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The University of Utah Announces the Dan Hola Leadership Scholarships & Internships for Pacific Islander Students

Oct. 19, 2006 — The University of Utah and Utah businessman Molonai Hola announced today the creation of twenty scholarships and fifteen internships for Pacific Islander students. In addition, Hola will join with the University to fund a research project examining the demographics of Utah’s Pacific Islander community. The scholarships, internships, and research project are made possible by a gift from Molonai Hola, and are named in honor of his father, Dan Hola. In announcing the scholarships Hola said, “Education is the key to success for Pacific Islander students. Often we talk about the negatives, the challenges our children face. These scholarships are a positive, proactive solution toward empowering our children through education.”

The scholarships will be funded by a $20,000 per year gift, over a period of 5 years, from Hola, with matching funds from each of the University colleges or departments holding the scholarships: Science, Business, Economics, Political Science, Architecture + Planning, and Student Affairs. They will be awarded to qualifying freshmen, sophomore, and junior Pacific Islander students. “The scholarships are definitely needed,” said Feleti “Fred” Matagi, Pacific Islander Program Coordinator, Center for Ethnic Student Affairs. “The biggest barrier to higher education for our students is lack of finances. This is crucial.”

The internships are created in partnership with the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Three internships will be awarded each year for five consecutive years in local/state, national and international locations. According to Kirk Jowers, Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics, “These new Dan Hola internships mean that more Pacific Islander students will have the opportunity to serve internships in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court, and over thirty other places in Washington, D.C., as well as other locations around the world and here in Utah. I am grateful for Molonai’s vision, dedication, and generosity.” Hola believes it’s imperative that Pacific Islander students be involved in business, the sciences, government and politics. “Politics play a big role in all our lives, they influence everything. Our students need to be aware of what’s going on in the world. These internships will make that a part of their college experience.”

The research, which will be conducted by the Department of Economics, and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, will examine the socioeconomic characteristics of Utah’s Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander community. According to Hola, research is necessary. “We need to know, the state needs to know, where we are as a community.” He compares it to a businessman auditing his company. “What are the strengths and weaknesses and where do we go from here?”

Upon hearing about the Hola Leadership Scholarships, Fotu Katoa, Director of Pacific Islander Affairs for the State of Utah commented, “Molonai knows if our children do not become educated, they’ll be left behind. This helps not only individuals, but families and the community.”

Molonai Hola is the President and CEO of Icon Consulting Group, a defense contracting company with offices throughout the western United States. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 2002, and received a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird International Business School in 1995. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1993 with an MBA, and received a degree in Economics from the University of Utah in 1991 where he served as student body president and received a football scholarship.

For more information or an application for the Dan Hola Leadership Scholarships contact Feleti “Fred” Matagi at or Hugh Brown, Director of Development for Student Initiatives, at