The gift to the Shidler College of Business — which was named in recognition of a previous $25 million gift made by Shidler in 2006 — will support improvements and expansion initiatives and provide an income stream that could be used to make the college tuition-free within forty years.
The gift includes the land underlying eleven office buildings in the commercial business districts of Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Tampa, Nashville, Louisville, Mount Vernon, Charlotte, and Columbus, as well as the attendant ground leases. The university is prohibited from selling any of the leases before the end of their 99-year terms, which Shidler estimates will generate at least $2.1 billion in cash flow over the life of the leases. As the leases expire, the college will receive full ownership of the attendant office buildings, which, together with the land on which they sit, are worth an estimated $5.1 billion, bringing the total value of the land and leases to at least $7.2 billion.
Upon graduating from the University of Hawai'i, Shidler was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After leaving the service in 1971, he founded what would become the Shidler Group, which invests in U.S. commercial properties and portfolios. With his latest pledge, Shidler's support for the College of Business now totals $228 million, including a $69 million gift in 2014.
"I credit the guidance of my professors and strong connections with classmates at the college with much of my success in the business world," said Shidler, who is a trustee of the Honolulu-based Shidler Family Foundation. "The more students who have access to such an education, the better the business world and, ultimately, our community become. With a strong emphasis on international and Asia-Pacific studies, and a rigorous curriculum, I am looking forward to the next generation of University of Hawaiʻi alumni contributing greatly to the international community in both a business and personal capacity."