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World Class, Funded to Last

University of Hawai‘i Shidler College of Business Receives
$228 million in Total Gifts From Alumnus Jay H. Shidler

Innovative gifts of ground leases projected to yield at least $7.2 billion

Press Release

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“I credit the guidance of my professors and strong connections with classmates at the college with much of my success in the business world. The more students that have access to such an education, the better the business world, and ultimately, our community become.”

— Jay H. Shidler (BBA ‘68)

Real estate investor and philanthropist Jay H. Shidler donates an additional $117 million to his alma mater increasing his total giving to $228 million. Shidler’s latest donation of cash and real estate ground leases ensures the college’s long-term financial health while providing a level of steady funding that could be used to make the college tuition-free within 40 years.

Shidler’s $228 million gift is the largest individual donation to the University of Hawai‘i, and makes him the second largest known donor to any public business school nationwide.

Shidler’s donation of ground leases underlying 11 buildings is projected to produce a minimum of $2.1 billion in contractual cash flow for the college. At the end of the lease term, the college will receive full ownership of the land and related buildings estimated at $5.1 billion. In total, Shidler’s gift of land and commercial buildings will yield a minimum of $7.2 billion during the life of the current leases. The buildings are located in major U.S. commercial business districts in Chicago, Tampa, Nashville, Charlotte, and Columbus. This unique and innovative financial model is designed to provide a lasting source of funding for the college.

Map of gifted properties

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“Jay’s extremely generous gifts have already had a transformational impact on the college’s physical structure and academic programs,” said Vance Roley, dean of the college and First Hawaiian Bank Chair of Leadership and Management, since 2005.  “While the size and scope of the gift is ambitious, Jay’s commitment to the larger Hawai‘i community, as well as his pride as an alumnus of the school, have been evident for quite some time. We are incredibly excited for the future of the college,” said Dean Roley.

“While the size and scope of the gift is ambitious, Jay’s commitment to the larger Hawai‘i community, as well as his pride as an alumnus of the school, have been evident for quite some time. We are incredibly excited for the future of the college.”

— Dean Vance Roley

Mr. Shidler began his philanthropic efforts with the University of Hawai‘i in 2006, with an initial gift of $25 million – that prompted the university to change the name of its business school to the Shidler College of Business. This was followed by several additional gifts over the next few years – including a $69 million gift in 2014, and his latest gift this year of $117 million totaling $228 million.

As a 1968 alumnus (BBA) of the university, Mr. Shidler credits the college with preparing him for a successful career in business and his lifelong love of the islands, where he has resided since 1964.

“I’m the first person in my immediate family to receive a college degree, so my being a University of Hawai‘i grad was a big deal for my mom and dad,” said Mr. Shidler. “As an Army brat, my four years at UH were the longest I’d lived anywhere. That stability made the experience significant, and the experience made Hawai‘i my home. After leaving the Army Corps of Engineers, I relied on the education I received at the university, as well as the deep and lasting personal friendships with alumni and faculty, to make my initial real estate investments, and start my own firm.”

“I credit the guidance of my professors and strong connections with classmates at the college with much of my success in the business world. The more students that have access to such an education, the better the business world, and ultimately, our community become,” added Mr. Shidler. “With a strong emphasis on international and Asia Pacific studies, and a rigorous curriculum, I am looking forward to the next generation of University of Hawai‘i alumni contributing greatly to the international community in both a business and personal capacity.”

In 1971, Mr. Shidler formed what would become The Shidler Group, one of the nation’s most innovative commercial real estate investment organizations. Through its affiliates, The Shidler Group has made debt and/or equity investments in over 2,000 properties located across the country comprising over 150 million leasable square feet.

Mr. Shidler and Wallette, his wife of 47 years, have a daughter, Summer, and five grandchildren. He is an active trustee of several charitable organizations including The Shidler Family Foundation.