Students, faculty and staff visit Hawai‘i Legislature to celebrate community college milestone

Students and faculty

Students and faculty from the HawCC Diesel Mechanics, Carpentry, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, and Architectural, Engineering and CAD programs pose for a photo during UHCC Day at the Capitol. (See below for more photos).

Members of the Hawai‘i Community College Kauhale went to the State Legislature on March 18 to help celebrate an important milestone: the 50th anniversary of the law that created the University of Hawai‘i Community College system.

The event started with an oli, or chant, followed by a symbolic moment of how higher education can open the door to a happier and more prosperous life: the chancellors of each college each opened a door representing their schools as students walked through.

Hawai’i CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane poses with Honolulu CC Chancellor Erika Lacro, center, and Kauai’i CC Chancellor Helen Cox, right, before the opening ceremony.

Then the colleges showcased some of their programs. Hawai‘i CC presented information and displays on the six programs that participate in the annual Model Home Project: Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies; Diesel Mechanics; Carpentry; Electrical Installation and Maintenance Technology; Agriculture; and Hawai‘i Life Styles.

(For a video about the event, click here).

There was a time in Hawaiʻi when going to college was reserved for only an elite few, said Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton, but that changed in 1964 when the state legislature passed the law that created the University of Hawaiʻi Community College System.

“Going to college was something that maybe only the top part of high school class did,” explained John Morton. “The likelihood that you as an adult would go back to college was rare.”

“What the law did back in 1964 was create that opportunity for anyone to be able to go on to higher education, reap those benefits,” continues Morton. “As a result, we have a better Hawaiʻi.”

HLS program

Members of our Hawai’i Life Styles program, Keali’i Lilly, Kamaka Gunderson, and Keone Chin (from left to right) with their display.


AEC display

A visitor inspects a balsa wood home that was part of the AEC display as AEC student Shannen Hatayama assists. 

Opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony for the event. 

Ag program display

Agriculture faculty Chris Jacobsen, left, and his assistants prepare to distribute a ginger honey drink they brewed.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jason Cifra, center, is shown here with UH Center, West Hawai’i staff member Cameron Hee, right, and HawCC student Duane Nishimoto.

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