Tag Archives: UH Hilo

Merrie Monarch Festival

At the Merrie Monarch with Gail, Don Straney and Mayor Billy Kenoi

At the Merrie Monarch Festival with Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi

I was fortunate enough to travel to Hilo over the weekend to see the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. I joined UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and others for a wonderful time, as we witnessed the culmination of months and months of rehearsal and preparation.

The performers were breathtaking as they danced ancient and modern hula and chanted in an array of colorful costumes. The stadium was packed, the audience was appreciative of the amazing talent before us and they loved every moment.

I even had a chance to pay my respects to Madame Pele with a visit to Volcanoes National Park. It was a weekend to be remembered!

Merrie Monarch Festival

With Don Straney, Interim Maui Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey, Mauna Kea Management Board Member Herring Kalua, Sherry Kalua and Billy Kenoi

with Noenoelani Zuttermeister, Judge

Noenoelani Zuttermeister, Merrie Monarch Festival judge

paying our respects to Pele

Paying our respects to Pele

Parvin Fellows observe PBS Hawaiʻi panel

Group of people standing

Parvin Fellows, from left, Guo Likun, Zhao Lina, Hu Yongqi, Cai Muyan, Peng Yining and, far right, Nie Xiaoyang with President Greenwood and Professor Kato

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Journalism Gerald Kato brought six visiting Chinese journalists, the 2011–12 class of Parvin Fellows, to the PBS Hawaiʻi studio recently. Insights on PBS Hawaiʻi, with host Dan Boylan, featured a live, one hour call-in dialogue focusing on the University of Hawaiʻi and the latest exciting activities on our 10 campuses. Joining me as Dan’s guests were UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻinuiākea College of Hawaiian Knowledge Dean Maenette Benham, and it was a lively and engaging hour! You can watch the show online at www.pbshawaii.org (the show was on at the same time as Wahine Volleyball!). The journalists from China are here to learn more about American media and culture, and they sat in on our live program to see how U.S. television works. It was a pleasure to meet them and to have the live studio audience as well!

New science building for Hilo campus

four people in front of building

Gerald De Mello and Donald Straney with M.R.C. Greenwood and Mary Wolshak

group of people inside building

From left, university officials Randy Hirokawa, Gerald De Mello, M.R.C. Greenwood and Donald Straney; student Ashlee Kalauli; Mayor Billy Kenoi; Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Senators Gilbert Kahele and Malama Solomon; Rep. Jerry Chang; Chancellor Emeritus Rose Tseng

During the blessing for UH Hilo’s new Science and Technology building, I shared the inspiring testimony of a Native Hawaiian Big Island student who wants to be an astronomer.

Read my remarks. For more about the facility, read the news release.

Commencement Time

group shot at graduation ceremony

From left, Rep. Jerry Chang and Hawaiʻi County Councilmen Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and J Yoshimoto

Throughout my career in higher education, no time has brought me more joy and fulfillment than the commencement season. It is a time to rejoice in important student and faculty success. It is the ceremonial representation of higher education’s ability to transforms people’s lives.

The 2011 exercises also means we are some 5,000 graduates closer to our goal of increasing the number of college-educated citizens in the state. At about 9,200 degrees and certificates awarded this academic year, we’re ahead of our goal.

Jerry Chang was at the UH Hilo ceremony May 13 at Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium and sent the photo above.

I also attended the Hawaiʻi Community College, John A. Burns School of Medicine and UH Mānoa advanced degree ceremonies.