$600,000 donation puts business school’s computer lab on the cutting edge

A blessing took place at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Shidler College of Commerce on August 11 to celebrate the completion of the renovation of the Tom WS Hee Undergraduate Computer Room in a state of the art facility. The $600,000 lab renovation was funded by the estate of Clifford and Blanche Hee and named in honor of their son Tom Heewho was an admired college alumnus and accomplished banking professional, computer expert and community-minded volunteer.

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Lab upgrades include a complete refresh and modernization of the space, with sleek new furniture, improved computer systems, soundproofing technology, large digital screens and flexible workspaces designed specifically for collaboration of group. Additional Bloomberg terminals have been added to allow students to conduct high-level financial analysis projects. The renovation was managed by Bowers + Kubota Consulting, who transformed the space to evoke a modern yet functional workspace for current and future students.

“The transformation of this heavily used student space is amazing to see,” said the Dean of Shidler College of Business Vance Role. “Students rely on the computer room every day for projects, group work, research and more, and they now have a modern, functional space they can be proud of. We are grateful for the generosity of the Hee family and are honored to be able to commemorate former student Tom Hee in such a meaningful way.

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“I am thrilled that Shidler is dedicating this new undergraduate computer lab to current and future students,” said Tony Ching, administrator and brother of Blanche Hee. “Although my nephew Tom Hee has lived with many challenges, he has never let these obstacles define his life. Although Tom and his parents are not here to witness the transformation, I know they are celebrating the advent of shared ideas and technologies to foster learning and improvement in our community.”

“It is heartwarming to see the Hee family’s legacy of giving in honor of their son’s memory extend to the upgrade of a well-used computer lab that will benefit hundreds of Shidler undergraduate students. starting with the new school year,” said Tim Dolan, uh Vice President of Advancement and CEO of uh Foundation. “Their generosity, which has already resulted in scholarships for more than a dozen Shidler students, ensures that Tom’s legacy will support even more students in the future.”

Hee’s gift honors his sons

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Clifford and Blanche Hee established a scholarship in 2002 in honor of their sons Tom and Michael Hee, who sadly predeceased their parents due to complications from hemophilia. The estate then committed to a $2 million bequest to the college to support additional scholarships and the upgrading and naming of the undergraduate computer room to further honor leadership and the legacy of Tom Hee.

Tom Hee graduated in 1978 with a degree in accounting and management information systems. During his college career, he co-founded the Management Information Systems Club and received the Excellence in Management Information Systems Award at Business Night. He enjoyed a successful career as Vice President of the Controllers Division of First Hawaiian Bank. Tom Hee selflessly served the community as President of the Hawaii Jaycees and the Honolulu Marathon Association. He was a strong supporter and volunteer of the Hemophilia Foundation. Tom was also the founder and co-owner of Star Computer.

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