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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

TRANSITIONS: Part 13A--Early Retirement

I arrived on the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus in August of 1972.  I had a goal of retiring at the age of 55 to do one more thing with the rest of my life.  However, competing with 150 universities across the country in the mid 1990's, we submitted a proposal to create the Center for Bioproducts Development.

We made the final 10 for site review by the National Science Foundation, but just missed getting funded.  I learned that we were just trying to do too much, so I decided to stay on for a couple more years, and recruited a team to focus on marine biotechnology.

Surely enough, late in 1998 we succeeded with the Marine Bioproducts Engineering Center, and I announced my retirement.  My staff went overboard to plan for my retirement party in 1999, which was held at the Hawaiian Regent in Waikiki, now a Marriott, attended by a couple of hundred friends and family.

The University of Hawaii designated my retirement post as Emeritus Director, which comes with free parking, very meaningful, as it costs almost $600/year for faculty to park on campus.  As I was instrumental getting the initial funding for the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building (at least I asked then Congressman Daniel Akaka to help, and, being on the House Appropriations Committee, that provided clout), Dean Barry Raleigh, when the building was in the final phase of completion, asked me where I wanted my office on the fourth floor.  At that time the whole floor was one large area.  So I picked the Ewa Makai  (fourth floor on the right) corner and stayed there for nearly ten years.  Four years ago I was asked to return to the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and now have an office on the first floor.  Here is what it looks like today:

That tree trunk in the top photo is a Gold Tree.  It is one of more than a dozen in this one area next to the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building.  Note to the left in the shot immediately above are a microwave oven and a refrigerator, to the right a SONY sound system and at the top, a poster of the Old Course at St. Andrews.  This is where I disappear to write my blog and books.

NEXT:  Year 15 and counting.


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