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by Jessica McDunn, University Relations

Hawai‘i Pacific University awarded its highest accolade, the Fellow of the Pacific Award, to famed entertainer and island resident Jim Nabors for his outstanding leadership, service, and dedication to the community. The award was presented at HPU’s 68th commencement ceremony on Wednesday, January 9, 6:30 p.m., at the Waikiki Shell.

Jim Nabors’ unique career has included all aspects of the entertainment industry and earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991. He is perhaps best known for his loveable, often-bumbling character Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle USMC.

He later hosted the variety show, The Jim Nabors Hour. Due to the success of Gomer Pyle, USMC and his strong support of the U.S. military, Nabors was made an Honorary Marine and promoted to Honorary Lance Corporal in 2001. In 2007, he was promoted to Honorary Corporal. In addition, Nabors’ home state of Alabama has renamed U.S. Highway 280 the “Jim Nabors Highway.”

Nabors has recorded 28 albums and numerous singles. He has also garnered five gold and one platinum records. He has starred in numerous stage revues in Honolulu and Las Vegas.

Among many singing appearances, he has sung “Back Home Again in Indiana” for more than 30 years prior to each Indianapolis 500 car race, earning him the rank of an honorary Hoosier, a term used in the area referring to an indianian, even though he does not live in Indiana.

Nabors has sung with local artists including Karen Keawehawai‘i and Emma Veary and has performed with the Honolulu Symphony. Nabors also headlined A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors at the Hawai‘i Theatre for many years.

Nabors gives freely of his time, energy, and talent to various community and charitable groups, and his easy-going personality makes him a hit with all age groups.

HPU has, for the past 42 years, honored many outstanding community leaders for their contributions to Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin with the prestigious award Fellow of the Pacific Award.

Past recipients include governors and U.S. senators, business leaders, educators, philanthropists, and noted professionals in a host of fields.


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