REPORT FROM HPU — Classes begin today for Hawai‘i Pacific University, the state’s largest private, not-for-profit university enrolling some 8,000 students from the United States and more than 80 foreign nations.
This marks the beginning of the university’s 47th year. Founded in 1965 as Hawaii Pacific College, it absorbed Honolulu Christian College and Hawaii Loa College along the years on its way to becoming HPU.
Today, the university has three major presences. The Downtown Campus is surrounded by a historic district that includes the State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Fort Street and the nation’s oldest continually operating cathedral. The residential Hawai‘i Loa Campus is nestled in 135 lush, verdant acres in Kaneohe, and is home to College of Natural and Computational Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. And the university’s major research affiliate, the Oceanic Institute, is located on a 56-acre site at Makapu‘u Point on the windward coast of O‘ahu.
Here’s what’s new and different at HPU, as the Fall semester begins today:
- Bannister begins year two: HPU President Geoffrey Bannister recently completed his first year as the university’s leader, making major progress in areas ranging from funding for facilities improvements to creation of an HPU strategic plan. He begins this fall with a substantially new leadership team and plans for an exciting 2012-13 school year.
- Enrollment: approximately 8,000 (final figures available after the 4th week of the fall term), with more students studying online than ever before.
- Graduates: HPU graduated its largest class ever at Spring Commencement – more than 950 undergraduate and graduate degree earners. Nearly 300 students are already registered to graduate at Winter Commencement ceremonies in December.
- New student organizations: The Sustainable Agriculture Club launches this fall, with a focus on stewarding the garden at the Hawai‘i Loa Campus and promoting local, sustainable food production. For more information, contact Advisor Josh Prigge at email@example.com
- Enhanced intercampus shuttle service: After introducing new shuttle buses serving the Hawai‘i Loa and Downtown campuses in 2011-12, the university has added eight additional trips between the campuses during peak usage periods, starting this semester. The shuttle schedule is available online.
- New ride sharing program: HPU Greenride allows students and staff to find commuting partners to share the ride to campus, to reduce fuel usage and carbon emissions.
- New athletics team: Women’s golf, expanding to 13 the total number of women’s and men’s intercollegiate athletics teams at HPU
- New athletics Hall of Fame class: Championship coaches Howard Okita and Tony Sellitto, along with several outstanding athletes, will be recognized at the S.H.A.R.X. Benefit at Aloha Tower Sept. 28.