Larry Price is the University of Hawai‘i (UH) Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Conrad Nonaka is a UH Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. They will be recognized at a dinner held in their honor at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on May 31, 2016.
A longtime radio personality and celebrated scholar-athlete, Price holds numerous awards and records as a football player and coach. He signed as a National Football League free agent with the Los Angeles Rams and played in three Hula Bowl games during the 1950s and 60s. He was head volleyball coach from 1969 to 1972, named to the all-time UH football team in 1973, and served as head football coach from 1974 to 1976. Among his many accolades through the years, Price was a 1989 UH Distinguished Alumni, a City and County of Honolulu Top 100 Citizen, Hawai‘i Radio Broadcaster of the Year, and a UH Sports Circle of Honor inductee to name a few.
Equally committed to education and teaching, Price earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE) and a doctorate degree in education from the University of Southern California. He served as an assistant professor at Chaminade University while completing post-doctoral work at Stanford University. Before joining KSSK Radio as vice president of public relations and publicity in 1977, Price retired from UH as director of the Small Business Management Program.
“I was shocked and honored to receive this prestigious award because UH is a very special place to the Price family,” Price said. “I never thought I would be a proud graduate, but after nine years of strict military discipline, I was conviced that I wanted a college degree. My mentor during the MEd program was Dr. Robert Dunwell. Because his dad was a coach, he had a lot of insight on how to motivate me, and I will always be grateful for his advice and direction. At that time, I lived in the Atherton House across the street from Wist Hall where my older brother, a retired bird colonel, also lived. He lead the charge of the Price family as a UH football player in the 1950s and was captain of the team when they upset Nebraska in 1957. The friends and faculty I’ve met over the years are like members of my family. This honor will be shared with the Price family forever.”
Nonaka, who serves as the Director of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at UH Community College, has guided organizations worldwide in the hospitality industry for more than four decades. After earning a bachelor’s degree in education from the COE, he received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army and returned to Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) as a chef instructor in the same culinary program from which he previously graduated. He is credited with developing the popular KCC Saturday Farmers’ Market, which has become a well-known destination with an average of more than 9,000 people each week.
From Kaua‘i, Nonaka was a key founder of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) chapter on the island. He has served as the ACF president and continues his membership today. He has also chaired Restaurant Week Hawai‘i for the past eight years and serves on numerous boards, including Alan Wong’s Restaurants, Hawai‘i Restaurant Association, Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation, and Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation.
“Being inspired by chef instructors while attending Kapi‘olani and by Dr. Lawrence Zane at UH Mānoa COE, I made early career goals to strive for,” Nonaka said. “Little did I know when I set my goal to become an executive chef of a major hotel, a culinary chef instructor, and a restaurant owner that it would lead me to one of the greatest career opportunities and where I am today. The foundation and experiences I gained from attending college and working gave me the confidence to accept changes that advanced me beyond my original career goals. It also provided me the greatest opportunity to travel around the globe, meeting great people and making many wonderful friends.”
A not-for-profit organization, the UH Alumni Association (UHAA) awards student scholarships, connects alumni through its events, supports UHAA chapters and UH campuses, and facilitates communication between UH and its alumni.