Tangaro, hula students present at conference opening

Taupouri Tangaro, hula professor and humanities chairperson at Hawaii Community College, along with more than 50 members of the college’s hula program, presented an opening keynote at a national-level conference of college administrators at Waikoloa Beach Marriot Resort & Spa.

The keynote was at a conference for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which is an association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

The 2012 NASPA Western Regional Conference is scheduled to run from Nov. 7 through 10 in West Hawaii.

The theme of the conference is Hulihia.

“Hulihia is a Hawaiian word that denotatively means a complete spiritual or physical change,” according to the NASPA website. “Connotatively, Hulihia embodies wisdom that is passed from one generation to the next and illustrates how hope can emerge from darkness. It acknowledges that changing perspectives is often required in order to be able to view the many layers that may lay beneath, on top, or intertwined with other layers of a situation. Inspiration to change often comes from our world being shifted and completely turned upside down, revealing a new truth and thus, a new beginning.”

Tangaro passed along a comment from one conference attendee who was present for the opening performance.

“I thought it was breathtaking,” said Lisa Cooper, from the University of the Pacific. “I appreciated learning some of the history of this place and the people. I felt grateful to be reminded of the need to honor and respect it, but also to know I am being welcomed into a community with such rich traditions and history. Hearing the words of our speaker was reaffirmation that we are all connected to the earth and one another. I will go back to my institution reinvigorated and inspired to be an agent of change.”

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