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Elder Holland dedicates the new BYU-Hawaii multi-stake Center


August, 2002

Prophets have acknowledged that Laie is a spiritual focal point and source of international impact for good. All of us who have lived the BYU-Hawaii, Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii Temple and Laie experience have felt the truth of this in our hearts many times. Your overwhelmingly positive response to our Alumni Newsletter and the tender feelings you've shared for this special place confirm this time and again.

So the messages we heard and the spirit we felt during the course of BYU-Hawaii's June 22, 2002 graduation, and on the following day the dedication of the new multi-stake centerand the renovated David O. McKay Auditorium by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were exceptionally intense.

Because the respective speeches were also longer than our normal Alumni Newsletter format, we have set up separate web pages to cover:

Commencement and Elder Holland's address to over 300 June 2002 graduates.

The graduation luau and President Shumway inspirational address articulating BYU-Hawaii's special relationship with the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Tongan insights into our sacred duties.

Please click through to share a portion of the spirit we were privileged to experience during a wonderful week in June. Also, as usual, this newsletter includes:

News-bytes

and Alumni Updates below.


 

Elder Holland dedicates
the new BYU-Hawaii multi-stake Center

 
Over 1,500 attended BYU-Hawaii's new multi-stake center dedication on June 23, 2002.
 Photo by Elder Warren Bybee

A defining icon:
"This is the most special and significant moment in the history of the university, indeed, the history of Laie, which modern prophets have called a special place — a blessed place," President Eric B. Shumway told the audience of over 1,500 gathered June 23rd for the dedication of the new BYHU-Hawaii multi-stake center.

The beautiful new facility includes two chapels, a large cultural hall, two stake president office suites, two kitchens, 13 classrooms and 15 bishop's offices.

In his remarks, BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake President James Smith praised the builders and spoke of the many times he met with President Evans and President Shumway to plan and discuss the building, which will be used for both Church and academic functions.

"It finally dawned on me that we're a team with President Shumway," he said, "to assist the students…that we help them and prepare them, and pass them along to the Temple…and the 2nd Stake. I feel the glue that has held this together is President Shumway."

"In some ways we don't need this building," President Smith continued, pointing out that "many thousands of students have gained a testimony while meeting, for example, in the [BYU-Hawaii] dance studio," which has served as one of many Church rooms on campus over the years.

"I know many of you received your testimonies barefoot under a coconut tree," he added, before outlining three reasons why we've been blessed with the new multi-stake center:

  1. "To acknowledge the generosity of God's blessings."
  2. It "promotes our relationship with God and motivates us to keep our covenants."
  3. It's a "place of instruction where we learn the Gospel and review it regularly."

"I would like to encourage everyone of you who uses this building to remember its purposes," President Smith said.

BYU-Hawaii 2nd [married students] Stake President Norm Evans, conducting under the direction of Elder Holland, also thanked the builders and called the new facility located between TVA and the Library, with its imposing spire, an icon "that proclaims to the many thousands who come on our campus who we are and what we stand for."

 
(L-r) BYU-Hawaii 2nd Stake President Norm Evans, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake President James Smith.
— folifoto

"We should thank every single member of the Church who has faithfully donated their tithes and offerings," President Evans said in expressing his gratitude for the beautiful building. "For you single students [who are members of BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake], I want to do a little recruiting. This is the stake we'd like to get you to."

 "As beautiful as this building is, we must never forget its purpose — that Jesus is the Christ," he said.

An experiment toward Zion:
"I really, truly don't know when I've been in a finer dedication," responded Elder Holland, who has previously visited Laie many times in his respective roles as Commissioner of the Church Education System, president of BYU and a member of the Polynesian Cultural Center board of directors. "I'm just kind of speechless. That will surprise Sister Holland," he said.

Elder Holland noted that the new multi-stake center presents a "striking image" that blends well into the integrated campus, PCC, Church, Temple and community nature of Laie. "Laie has been a living laboratory of that forever," he said. "We don't live one way and then change our behavior when we change our roles…and I love you for that." In fact, Elder Holland said he sees Laie as "an experiment toward Zion."

