Campus commemorates 100th annual commencement ceremony

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman and Governor of Hawai‘i will be commencement speakers

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 5, 2011

Undergraduate commencement ceremony speaker Jim Leach
Undergraduate commencement ceremony speaker Jim Leach
Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be the featured speaker at the 100th annual undergraduate degree commencement ceremony at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa on Saturday, May 14, at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (student procession begins at 8:30 a.m.), and will end at noon. More than 1,500 students are eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate ceremony.
Later in the day, from 3-5 p.m., master’s and doctor’s degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates in secondary education will be awarded to nearly 800 graduate degree candidates. Governor of Hawai‘i Neil Abercrombie will be the speaker at the afternoon ceremony.
An estimated 2,300 students will receive degrees and certificates for the Spring semester and 2011 summer session. Students completing their degree requirements during the summer are eligible to participate in this month’s ceremonies, since the August Commencement is no longer held.
Sarah Riordan, candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in speech through the School of Communications, will be student speaker. Riordan has maintained membership in the Honors Program throughout her time at UH Manoa, serving as a student mentor. In addition to her studies, Riordan has worked in the Nagatani Academic Center at UH Mānoa since her freshman year. Her experience tutoring fellow students has led her to aspire to a career in academics. Riordan will pursue a graduate degree in speech at UH Mānoa in the Fall.
Undergraduate Honors Program candidates are Mariam Fauzi Beard, Christina Marie Beyers, Eric Birkeland, Marissa-Lyn K. Chomko, Ailsa Cooper, Hannah Cooper, Ngoc Anh Thi Dao, Alan Herbert, Kara Hisatake, Alicia H. Huang, Jennifer Asako Ishimoto, Liana Kobayashi, Amanda Lee, Mary Susan Lopez, Kathy Nii, Monica Orcine, Kelly Ann C. Ota, Elyse C. N. Oyama, Michael A. Ortega, Damion Sailors, Jaclyn Mae Santos and Rachel Marie Shaddox.
Also receiving recognition during the ceremony will be Regents’ Scholars Shannon Kawika Yasuo Arakawa, Jerrica Kwai Fah Ching, Dayna K. Kitsuwa, Liana Kobayashi, Vivian Lin, David L. Nagashima, Katrina Estabillo Namnama, Elyse C. N. Oyama and Jessica N.G. Yuen.
Presidential Scholar graduates are Robert F. Gray and Damion Sailors.
The Board of Regents established the Regents’ and Presidential Scholarships in 1987 as the University’s first full scholarships based solely on academic excellence and reserved for Hawai‘i’s best high school and community college students.
Leach is the ninth Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He previously served 30 years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives. After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach joined the faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs until his confirmation as NEH chairman. 
A graduate of Princeton University, Leach received a Master of Arts degree in Soviet politics from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and did additional graduate studies at the London School of Economics. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he holds ten honorary degrees and has received numerous awards.
Governor Neil Abercrombie earned a Master’s degree in Sociology and PhD in American Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He served in the State House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979 and in the State Senate from 1979 to 1986.  From 1988 to 1990, Governor Abercrombie was elected to serve on the Honolulu City Council.
In 1990, Governor Abercrombie was elected to return to Congress and represented Hawai‘i’s first Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives until 2010.  While in Congress, he served as chairman of the Armed Forces Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, and a senior member on the Natural Resources Committee.  
Doors to the Stan Sheriff Center will open at 7:45 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and at 2 p.m. for the advanced degree ceremony. Both events are free and open to the public. No tickets are issued, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Balloons and strollers are not allowed inside the Stan Sheriff Center.
Free parking will be available in the lower campus parking structure, which will open at 6 a.m. Parking shuttle service will be provided for the undergraduate ceremony only. No shuttle service will be provided during the advanced degree ceremony. The shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and run a continuous route from the Biomedical Science Building to Krauss Circle.
Friends and family members may greet graduates following the ceremony on the football practice field (surnames A-L) and the soccer practice field (M-Z).Authorized lei vendors will be located in the areas. Authorized lei vendors will be located in the area.
There will be a live webcast of the ceremony. See the website at