When Edna (Doar) Gehring ’70, MSEd ’72 retires this spring, it will mark the end of an era at Pacific University.
“Aunty Edna” has been a stalwart figure in the lives of Pacific students for more than three decades.
As a Pacific student, she was a Delta Chi Delta and danced in the Lu‘au, while her older brother, Bill Doar ’69, pitched with Coach Chuck Bafaro’s baseball team. She married classmate Hans Gehring ’70, and one of their children, Christie, also attended Pacific, graduating in 2002.
Professionally, Gehring taught and offered career and college planning support to students at Mililani High School from 1973 to 1981, before returning to her alma mater.
In the past 35 years, her job title has changed several times, but her role as “Aunty” — beacon of advice, guidance, support and a little tough love — never has. She has served as advisor for Na Haumana O Hawai‘i and its annual Lu‘au since 1983, touching the lives of thousands of students.
“She is nurturing, yet determined to guide us to find our path in life,” said Trey Kodama ’17. “She recognizes our potential to succeed and supports all of our endeavors.”
As her day-to-day interactions with students come to a close, though, Aunty Edna’s impact on Pacific students never will. This fall, she started working to create the Aunty Edna Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will support NHOH students returning to Pacific for their junior or senior years. As part of her retirement, she is inviting friends, colleagues and alumni to contribute to the effort.