Administrators at the University of Hawaii and University of Washington (UW) surround a plaque that celebrates an innovative gift from Honolulu-based real estate investor Jay H. Shidler (fourth from left) at the UW Biomedical Center in Seattle on Sept. 10. The plaque, located at the UW Biomedical Center, marks Shidler’s gift of a 2.6 acre parcel of land in Seattle’s South Union Neighborhood which is owned, in part, by the Shidler College of Business, the University of Washington School of Law, and the University of Washington School of Medicine. Photographed with Shidler are (L-R): Paul Ramsey, M.D., CEO, University of Washington Medicine; Vance Roley, Dean, Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington; Shidler; and Mario Barnes, Toni Rembe Dean, University of Washington School of Law.

Visionary gift from Hawaii businessman and philanthropist transforming education at University of Washington and University of Hawaii

An innovative gift from Honolulu-based real estate investor Jay H. Shidler to the Universities of Washington (UW) and Hawaii is being celebrated this week in Seattle. The gift includes cash, potential future leasing income and a transformational real estate gift to be realized a century from now.

The real estate is a 2.6 acre parcel of land in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood that currently houses a cluster of UW Medicine buildings.

“We are deeply grateful for this extraordinary support for the University of Washington’s long-term future by Jay Shidler, an innovator and visionary whose creative structuring of this gift will benefit future generations of students in the UW School of Law and UW Medicine, as well as the clients and patients they will serve,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

Under the gift arrangement, the UW may benefit from future lease proceeds, provided rents continue to rise. In 2115, half of the ownership of the land and buildings will be transferred to the UW to be divided equally between UW Medicine and the UW School of Law. The other half goes to Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

While this gift could be worth billions by 2115, Shidler wanted to make a more immediate contribution. He committed a substantial amount toward the existing Shidler Lecture Series at the UW, which exposes students to leading-edge practitioners, judges and scholars.

“Universities are long-lived institutions,” Shidler said. “So it is imperative that they have long-term financial stability to position them for the future, whether that means 20 or 30 years from now, or even 99 years from now. ”

Shidler’s gift also honors his distant uncle Roger Shidler, a 1924 graduate of the UW School of Law.

Shidler, who was the first in his family to attend college, has a deep commitment to supporting higher education.

The South Lake Union parcel is one of 11 properties that are part of a $117 million visionary gift of cash and real estate ground leases that Shidler made in late 2017 to the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Between 2006 and 2017, Shidler donated $228 million to the Hawaii school that bears his name, which could yield at least $7.2 billion during the life of the current leases.

These leased fee interests in land and the attendant long-term ground leases are considered the safest of all commercial real estate investments and are ideal for supporting long-life educational institutions, Shidler said.

Shidler is a 1968 alumnus of the University of Hawaii business school, which was renamed the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006 in recognition of Shidler’s first gift of $25 million. He credits the university with preparing him for a successful career in business and instilling in him a commitment to provide future generations with top quality higher education opportunities.

“Jay’s continued support of the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as his generous donation to UW Medicine and the University of Washington’s School of Law, is transforming higher education academic programs in Hawaii and Washington,” said Vance Roley, Shidler College of Business dean. Roley served as the acting dean, associate dean and professor of finance at the UW Foster School of Business for more than 21 years (1983-2004).

Roley joined Shidler and Cauce in Seattle for a ceremony to unveil a plaque at the South Lake Union property to commemorate the visionary gift to the two universities. The plaque, which is installed in a walkway in interior courtyard, reads, “The land under this research facility is owned, in part, for the benefit of the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Washington School of Law, and University of Washington School of Medicine, August 16, 2016.”

Shidler said his love for transactions and acquisitions is a “creative outlet.” Since 1972, when he bought his first hotel in Hawaii, The Shidler Group has grown to acquire and manage more than 2,000 properties nationwide. UW recognized Shidler and his wife, Wallette, as Presidential Laureates.