UH-Hilo Dedicates Permanent Pharmacy School Building

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Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy students tour their new building. PC: UH-Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) dedicated the college’s new permanent building in Hilo’s University Research Park on December 4.

“It was a very emotional day for me to see this building here after all of the work that everyone has put into it,” said DKICP student Lillian Tran. “Not only is this building concrete, I don’t know if they realize they’ve made so many people’s dreams also become concrete.”

The 45,000-square-foot building came with a price tag of $31 million. The two-story structure features a unique and contemporary design, including classrooms that accommodate applied learning, high-fidelity simulations and distance audio/visual communications. It also includes multiple lab spaces, a simulated pharmacy facility, faculty and staff offices, a student community center and study areas. The building aims to meet the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.


“As the only College of Pharmacy in the Pacific Rim, we are the academic cornerstone for the most advanced level of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical science research,” said DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma. “Our students, taught by our exceptional faculty and supported by dedicated staff, can continue living our mission to improve the health throughout the State of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Rim.”

The current student body of 300 represents one of the most diverse academic populations in the country: 60 percent from Hawai‘i, with 40 percent from 24 U.S. states, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Kenya, South Korea and Taiwan. Classes will be held in the new building beginning in January 2020.

Speakers and distinguished attendees at the dedication included UH President David Lassner, UH Regent Wayne Higaki, UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin, Ken Inouye and Irene Hirano-Inouye representing the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Jessica Toyama, president of the inaugural class of 2011, and others. The blessing ceremony was led by Kumu Moses Crabbe and the UH Hilo Kīpaepae Committee.


Established in 2006, DKICP admitted its inaugural class in 2007, and has graduated 744 Doctor of Pharmacy students and five Doctor of Philosophy students.

“It’s amazing to finally see Daniel K. Inouye’s vision come to life,” said DKICP student Shane Naeole. “I am so honored to be a part of it, being native Hawaiian, and being able to connect to my culture with my future profession.”

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