Stupski Foundation Donates $1 Million to University of Hawai’i Students After Maui Wildfires

The fund will provide immediate, direct cash payments to University of Hawai'i students impacted by the Maui wildfires.
By
portrait of Margaret Attridge
Margaret Attridge
Read Full Bio

Writer

Margaret Attridge is a news reporter for BestColleges focusing on higher education news stories in California. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2022 with a BA in journalism and government and politics....
Published on August 24, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Darlene Earnest
Darlene Earnest
Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Darlene Earnest is a copy editor for BestColleges. She has had an extensive editing career at several news organizations, including The Virginian-Pilot and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also has completed programs for editors offered by the D...
Learn more about our editorial process
Image Credit: Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images

  • The Stupski Foundation has donated $1 million to establish a fund that will support University of Hawai'i students who have been affected by the wildfires in Maui.
  • The fund will provide immediate, direct cash payments to students.
  • Students at any of the 10 campuses in the University of Hawai'i system, including UH Maui College, are eligible for the fund.

The Stupski Foundation has donated $1 million to establish a fund that will support University of Hawai'i (UH) students who have been affected by the wildfires in Maui.

Students at any of the 10 campuses in the University of Hawai'i system, including UH Maui College, are eligible for the fund, with no application necessary for the immediate, direct cash payments.

We realize that the recovery process from this devastating tragedy will take years, and we hope that immediate financial support can play a small role in supporting the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff who were directly affected, Cheri Souza of the Stupski Foundation said in a press release.

According to UH President David Lassner, over 100 students across the university system were directly impacted by the wildfires. While no fatalities were reported among UH students and employees, several students lost their homes and were displaced due to the disaster.

Current requests from students include acceptance deferrals, withdrawals, switching to remote learning, help with airfare, access to reliable internet, and, at the Mānoa and Hilo campuses, housing cancellations and delayed move-ins, Lassner said.

Along with the donation from the Stupski Foundation, the University of Hawai'i Foundation is accepting donations to support students and employees impacted by the fire.

We do have a small historic system-wide fund and this semester we'll be looking at how to deploy it specifically to assist with fire impacts and we're looking at identifying some one-time funding that we can use to bring in additional assistance for our campuses across the state, Lassner said at a recent UH Board of Regents meeting.

The $1 million gift adds to the over $6 million the Stupski Foundation has donated to the University of Hawai'i since 2018, including $1.8 million to help students with financial aid and basic services.

It’s extraordinary how our private foundations step in where they're needed the most to help fast-track immediate disbursements to students and their families, Tim Dolan, UH vice president of development and UH Foundation CEO, said in a press release. We're grateful for the Stupski Foundation's quick action and the difference it will make for so many of our students.

The Stupski Foundation was founded in 1996 by Larry Stupski, former president and chief operating officer of Charles Schwab, and his wife, Joyce, with a focus on public education. In 2012, the foundation was closed due to Larry's advanced-stage cancer.

However, in 2014, Joyce reestablished the Stupski Foundation as a spend-down foundation, collaborating with community partners in the San Francisco Bay area and Hawai'i to invest all of their assets by 2029, according to the foundation's website.

We believe the reality of life in the Bay Area can match its reputation for limitless opportunity. In Hawai'i, we envision a future where everyone, from locals to part-time residents, gives back to the paradise that gives us so much, the website reads.

When we work together with local institutions to put breakthrough ideas into action, we can ensure that every member of our community enjoys a life marked by dignity, connectedness, and caring.