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University of Hawaii honors scientist Alice Ball

A remembrance ceremony for Alice Augusta Ball was held at the University of Hawaii on Wednesday. Ball was the first African American and first woman to graduate from UH with a master’s degree in chemistry in 1915. As a 23-year-old scientist, Ball discovered the first effective treatment for Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) using an injectable oil from the Chaulmoogra tree.
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Holding a banner featuring Alice Ball are UH students Luffy Threats and Nya McAdoo. Both are members of Sister Circle Manoa and the Black Students Association.
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UH President David Lassner spoke during the ceremony for Alice Augusta Ball near Bachman Hall.
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Kathryn Waddell Takara, retired professor in ethnic studies, read the poem "Alice Ball: History and Legacy."
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Attendees gathered around the Chaulmoogra tree. As a 23-year-old scientist, Alice Ball discovered the first effective treatment for Hansen’s Disease sing an injectable oil from the Chaulmoogra tree. The treatment helped to alleviate the symptoms of the disease until a cure was discovered in the 1940s. A Chaulmoogra tree was gifted to the university by the King of Siam in 1935 and in 2000 a bronze plaque was placed in Ball’s honor at its base.
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A photo of Alice Augusta Ball is bedecked with lei at the ceremony.
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Leading the opening oli (chant) is Kawehionalani Goto, program specialist with the Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office.
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UH President David Lassner with a proclamation for February 28 as Alice Augusta Ball Day presented by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke.
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An attendee places a stem of flowers upon the plaque at the end of the ceremony.
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La Joya Shelly, a PhD candidate in educational administration, co-founder of Sister Circle at Manoa and member of the Black Student Association, speaks on Wednesday. Beside her is UH President David Lassner.
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UH President David Lassner with a proclamation for February 28 as Alice Augusta Ball Day presented by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke.

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