Local accounting firm Accuity LLP and the Shidler College of Business accounting faculty joined forces to establish a $50,000 endowed scholarship in honor of Manuel (Manny) R. Sylvester, former managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand. Accuity LLP contributed $35,000 of the total endowment with the balance coming from individual donations from 100% of the faculty members. The gift will be used to fund scholarships at the School of Accountancy at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business.
Sylvester’s efforts were instrumental in the creation of the School of Accountancy (SOA) where he served as the Advisory Board Chair for many years. “Manny had the foresight to understand the importance of having a strong accounting program as well as a supportive accounting community,” says Hamid Pourjalali, director of the School of Accountancy. “He played an important role in helping the school expand its accounting program, gain community support, and recruit talented and diverse faculty from the mainland. This scholarship is our way of honoring his legacy at the school.”
Sylvester grew up in Kalihi as part of a large family of 14. He learned early on that a good education would be the key to his success. With hard work and determination, Sylvester put himself through Saint Louis High School and UH by working part-time at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. In 1952, he earned a UH accounting degree, joined the military service, and received his CPA certification four years later.
Sylvester began his career with the accounting company Baker & Gillette, which later merged with Coopers & Lybrand. In 1978, he became the managing partner of the offices of Coopers & Lybrand in Hawai‘i. After working 50 years in the accounting profession and mentoring many, Sylvester retired in 1992 and moved with his wife Marge to Incline Village, a retirement community in Lake Tahoe, which they helped to establish. The couple continued to support the college by establishing the Marge Sylvester Scholarship Fund to provide tuition aid for accounting students. In 2015, Sylvester and his wife returned to Honolulu to be near their family.
For information on establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact Unyong Nakata, executive director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 286-0702