"It's one of the few places in all the world we can do this," he said, pointing out that Nauvoo was another — and that every now and then the Church established a little community that moved us toward Zion "with a capital-Z. Laie is one of those."

"We can't do any better in this Church than to point to this community as a way to mix…and elevate the Saints," Elder Holland said. "There's something terrific about this little community. More and more, Laie is going to be a symbol of what we're trying to do," and Elder Holland agreed the new multi-stake center is an icon of that.

He also explained because the new facility will be used for both Church and academic purposes, that "something else happens today" in the evolution and meaning of the campus and community. "We shouldn't make more of it, but we shouldn't make less," particularly in a community like Laie, he said, referring to the fact that BYU-Hawaii students will "seek learning by study and by faith."

Stunning obligations:
Before dedicating the multi-stake center as well as the renovated David O. McKay Auditorium, Elder Holland bore powerful testimony: "This is the last and greatest of all dispensations," he said, explaining that this was a favorite phrase of Joseph Smith Jr. He also noted that quite a few people have wondered if September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States last year signaled that the Second Coming was near.

"Don't worry too much about when all of this is going to be concluded. We've got a lot to do," he said.

"We've been in the Second Coming for 182 years. It began in the Sacred Grove," Elder Holland continued, reminding us "…of the kind of lives we must live, the kinds of missionaries we must be."

 
The Shumways

Elder Holland explained that ours is the dispensation when temples have survived, with all of the subsequent work for the dead that must be accomplished. "It is our day to do the great missionary work of all times."

"We will never again number temples in the twos and tens," Elder Holland said. "We will talk about temples in the hundreds." He added that "every prophet who ever lived" knew this would happen in our dispensation.

"When we sing Hope of Israel, we're the 'hope.' This is the time. That's what you mean to me," Elder Holland said, explaining that we are the "hope of all who have gone before."

"Why us?" Elder Holland asked of our lives filled with modern conveniences and privileges. "Why are we the ones?"

"I'm not sure I can answer that, but I don't question that we're here," he said, adding that "we have stunning obligations" to those who have gone before."

Before Elder Holland dedicated the new facilities, he explained that stake center dedicatory prayers are not written — only the ones for temples. He also encouraged everyone in the congregation to silently offer their own dedicatory prayers.

"Let's dedicate ourselves," he said.


 

News-bytes

 
Gaspar

Seven All-Americans:
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently named seven members of BYU-Hawaii's 2002 dual national champion tennis teams as First-Team All-Americans. The Seasider women's team placed five players on the team and the men's team had two players honored.

Petra Gaspar, a senior from Budapest, Hungary, led the way for the women as a first team All-American in both doubles and singles for the fourth consecutive year. The ITA earlier named Gaspar as the NCAA II Women's National Senior Player of the Year. She was also named to the Verizon College Division At-Large Academic All-American Second Team, the Pacific West Conference All-Academic Team and the Region VII All-Academic Team.

Other BYU-Hawaii women honored include Adrienn Hegedus and Kellie Taguchi on the singles All-America team. Taguchi also made the doubles team, as didTagifano So'onalole-Taosoga and Tomoko Sukegawa for the Seasiders.

Jan Krejci and doubles partner Peter Madarassy represented BYU-Hawaii on the men's All-America team in both singles and doubles. The ITA honored Krejci earlier as the Men's NCAA II National Rookie of the Year.

The Seasiders became the first school in NCAA II history to win both the men's and women's national titles in the same year. The women finished the year with a 29-0 record while the men finished at 29-1.


 

Alumni Updates

Chapter News:

San Diego chapter chairman Adolf Singh ['81, Business Management] reported that over 70 people attended their 4th of July potluck. They are also working with the Provo alumni to set up a "Mormon night with the Padres" baseball game.

The Provo, UT alumni chapter will meet with Tommy Taurima [attended '62] and his New Zealand performing group on July 25th. For more information, contact chapter chairsDavid ['76, Accounting] and Sue Settle [attended '92].

