HONOLULU — It’s important to name buildings after Daniel Inouye so people will remember who he was and what he means for the future, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said Friday as the University of Hawaii put the late senator’s name on four buildings and programs.
“He left us the vision and a pathway by which we can go. That is so important to all of us,” Hanabusa said at a ceremony at the school’s Manoa campus where Inouye’s widow and son accepted the naming tribute.
Inouye’s name will go on the microbial oceanography center in Manoa, pharmacy college in Hilo, a health center for dental hygiene and dental assistant programs at Maui College and a Kauai Community College electronics technology building.
Hanabusa said the selection of the buildings probably would have brought a smile to Inouye’s face even though he was so humble that he never wanted anything named after him during his lifetime.
“What he has left us is, for any student in this room, any student who looks at this university, is the knowledge that you can do, you can study, you can be competitive and this university will provide you with that opportunity,” she said. “Because he believed in this university.”
University President M.R.C. Greenwood compared the senator to someone who teaches others to fish instead of handing out fish.
“The senator brought many things to Hawaii. Some of it was money, some of it was facilities. Some of it was that. But much more than that, what he brought to all of us was the ability to teach us to think for the future — to learn how to fish, if I can use that analogy,” Greenwood said.
Inouye died in December at the age of 88. He was a UH graduate and major supporter of the system’s 11 campuses.