I was extremely moved by a wonderful welcoming ceremony at the Hawaiʻinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge on June 20.
So many of my colleagues and friends from UH Mānoa participated in the ceremony, along with community leaders representing the governor’s office, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, the Queen’s Health System, Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust, Lunalilo Trust and the Board of Regents.
The traditional ʻawa ceremony.
So this is what it feels like to graduate from high school in Hawaiʻi! Thank you to so many friends and colleagues who took the time to take part in and observe the ceremony.
I was touched by everyone’s support of the University of Hawaiʻi and of me when I did an impromptu hula with my Kumu Ab Valencia and others.
Thank you for all the best wishes, advice and willingness to work together for the future of UH.
More photos from the event from Flickr.
L-R: SOEST Dean Brian Taylor, me, Ed DeLong and David Karl.
We were elated to announce the largest private award ever to the University of Hawaiʻi, at a news conference at Snug Harbor on July 16, 2014. The Simons Foundation awarded UH Mānoa professors Edward DeLong and David Karl, both from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, $40 million to lead the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE). Again, this is the largest private gift UH has ever received.
SCOPE is among the Simons Foundation’s programs in the division of Life Sciences. It aims to further our understanding of the microscopic organisms that inhabit every drop of seawater and how those creatures control the movement and exchange of energy and nutrients, from the surface waters to the deep sea.
Both Ed and David have worked long and hard with the foundation to make this happen. This really demonstrates what is possible when we work together.
This is also an incredible affirmation of the potential of the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative.
A lot of people have wondered can we really be serious about building a billion dollar research industry in the state. I think this is an example of how we’ll do it. It isn’t just going to the federal government and cranking out more proposals, but it’s captivating the interests of philanthropists and partners around the country and around the world to build this investment in a research and innovation economy for Hawaiʻi that advances the frontiers of human knowledge.
This award is a vote of confidence in Ed and Dave and in the University of Hawaiʻi. It is not a coincidence that UH is leading a consortium with some of the best research institutions in the country. We’re not just tagging along for the ride. So thank you Ed and Dave, thank you to the Simons organization and to all who have been a part of this.
UH News Video: Largest ever private award to UH funds microbial oceanography research
My remarks from the press conference.
(left to right) Aska Vanroosebeke from JAMSTEC International Affairs Division; Gregg Moore, UH Mānoa professor of geology and geophysics; Dr. Asahiko Taira, president of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC); me and Kevin Hamilton, director of the International Pacific Research Center.
The president of Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) visited UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), or more specifically the school’s International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) from April 16-18. Dr. Asahiko Taira’s visit coincided with SOEST’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
JAMSTEC has funded IPRC for the last 17 years for a total of more than $40 million, and has just signed another multi-year cooperative agreement that extends through at least March 2017. This new agreement will continue JAMSTEC funding of collaborative research with IPRC. Our deepest gratitude to Dr. Taira and JAMSTEC for their continued interest in IPRC and SOEST.
We are grateful for the support of Howard Hughes Corporation Sr. VP David Striph (center) and Governor Neil Abercrombie (right).
On March 28 I attended an informative and enjoyable breakfast briefing on the proposed Barack Obama Presidential Center. Business and community leaders were invited to hear about proposed plans for the center in Kakaʻako.
Thank you to Governor Neil Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaʻo Crabbe, Howard Hughes Corporation Sr. VP David Striph and many other community and business leaders for attending the briefing, which included an excellent video presentation of our proposal. We even secured a few additional generous donations from the Howard Hughes Corporation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawaiian Electric Industries to develop Hawaiʻi’s proposal.
The faculty-led Presidential Center leadership team, headed by American studies Associate Professor Robert Perkinson has been working on this project since the 2008 primaries, even before Barack Obama became president. The team also includes Maxine Burkett (law), Patricia Halagao (education), Maria Simone (architecture) and A.J. Halagao (advisor).
Thank you all for your dedication, hard work and support!
Mayor Kirk Caldwell (far left) demonstrated his support for the Barack Obama Center, along with other community leaders.
Thanks to UH Manoa Assistant Vice Chancellor Steve Meder, who led the tour with Rep. Isaac Choy to his right. Chancellor Tom Apple follows to his left with the rest of the group as we head to Edmondson Hall.
We had a robust discussion on the physical condition of the UH Mānoa campus with several lawmakers who took time out of their busy schedules yesterday to take a brief tour of some of our facilities. Many thanks to Representatives Isaac Choy, Calvin Say, Karen Awana and Henry Aquino for joining us on the tour. Thanks also to Rep. Linda Ichiyama who sent staff members on her behalf.
Regents John Holzman, James Lee and Randy Moore also joined us as UH Mānoa Assistant Vice Chancellor Steve Meder and UH Mānoa Chancellor Tom Apple led us on a tour of Snyder Hall which is in dire need of renovations. We also walked through Edmondson Hall which is currently being renovated, and we enjoyed exploring a couple of newly renovated classrooms in Sakamaki Hall.
Our deepest thanks to Reps. Choy, Say, Awana and Aquino for visiting our campus. We hope to host another tour for other state lawmakers in the near future.
UH Manoa Assistant Vice Chancellor Steve Meder gives lawmakers and UH regents a tour of a classroom laboratory in need of repair and renovation.
David Lassner with Peter Crouch (Dean, UH Manoa College of Engineering), Charlie Bass (Trustee, The Bass Trust), R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper (Ret. Admiral, USN), Scott Seu (Vice President, Energy Resources and Operations, Hawaiian Electric Co.)
I had the pleasure of speaking before the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Council last week. The council is similar to a corporate board of directors that provides guidance on strategic and political matters that aim to advance educational and research programs within the college.
The meeting included council members, the College of Engineering Dean Peter Crouch, his leadership team and department chairs.
We discussed a wide array of issues, and I outlined my goals and objectives as Interim President. They include improving the university’s image, the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative, the deferred maintenance backlog and my willingness to assist the college in becoming an effective and important component of the UH System.