Edison Miyawaki’s relationship with LMU began in 1948, when he met Lorenzo Malone, S.J., a Jesuit from Loyola University. Father Malone was traveling in Hawaii, and he saw Miyawaki playing baseball. He recruited him to come to Loyola University. At Loyola, Miyawaki forged friendships with many Jesuits that continued for decades after he graduated.
Miyawaki, who studied biology at Loyola, completed medical school at George Washington University in 1972. He also spent time researching at Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard’s teaching hospital) before moving back to Honolulu. Shortly after returning home, Miyawaki decided to pursue the business side of healthcare. He learned that Nuuanu Hale Hospital, a hospital in Honolulu, was struggling, and he borrowed money from his father, a businessman, to buy it. The hospital has now been in the Miyawaki family for 34 years. Today, Nuuanu Hale Hospital is the largest privately owned nursing facility in Hawaii.
Since purchasing Nuuanu Hospital, Miyawaki has been involved in numerous business ventures. He formed a financial company based in Washington state, he bought a chocolate factory, and he has worked as an advisor and investor for Shisedo, a Japanese cosmetics company. In the early 1990s, he became a part owner of the Cincinnati Bengals professional football team, the first Asian-American to do so.
On April 3, Miyawaki was inducted into the Seaver Wall of Fame, an accomplishment that means a great deal to him. “I’m so honored and humbled to be inducted into the Wall of Fame,” he says. “I think my foundation comes from LMU.”
Miyawaki’s commitment to LMU is evidenced in many ways. He served as a university trustee from 1986–99. He is president of the LMU Alumni Association in Hawaii, and he sponsors a reception every year for Hawaiian high school students who are admitted to LMU. Miyawaki also has been in important financial contributor to his alma mater, and his gifts include the Miyawaki Law Journal Center at Loyola Law School. In 1990, he was honored as one of LMU’s Distinguished Alumni for Loyalty to the University.
Miyawaki’s involvement with LMU and other charitable organizations can be attributed in part to his father. He says, “My father taught me to give back to the community.” Miyawaki’s philanthropic interests include Lions International, the American Cancer Society, the Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Club and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. When asked which of his many affiliations is most meaningful to him, Miyawaki responds with one word: “Loyola.”