Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui to deliver keynote address at May 4 UH West Oahu Commencement Ceremony

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Shan Tsutsui named Lt. Governor

Saturday, May 4, is a special day for University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu graduates who will be honored during spring commencement exercises held on the UH West O‘ahu Great Lawn. There will be 223 degrees and certificates awarded to the graduates. Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui will deliver the keynote address.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate spring commencement at our new Kapolei campus,” said Gene I. Awakuni, who was recently awarded the title of chancellor emeritus. “We are so proud of our graduates and wish them all the best as they pursue their career and life goals after leaving the university.”


“Graduation is such a special time for our students and their families,” said UH West O‘ahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas. “I am honored to take part in such an important step in the lives of our graduates and look forward to working with UH West O‘ahu faculty, staff and students in my new role as chancellor.”

Chancellor Emeritus Gene I. Awakuni will preside over the ceremony for the last time and Chancellor Rockne Freitas will confer degrees. University of Hawai‘i System President M.R.C. Greenwood and University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents’ James H.Q. Lee and Chuck Y. Gee will address and congratulate the graduates.

Kailene Nihipali, one of this year’s outstanding UH West O‘ahu graduates, will speak on behalf of the graduating class. A resident of Kapolei and mother of two, Nihipali is graduating with a Humanities degree with a concentration in Hawaiian-Pacific Studies. She works in prevention with Pacific Islander youth gangs and is in the development division of Pacific Historic Parks at the Arizona Memorial. She is a foster parent trainer for the State of Hawai‘i and plans to pursue a master’s degree following graduation while continuing to work with Pacific Islander youth.

UH West O‘ahu graduates will receive baccalaureate degrees in Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Public Administration and Social Sciences during the commencement ceremony. Graduates will also receive certificates in various programs including Applied Forensic Anthropology, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Health Care Administration, Risk Management and Insurance, and Substance Abuse and Addictions Studies.

All are welcome to attend commencement on the Great Lawn. Guests may arrive at 9:30 a.m. Commencement tickets will be distributed to graduates and seating is limited to those with tickets. Standing room is available for all other guests. The commencement ceremony will also be projected live on a big screen in the Campus Center room C208. Guests with disabilities are encouraged to view the ceremony from this location. Graduates will greet guests following the ceremony at 11 a.m. On campus parking is free and open to the public. Carpooling is encouraged.

The commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the UH West O‘ahu website at

About UH West O‘ahu

UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, regional comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. UH West O‘ahu serves approximately 2,000 students at its brand new, state-of-the-art campus that opened in the City of Kapolei in 2012. For more information, visit or call 689-2800 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.





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