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Donor Profile: Sue D. Cooley

01-Jul-2014

After contributing nearly 80 percent of the construction cost for the Lahainaluna High School stadium on Maui, Sue D. Cooley will have the structure named after her following the Board of Education's unanimous agreement.

Lahainaluna High School stadium, Maui.

Sue D. Cooley donated about $7.5 million toward the estimated $9 million cost of the Lahainaluna High School stadium. It's being named in her honor.

HONOLULU – A state-of-the-art sports and events stadium being built at Lahainaluna High in West Maui will be named in honor of its primary benefactor, Sue D. Cooley. Since the Lahainaluna High School Foundation began its stadium fundraising campaign in 2007, Cooley has contributed $7.5 million, nearly 80 percent of the estimated $9 million cost.

The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today approved the naming recommendation. Lindsay Ball, who oversees Hana, Lahainaluna, Lanai and Molokai schools, testified that he has received strong letters in support of honoring Cooley from organizations such as the Lahainaluna School Community Council, the Lahainaluna High School Foundation, Lahainaluna PTSA, Lahainaluna Student Council, and Friends of Lahainaluna Football.

When asked about the significant contribution, Cooley, a part-time resident of Maui, humbly replied, “It’s my hope that these gifts will inspire others to give and support public education in Hawaii.”

The stadium construction is expected to be completed next month. It will seat up to 3,000 people and features a new synthetic, 4-lane track, an artificial turf athletic field, lights and scoreboard. The complex takes advantage of Lahainaluna’s elevated location offering sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

“The people of West Maui and especially at Lahainaluna are deeply appreciative for Ms. Cooley’s generous contributions,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This stadium will be a significant gathering place for the community to celebrate student activities. Extra-curricular activities help young people develop teamwork and sportsmanship skills, which are vital for success in college, career and community.”

BOE Chair Don Horner stated, “We much appreciate Ms. Cooley’s confidence, caring and commitment to public education. Her contribution will positively impact generations of school children.”

Lahainaluna High was established in 1831, and is the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River.

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