Sarah Vann was a library scholar, philanthropist and community activist who taught Library Information Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in the 1970s and 1980s. She joined the Friends of the East-West Center with the encouragement of her friend Sumi Makey and worked tirelessly on a range of projects from Host Family and International Visitors programs to fundraisers and a reading room, ultimately serving as Friends of EWC President in 1990. 

Of great importance to Dr. Vann, who passed away in May 2012 at the age of 96, was endowing scholarships that focused on continuing education for students and strengthening communities in Honolulu.  As a result of her generosity, the Sarah K. Vann Scholars Awards has been established as a Permanent Named Endowment of the East-West Center with a bequest gift of $200,000. The scholarship will provide awards to deserving participants from the Philippines, Indonesia and Hawai‘i. 

Leaving A Legacy

A gift from your estate can be designated to student scholarships or a program at the East-West Center.  If you would like to remember the Center in your will or living trust, discuss it with your attorney or financial advisor and consider including the following statement in your official estate plan document:

I hereby give, devise, and bequeath _________ (dollar amount, or all or a percentage of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate) to the East-West Center Foundation at 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 96848-1601.

For more information, please contact Gary Yoshida, Development Officer, at 808.944.7196 or by email at