The School of Travel Industry Management (TIM School) at the University of Hawai‘i Shidler College of Business received an estate gift, estimated at $850,000, to establish the Eva Kaa Scholarship of Excellence. The endowed scholarship is for full-time undergraduate students pursuing a degree at the TIM School.

“I credit my education at the TIM School for preparing me well for a variety of careers,” Kaa said. “I am grateful for the generosity of donors and others at the University of Hawai‘i for providing me with the opportunities to pursue my goals and dreams. By establishing this scholarship, I hope TIM students will benefit from the solid foundation they will receive from the University of Hawai‘i.”

Originally from Minneapolis, Kaa attended UH with the help of scholarships, grants and financial aid and worked part-time to cover her living expenses. With the assistance of Chuck Gee, then dean of the TIM School, she landed her first full-time job at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). This opportunity led to many successful careers as a police officer, owner of an investigation company, flight attendant/purser with Pan American World Airways, FBI special agent; and as an inspector/tourism editor for AAA, where she rated over 8500 hotels, restaurants, and attractions throughout Northern California, Hawai‘i and Mexico during her career. Kaa recently retired after 15 years with AAA and is now serving as a hotel consultant.

“We are grateful to Eva Kaa for her contribution to our students in the TIM School,” Shidler Dean Vance Roley said. “It is inspiring to see an alumnus who achieved great success in a variety of careers come full circle to help promising students pursue their own career goals.”