University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas received Oregon State University’s highest alumni honor. The university’s Alumni Association named him this year’s recipient of the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Lemon award honors alumni “who make significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments and careers bring acclaim to the university.” It is the highest recognition granted by the association.
Hawaiʻi Community College Chancellor Noreen Yamane, who nominated Freitas for the honor, noted Freitas’ numerous and significant contributions throughout his career while serving the university, as he “made the dreams of a community a reality.” As chancellor at UH West O’ahu, Freitas is “addressing the financial difficulties of the campus, and improving the morale and service of one of the most underserved populations in the State of Hawaiʻi,” Yamane added.
Freitas graduated from Oregon State University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He became chancellor at UH West Oʻahu in May 2013. Freitas previously served as vice president for student affairs and university and community relations for the UH System, as well as chancellor at Hawaiʻi Community College.
Freitas played football for Oregon State and enjoyed a long career in the National Football League. He was inducted into both the Hawaiʻi Sports Hall of Fame and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame.
He will be recognized at the alumni association’s Spring Awards Celebration on April 25.
—A UH West Oʻahu news release