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Tolmies provide critical scholarship funding for UH Hilo

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Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Long-time community and University of Hawaii at Hilo supporters Linda and John Tolmie have established a $50,000 endowed scholarship in the names of their parents, John and Mary Tolmie & James and Fulvia Bailey.

The Tolmies, who operate Tolmie Properties Ltd., a commercial real estate firm in Hilo, have lived in Hawai‘i since the mid 1970s and have been active in a number of community organizations. John, a former Marine Corps officer, is a longstanding member of the UH Hilo Chancellor’s Advisory Board. Linda, a former teacher, served as vice chair of the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center Advisory Committee from its inception in 2003 until 2007.

John’s father left high school during the depression, and to support his family, he worked in a number of factories. Linda’s father worked in the shipyards.

“We never felt deprived,” said Linda, “and somehow it was just assumed” that the children would go to college. Linda put herself through Stonehill College near Boston and John is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. As the first in their families to attend college, they know first-hand the financial struggles students may face and are committed to helping them reach their goals.

The John and Mary Tolmie & James and Fulvia Bailey scholarship will benefit full-time students in any field at UH Hilo. Preference will be given to students who have graduated from high school in Hawai‘i and demonstrate financial need. The first scholarship will be given to a student enrolling in the fall of 2008.

Private scholarships make a critical difference to students in need of financial assistance at UH Hilo, which receives nearly 5,000 applications for financial aid each year.

“UH Hilo has the highest percentage of students receiving financial aid of any of the ten campuses in the University of Hawai‘i System,” said Chancellor Rose Tseng. “We would never be able to assist so many students with only government aid at our disposal. We are indebted to the Tolmies for making a critical difference.”

At a recent gift acceptance ceremony, John said, “When we look back, we don’t think we would have been as successful if the University wasn’t having such a powerful impact on the Hawai‘i Island economy.”

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