The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the $1 million Eddie Flores, Jr. and Elaine Flores Endowed Scholarship Fund. The $500,000 gift from L&L Drive-Inn and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants founder and CEO Eddie Flores, Jr. was matched through Jay Shidler’s matching gift fund to total $1 million. To date, it is the largest endowed scholarship established at the Shidler College of Business since its inception in 1949.
"We are deeply grateful for Eddie’s leadership and enthusiastic vote of confidence in our College," said V. Vance Roley, Dean of the Shidler College of Business. "His generosity will have far-reaching impact on the quality of students and success of our programs as we move forward building a top ranked business College."
Newly appointed UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said, "Eddie and Elaine Flores have shown a strong commitment to higher education with this generous scholarship endowment. Future UH Mānoa business students will have a life-changing opportunity to learn from the best scholars and practitioners in business. We are truly grateful for their continued support of our University and students."
Donna Vuchinich, president of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, said: "Thanks to Eddie and Elaine Flores for giving one of the most enduring gifts -- "the gift of knowledge" to future generations in Hawaiʻi. This generous gift will inspire others to take advantage of Jay Shidler’s matching gift fund, and join the UH Centennial Campaign."
Eddie Flores has been long associated with the College, having earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1970. Flores has turned Hawaiʻi’s traditional "plate lunch" into a national phenomenon, opening over 140 restaurants nationwide. He opened his first restaurant in 1976 as a gift for his mother. Today, L&L Drive-Inn is the largest restaurant chain in Hawaiʻi.
"The Shidler College of Business taught me all I need to know to be successful and competitive in business in Hawaiʻi and in the Mainland," said Flores. "I am proud to be a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi."
Flores came to Hawaiʻi as an immigrant and has distinguished himself as a successful entrepreneur and a community activist. Along with his BBA degree from the University of Hawaiʻi Shidler College of Business, Flores received a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma in 1987.
Flores is active in the local community, establishing the Filipino Fiesta and Parade, and serving as its chair and major fundraiser for 10 years. He was also instrumental in raising $14.2 million for the Filipino Community Center.
Today, Flores serves on the East-West Center Board of Governors, Hawaii Goodwill Industries Board of Directors, Chaminade University Board of Regents, and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce among others. He has also authored two books, Listing & Selling Business Opportunities and How to List & Sell Business Opportunities.
Flores received numerous awards for his accomplishments including the PBN Business Leadership Hawaiʻi Award, Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from both Small Business Administration and Ernst and Young LLP, UH Distinguished Alumni Award, Association of Realtors Educator of the Year, JA Hall of Fame, SMEI Salesperson of the Year Award and received the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor Award in 2005.