Where did we get our name? Hilo Hattie was the stage name for a very popular entertainer in Hawaii during the 1950’s and 1960’s. She was born Clarissa Haili on October 28, 1901, but everyone called her Clara. She began her career as a schoolteacher however it was her singing and dancing that gave her a place in modern Hawaii history. She popularized the comic hula style with such tunes as "Princess Pupule Has Plenty Papayas" and "When Hilo Hattie Does the Hula Hop".
Clara "Hilo Hattie" Haili passed away in 1979, happy that her name was to be carried on by a quality company that continued to generate the Aloha spirit. Each year, in memory and honor of Clara, Hilo Hattie gives UH scholarships to deserving students so they may continue their education in Hawaiian studies and music.