Maui Business

UH alumna honors parents with $100,000 endowment for business school scholarship

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A new UH business school scholarship is named after Cindy Doan and Hy So Duong, who arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1980 from a Vietnam refugee camp with only a bag of clothing and worked to own their own business. Photo Credit: UH

Linh Pham, a 2000 University of Hawai’i at Mānoa business school graduate, wanted to honor her parents, who arrived in Hawai’i in 1980 from a refugee camp in Vietnam with nothing more than a bag of clothing. Over the years, her parents worked hard and sacrificed much to help put her through college.

So last week Pham and her husband Dao Pham contributed $100,000 to establish the Cindy Doan and Hy So Duong Endowed Scholarship at UH.

The new scholarship is for full-time undergraduate students who attend UH’s Shidler College of Business. Preference is given to individuals who are the first in their family to attend college.

“My parents’ bravery, love and sacrifices gave me the opportunity to pursue a higher education, which is something that was never available to them while they were in Vietnam,” Linh Pham said. “Despite the many challenges they faced — including 15-hour-plus workdays, and not speaking English — my parents worked relentlessly to provide for our family and future.

“From a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of hard work, self-sufficiency and grit. As a Shidler alumna, it is a truly humbling experience to honor my parents by giving back and providing students the same opportunity they have to me.”

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Pham’s parents worked to learn English and eventually saved enough to start a small gift shop business at Duke’s Lane in Waikīkī. Their hard work and perseverance allowed them to fulfill their American dream and provide their children with the opportunity to pursue a higher education.

L-R: Hy So Duong, Cindy Doan and Linh Pham. Photo Courtesy: UH
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“It is truly inspiring to see how the story of this family has come full circle,” Shidler College Dean Vance Roley said. “We commend Cindy Doan and Hy So Duong for their tireless work to send their children to college. As we can see from their family’s journey, education can make a great impact on one’s life and we are extremely grateful that Linh and her parents are committed to helping to educate the next generation of students.”

Linh Pham earned her bachelor’s in finance from Shidler College. She and her husband reside in Texas with their three children. Dao Pham owns his own dental practice, which Linh Pham manages.

For more information on how to support the Shidler College of Business, contact Kristi Bates, executive director of development at 808-956-3597 or email [email protected].

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