University of Hawaii officials join widow and son to remember the late Sen. Inouye

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Feb 22 2013 09:58:00 AM HST
HONOLULU -

It's been two months since Sen. Daniel Inouye died, and the move to remember his legacy has already begun at the University of Hawaii.

On Friday, University of Hawaii officials joined the late senator's widow and son in remembering the man who brought so much not only to the university, but also to the state of Hawaii.
     
Yesterday the Board of Regents approved an Inouye Legacy Package naming four UH buildings or programs after the senator. The ceremony was held at the newly named Daniel K Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education. Inouye was a staunch supporter of the program.

It's an honor Inouye himself might not have wanted, but one his family says he richly deserves.

"The day he died I stood next to him in his bed and I said this to him, I said 'You have been the best father anyone can hope to have. You have been with me through the good times if you've been with me through the bad times," said Ken Inouye, son of the late senator.

Ken Inouye knows his father never wanted his name on anything. His humble nature wouldn't allow it. But for Ken, the tribute is personal, it's helping him fulfill a promise he made to his father the day the senator died.

"I make this promise to you today Dad, Maggie, my daughter Maggie, will know who you are. She's not old enough yet to know who are you are right now, as she grows up I will teach her who you are," said Ken Inouye.

Ken's daughter Maggie knows the senator simply as Grandpa Dan.

"Grandpa Dan was a good guy because he took the time to sit next to her by the piano and play piano for her," said Ken Inouye.

In time, she'll learn his legacy. One, the University of Hawaii was fast to honor.

"It's only been two months since his passing, but I think the fact that these kinds of actions have been taken so quickly is really heart warming," said Irene Inouye, wife of the late senator.

Inouye's passion for education helps ensure like many children, Maggie can build her own legacy, one framed around her unique family history.

"She saw a a photo of him that was taken of him with Elmo from Sesame Street and her perspective was Elmo is a very important person, so Grandpa Dan is a very important person," said Ken Inouye.

Other buildings being named after Senator Inouye are the UH Hilo college of Pharmacy, the Allied Health center on the UH Maui campus and Kauai Community College's Electronics Technology Building.

UH names programs, facilities in Inouye's honor

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