Honorary Degree Conferee
Agnes Kalanihookaha Cope
Conferred May 16, 2009, UH Manoa
“Auntie Aggie,” as Agnes Kalanihookaha Cope is fondly known, is a beloved educator, kumu hula, advocate for Native Hawaiians and Living Treasure of Hawai‘i.
Cope attended Farrington High School and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She taught English at Wai‘anae High School and Wai‘anae and Nanaikapono Elementary Schools.
In 1967 Cope founded the Wai‘anae Coast Culture and Arts Society, whose mission is to practice, preserve and perpetuate ethnic cultures in the islands, particularly the Hawaiian culture. She is a respected researcher, writer and guardian of Hawaiian culture and arts.
She has also tirelessly advocated for better heath care for Native Hawaiians, helping found the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center on the Leeward Coast, and was active in organizations such as Papa Ola Lakahi and Ke Ola Mamo Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems.
In honor of her work, the Agnes Cope Community and Cultural Health Award is issued by the Brown and Bakken World Health awards program to bring the community together to work collaboratively to improve world health.