offerings at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo received a scholarship. Fifty-two students in total were awarded a Thropp College of Business Education Scholarship between $200 and $400. The students used the funds for books, living expenses, or other needs.

Last year, the College of Business and  Economics received the scholarship endowment from the estate of local soil agronomist James P.D. Thropp, Jr. The Thropp College of Business Education Scholarship is one of several endowments established by Thropp, an alumus of UH Hilo. He passed away in April 2018. As part of his endowment at UH, the Thropp College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management Scholarship also assists students at UH Hilo, while the James P. D. Thropp Scholarship and Thropp Agricultural Scholarship aids business and agriculture students at UH Mānoa.

“Thank you” says UH Hilo business student B. Agustin, who received a scholarship this summer. “At a time like this when the world is facing many issues, the $200 is more than just enough.”

Thropp often remarked on how important his UH education had been for him, and wanted others to have the opportunity to benefit in the same way. He graduated from Punahou School and California State Polytechnic College before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UH Hilo. He was employed at several sugar plantations before his retirement and was a longtime member of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. He expressed how important UH was in his life when he included scholarships in his estate plan.

Thropp’s sister Nancy Lea Skelsey  writes, “Jimmy worked in the sugar industry on several islands. When the second company, Hamakua Sugar, went bankrupt [in 1992], Jimmy was 50 or so. In 2011, his rented plantation house was $214.16 per month. Jimmy also donated to Punahou School and West Hawai‘i Community Hospital, now owned by Queen’s Hospital.”

She adds, “Jimmy was smart, thoughtful, and caring. He quietly did things for others as he lived his Christian religion. He had a truly wonderful, dry sense of humor. When I was a teenager, I appreciated it when it was not directed at me!”

Scholarship recipients for this year’s summer business courses:

  • Branda Agustin 
  • Sherrise Ai-Miyake 
  • Shiela Almazan
  • Nicholas Briley
  • Diana Chinchiolo
  • Kiana Costa
  • Jillian DeCoite
  • Andrelyn Dela Cruz
  • Charisma Felipe
  • Dustin Franko
  • Noelani Gonzalves-Villanueva
  • Terrone Grantham
  • Saesha Hanselman
  • Elyse Hasegawa
  • Mingxia Hawkins
  • Kyle Helgenberger
  • Stephen Hunter
  • Maria Jetton
  • Mathew Johnson
  • Kiasa Kanto
  • Rylan Kashishima
  • Kayla Kunishisa
  • Kamuela Labasan
  • Johnson Langidrik
  • Alliya Madamba
  • Gage Matsumoto
  • Makeila May
  • Jady Meyer
  • Kanryn Mitchell
  • Kegan Miura
  • Maile Moresh
  • Ashley Muller
  • Niger Nogo
  • Colleen Ogimoto
  • Patricia Orozco
  • Kawaiola Peck
  • Polloi Mandrey
  • Chaden Shimaoka-Bello
  • Carli Shimokihara
  • TS Silem
  • Jewelee Sniffen
  • Dylan Sofia Lee
  • Jasmie Steiner
  • Jaron Sugimoto
  • Seleste Tai
  • Courtney Tanaka
  • Sahelyn Thomas-Carvalho
  • Clarissa Tomiyama
  • Beluma Tosie
  • Claire Umayas-Bautista
  • En Wu Chun
  • Kaile Yasui 


Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.