“ʻAʻohe puʻu kiʻekiʻe ke hoʻāʻo ʻia e piʻi” (209): No cliff is so tall that it cannot be scaled.
~ ʻŌlelo Noʻeau
Later this month, I will stand at the podium and recognize the newest class of UH West Oʻahu graduates. It makes me incredibly proud to be able to confer degrees upon the future leaders of Hawaiʻi and beyond as they take this momentous step.
When I graduated from Oregon State University in the ‘60s, I became the first in my family to graduate from a university. My mom, dad, and two sisters were there, and I was proud, to both graduate and represent Hawaiʻi. Many of our students share similar stories, and I applaud their perseverance. An education can open the door to better jobs, opportunities, and options. Knowing that, while at the Oregon State commencement ceremony, I saw the Masters and Doctoral candidates wearing hoods, and I said, “I want a hood.” My hope is that our students experience the same desire to pursue their dreams, and that UH West Oʻahu prepares them for those endeavors.
Throughout my educational and employment journey, I focused on the following goals: 1) family; 2) work; and 3) physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I also live by these words: Don’t measure wealth in money, measure wealth in happiness and health.
Talk Story Session
Don’t forget to attend the Talk Story session on Friday, May 2, from 1 – 2 p.m. in the Multi-purpose Room.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Linda Randall, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Eun Ahn, Vice Chancellor for Administration, Donna Kiyosaki, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Lui Hokoana, and I have exciting news to share about the 2014 Legislative Session, and updates regarding the WASC Accreditation visit this Fall and the Strategic Plan process. Students also will hear about student initiatives and fees.
This is also a chance for us to hear your questions and concerns and start the dialogue to come up with solutions.
Hawaiʻi Foodbank Food Drive
I am humbled by your generosity during last month’s Hawaiʻi Foodbank Food Drive. You surpassed the food drive committee’s initial goal of 2,000 pounds and dollars, and when they increased it to 2,500, you beat that goal as well. We have much to be proud of here at UH West Oʻahu, and most of it comes from our fantastic students, faculty and staff.
Kudos to the Psi Chi/PUEO Leadership clubs, who came up with a creative idea to host a dunking booth during West Fest.
The faculty/staff competition for the most donations was intense, but Academic Affairs was the big winner, with more than 900 pounds of food/donated dollars.
April was a busy month for campus activities, and I want to thank those who organized and participated in April’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Earth Day, and West Fest. It was wonderful to experience the sense of community on our courtyard.
Public high school area principles and superintendents visited the campus last month. Our not-so-secret weapon, Admissions Counselor Martin Motooka, took them on a tour, and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sherry Proper, spoke about our notable programs, including pathways to UH West Oʻahu that we offer to students currently in high school.
E.B. Lemon Award
My wife, Leinaala, and son, Makai, joined me in a visit to my alma mater, Oregon State, late last month, where I received the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni award. I would also like to thank Senator Michelle Kidani, who stopped by the Board of Regents meeting in April to present me with a certificate for the award. I was honored.