About ACUW


The Associated Chinese University Women, Inc. (ACUW) was founded in February 1931. Elsie Ting Ching and Elizabeth Lam Leong organized a reunion with nine other college classmates: Wai Sue Chun Louie, Mary Kam Wong Ruth Kau, Dr. Ellen Leong, Ruth Liu Chong, Berthie Louis, Rose Louis, Jannie Luke Thom Eva Young Chun, and Dora Chung Zane.

At that time, they adopted a constitution to form the "Chinese University Women's Club'' and met once a month not only to socialize, but also to do community service. By the end of the year, membership increased to forty-three ladies from accredited colleges and universities.

During early years, members raised monies for the China Relief Fund, purchased false teeth and eyeglasses for patients at the Palama Clinic, tutored children and awarded a scholarship to university students. Members also played mah jong and bridge for enjoyment.

In October 1936, the club changed its name to the "Associated Chinese University Women.” Although the bylaws have been amended many times, the purposes have not changed. In July 1983, ACUW became a non-profit corporation and in July 1984, received tax-exempt status as a 501(c) (4), a civic and social welfare organization under the Internal Revenue Code. In 2012, we transitioned to 501(c) (3) status.

One major project has been the ACUW Fashion Show, a fundraiser for scholarships and community service. Proceeds helped to build a room for the Palolo Home. Members visit the Palolo Home throughout the year and take good cheer, refreshments, entertainment, and small gifts made by members. Each year ACUW plans cultural events which include displays, demonstrations, activities, foods, and discussions of things Chinese and involve talented members and community volunteers who share their expertise.

In 1979, ACUW published TRADITIONS FOR LIVING a much sought after booklet of Chinese customs and folk predicts, written by many members and their families in Hawaii. TRADITIONS FOR LIVING, VOLUME II was published in time for the Chinese Bicentennial in Hawaii. Members and their friends contributed recipes for a cookbook in 1976 and for a collection called GOLDEN FAVORITES in 1981 to commemorate ACUW's fiftieth anniversary.

There are always excellent speakers at meetings to keep members abreast of current and significant topics and issues. There are special interest workshops for members to learn about Chinese traditions, arts, cooking, language, exercises, crafts, dance, and culture. Every year, committees may plan special events such as picnics, luaus, teas, and youth activities.

Through the past eighty-eight years, the membership has included as many as four hundred women and comprised of diverse professions: teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, managers, interior decorators, computer specialists, occupational therapists, scientists, accountants, brokers, travel agents, and others. Many are leaders in the Chinese community in addition to their careers. Members have interests from gardening to painting and moon harp music. Many are retired and volunteer their time and talents for community service. There are many mother-daughter and even a few grandmother-granddaughter relationships within ACUW.

ACUW is recognized as an association of dynamic talented and intelligent women who strive to achieve its purposes: “To further the cultural, social and intellectual welfare of its members and the community and to promote and participate in worthwhile community projects which are non-profit and non-commercial.''

Contact ACUW

President's Message