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May, 2006 Vol. 31 No. 2
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Published May 2006

A Message from President David McClain

President of the UH System David McClain


May is a month of milestones, as more than 4,600 students receive degrees and certificates from one of your university system’s 10 campuses, indicating mastery of one of several hundred courses of study, ranging from astronomy to zoology.

These graduates are among the more than 1 million people who have taken courses for credit at UH since the Territorial Legislature passed an act creating the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on March 25, 1907.

Our diplomas reflect much more than academic accomplishment, of course. They mark the transformation our students have experienced in their lives. More mature than when they started, more confident in their ability to learn, UH graduates truly are ready to change the world, as those of you reading this issue have done.

Your university is undergoing a transformation as well, in order to make as much of a difference for Hawaiʻ'i, the nation and the world in our next century as we have in the one hundred years past. We’re moving as far and as fast as our imagination, our competence and our capacity allow to create a culture of innovation. This means empowering our campuses and their chancellors and redoubling our efforts to raise private funds to complement the precious resources entrusted to us by taxpayers and by students and their parents in order to provide the margin of excellence we all want.

At the same time, we’re holding fast to the values that define this university, including the Native Hawaiian ahupuaʻa practice of sharing diverse but finite resources for the benefit of all as well as our tradition of respect for freedom of inquiry and expression of ideas both popular and unpopular.

My wife Wendie and I are honored to have the opportunity to lead this great university into its second century. As Waiʻanae community leaders Kaipo Pomaikai and William Aila reminded us recently, for many of our citizens, UH represents the best hope that their dreams of a better life really can come true.

David McClain
President, University of Hawaiʻi System


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