Kiribati champions:
Kiribati chapter chair Kamatoa Babo ['99, Accounting] reports that fellow alum and former BYU-Hawaii soccer player Ruevita "Joe" Iotin ['99, Physical Education] recently coached and played for his Arorae island's soccer team that clinched the 2002 Kiribati National Soccer Championship using BYU-Hawaii standards and techniques.

Iotin thanked his former BYUH coaches — Raveen Rama ['86, Accounting], Norm Wrightand especially Bob Barry — for the skills and techniques he has now passed to his fellow teammates. He explained he first had to get permission from the elders on his island to use BYU-Hawaii training standards, then he had to train the players to use soccer equipment such as shin guards and especially boots, since most of his teammates have gone barefoot since birth and are allowed to play without footwear.

Catch up with old friends:
Your response to our newsletter is both heart-warming and pleasantly surprising in volume: We continue to receive your updates and comments, a sampling of which follows:

 
The CCH cafeteria…1963

1960s

Retired journalism professor Ralph Barney, who has submitted several items to our newsletter, recently wrote again to let 1960s-early '70s alumni know that popular CCH education professor Robert Laird passed away in June. Other CCH faculty and students at the funeral included Duane and Peggy Anderson, former Academic Dean KayAndersonLynn Tyler and his wife, Rossand Maureen Allen ("Ross was also in education at CCH"), Gordon Thomas, andPatoa ['68, Industrial Education] andJuanita Chang ['70, TESL] Benioni.

"Although so many years have gone by since I attended CCH," wrote Sandra Phippen Saxon [attended '67], who now lives in Hopkinton, NH, "I can never forget the circle of friends I made. The ethnic melting pot in my 8-room dorm area was an education in itself…a smorgasbord of love and education." Sandra added that while here she met her first husband, the late Michael Blout [attended 1967], who was the "only Caucasian on the rugby team" at the time.

Tiva Ieli Sievinen ['68, Elementary Education], who is originally from Rotuma, Fiji, has been living and teaching elementary school in Stuart, FL, for almost 30 years. "Last week my husband, Dick, was in California and returned with a copy of Kaleo o Koolauloa [Laie community newspaper]. I was thrilled and read every corner and line. I'm so hungry for news of my old and favorite stomping ground," she wrote. "Please let me know if there's anyone from our 'era' that I can communicate with."

1970s

Margie Goodman Johnson [attended '72] was a relatively new LDS convert when she left her home in the Washington DC area to attend CCH. "Generous and loving friends warmed me immediately," she said, adding she enjoyed her role as Catherine Ann in the 1971 Fall musical, The Order of Love.

Robert Woods ['73, Physical Education] who lives in Mililani and teaches at Kahuku High, said, "Attending CCH was the most pivotal point of my life. Prior to attending, my wife,Sheila Lei Alatan Woods ['73, Home Economics] was baptized a member of the Church and I was subsequently reactivated. At CCH we both desired to know our Hawaiian heritage and prepared to dance at PCC and participated in the Hawaiian Club the duration of our enlightening years at the school. But the most significant point was our eternal marriage and sealing at the Hawaii Temple, 1970. Now some three decades plus later we have four children, one grandson and two on the way. What a blessing our years were at CCH. We treasure those special and endearing times with friends forever."

Elizabeth Hubbard lives in Provo, UT and is president of a network switching company. After graduating from CCH ['73, Psychology/Sociology] she studied law for two years at the U. of Auckland and taught university for a decade in the San Francisco area. "None of my other academic experiences can hold a candle to the education I received at CCH," she writes, adding she learned four important things while here:

"The first thing I learned at CCH was that peoples of different cultures, skin colors and languages could indeed live together in peace and harmony as long as they shared the common bond of our Savior's love. Somewhere during my time at CCH, I became color blind."

