University of Hawaii celebrates fall 2009 commencement

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-8109
Associate Vice President, External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Dec 11, 2009

HONOLULU – The University of Hawaiʻi is pleased to announce that over 2,000 candidates will be receiving their undergraduate and advanced degrees from UH Mānoa, UH West Oʻahu and UH Hilo during the fall 2009 commencement ceremonies.
UH West Oʻahu is pleased to be graduating its first recipients of a bachelor of education (B.Ed.) degree in elementary education. This B.Ed program prepares highly qualified K-6 teachers for Hawaiʻi’s workforce with a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of schools in Leeward Oʻahu. While some graduates will pursue teaching positions on the Leeward side and Waianae coast with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, others will work toward a master’s degree from UH Manoa. Since implementation in fall 2007, the program has grown to 157 elementary education majors and a staff of eight professional teacher educators.
UH Hilo is proud to be graduating one of its youngest students to earn a four-year degree. Student speaker Gladys Tong Hoi Yee, 18, will be awarded a bachelor of arts in business administration during the fall ceremony. She was schooled in her native Singapore, Hong Kong and Mainland China before enrolling at UH Hilo where she completed her degree in two-and-a half years.
UH Mānoa will be awarding the Regents’ Medal of Distinction to the late William Kwai Fong Yap, who is know as the founder of the university due to his efforts to elevate it from a college to the university level. A respected education advocate, businessperson and civic leader, Yap’s contributions to UH Mānoa continue through his family.
The fall 2009 commencement schedule is as follows:
Friday, December 18
UH Mānoa College of Engineering
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Campus Center Ballroom
Speaker: Jadine Urasaki, PE, Public Works Manager, Construction Management Section, Department of Education
UH West Oʻahu
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Leeward Community College Theatre
Keynote Speaker: Darin Pilialoha, Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Principal and UH West Oʻahu graduate
Student Speaker: Tracy Takazono, Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education
Candidates: 109
Ceremony will be streamed live online at
Saturday, December 19
UH Hilo
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: UH Hilo New Gymnasium
Speaker: Wayne Y. Hamano, Vice Chair and Chief Commercial Officer for Bank of Hawai’i
Student Speaker: Gladys Tong Hoi Yee, Business Administration major
Candidates: 269
UH Mānoa
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Stan Sheriff Center
Speaker: Dr. Virginia Pressler, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer of Hawai’i Pacific Health, MBA, MS and MD graduate from UH Mānoa
Candidates: over 1,600