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Some UH Engineering alumni recently chose to give back to their alma mater.

On December 12, a signing ceremony was held at Holmes Hall. Alumnus and current president of SSFM International, Inc., Michael P. Matsumoto signed a check for $261,263 to support UH Mānoa College of Engineering and College of Social Sciences students.

That gift will fund:

  • 4 full undergraduate scholarships for Civil and Environmental Engineering for 4 years
  • 1 Fellowship for an Urban and Regional Planning Graduate student for 4 years

College of Engineering Interim Dean Ronald Riggs said, “These are the most comprehensive scholarships we have in the College of Engineering.  Providing full tuition scholarships significantly removes a major “worry” for many of our students and frees them to be able to focus on academics. In addition, the opportunity to intern with SSFM provides our students valuable work experience related to their major while also allowing them to earn money for living expenses. The College values this long-term, continuing partnership with SSFM in preparing the next generation of civil engineers.”

SSFM International Inc. is a Hawaiʻi-based business with a long history of supporting the University of Hawaiʻi. The company’s lifetime giving, including this new gift, totals over $800,000.

Michael P. Matsumoto concluded, “We are honored to support the UH Mānoa College of Engineering and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning with these scholarships. This continues to be one of the ways that SSFM is able to honor our commitment to our profession and our community. SSFM understands that scholarships play a key role in making education accessible for many promising future engineers and planners. By partnering with UH we can participate in the education of the next generation of engineers for our state.”

“What is a four-year University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa scholarship of $225 tuition per semester in the College of Engineering (in 1979) worth today?  An endowment fund of over $1 million.  An excellent return of investment these days!” is how mechanical engineering alumnus Donald C. Lee described his pledge of over a million dollars to update, enhance, and maintain the undergraduate mechanical engineering labs at UH Mānoa.

Mr. Lee received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in December 1979 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.  Employed by the Boeing Aerospace Company in Seattle, Washington, he worked on the repair, maintenance, and corrosion control systems for the air launched cruise missile program.

To work on the cruise missile integration program with the B-52 bomber, he transferred to Wichita, Kansas in April 1982.  Mr. Lee moved back to Seattle in December 1984 for the Peacekeeper missile and B-2 bomber programs.  With the decline of military program spending by 1992, he transferred to the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, focusing on the repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the electrical and auxiliary power systems for the Boeing 737 through 787 airplane programs.  After more than 35 years of service, he retired from the Boeing Company in April 2015 and moved back to Honolulu.

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