"The second thing I learned at CCH was that if one is willing to work, there is no limit as to what can be achieved. I saw students arriving from The Philippines and South Korea with little more than the clothes on their backs. Working and going to school, these students, in fact just about all students…worked their way to a better life with a higher standard of living."

"The third thing…I learned mainly from the Tongans: I learned about faith. I learned that true faith is devoid of intellectual analysis. Logic is not a factor to be reasoned with. Faith is the simple childlike trust and belief in the supreme power of our Heavenly Father to heal the sick and raise the dead. No questions asked. No doubts raised."

"The last thing I learned at CCH is love. I have not kept in touch with most of the people I met during my years at CCH on an individual basis, but on a global basis, my heart fills with genuine love for the peoples of the Pacific isles and the Pacific Rim. Prior to my experiences at CCH, I had a negative reaction to people who said, 'I love each and every one of you,' when they did not even know our names. I didn't think they could possibly mean what they said. Life at CCH taught me that the love of Christ can enable each of us to genuinely love all of our father's children."

"Yes, I received a good formal education in academic arenas that has led me into the executive office, but these other four lessons learned have led me through life."

Guy Dickson [attended '74] , who is married to Debbie Smith [attended '72], e-mailed from Irvine, CA, that he will never forget his time in Laie. "I made friends and memories there that will stay with me forever. I wish that more of life could be as it was in Laie… The world would be a better place. I know that my life was made better…and a part of me remains there still. Guy interrupted his CCH studies to serve a mission in Japan, then came back to Laie and taught for a year at the Asian-Pacific Language Training Mission on campus. Remember that?

Dale Mooso [attended '74-75], who started attending BYU-Hawaii while still a senior at Kahuku High, said because he grew up in Laie and his mother [Dorothy Kuwada Mooso], graduated in '67 [Business Education], that "the college has been a great part of my family heritage." Dale is now an assistant professor at Alamo Community College in San Antonio, TX.

Bale Taginoa Walker [attended '77] and her husband, John Walker ['80, Biology] now live in Berrian Springs, MI.

1980s

Lindsay Hamon ['80, Business Management] is a regional manager for Carich, a computer training company in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Thomas Wellman [attended '80], controller and assistant treasurer for Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. in Honolulu, said BYU-Hawaii not only provided "a foundation for a family and career, but it gave me a deep appreciation and respect for other cultures. The friends I met during my BYUH days remain some of my closest 'family'."

An '84 accounting graduate, Akio Seino, is now a principal with Ernst & Young in Columbus, OH, who misses "the environment of BYUH where it is so easy to mingle with people from different countries and learn from their cultures."

Bret LeSueur ['87, Biology], a physician living in Spanish Fork, UT, said he "enjoyed every aspect of my time at BYUH and only wish I could have stayed longer. I have been through medical school and postgraduate education and I have yet to meet someone from another university who had a better school to prepare them for medicine. Thanks to all the wonderful staff and especially Dr. Randy Day for all his guidance and friendship. I truly see my old professors as friends. I don't know many people who can say that."

1990s

Maia Smith [attended '91] came to Laie in 1979 with her parents, Cleo and Hana Smith who worked in the PCC's Maori village. "Although I am from New Zealand and love my own country, Laie will ALWAYS be my second home that I love," said Maia, who lives in Hamilton.

Lori Lathen ['94, Business Management], who works as a branch manager for an employment service in Houston, TX, wrote that "BYUH was an excellent and rewarding experience. I'm so grateful to have received my education from such a wonderful school, with such caring and dedicated staff members."

Marnie Madrid Goulding ['94, Elementary Education/Music] who now lives in Sierra Vista, AZ, said that after moving to California, "I quickly learned what an awesome school BYUH is. I felt the education I received exceeded students at California schools. This was particularly true in the elementary education area. I would love to do it all over again. The years spent at BYUH were some of the best years of my life." Marnie's husband, Thomas Goulding, also attended BYU-Hawaii in '89 and from '92-94.

Shaun Parry ['94, Music Vocal] e-mails from New York City that he is working on Broadway shows and dance concerts, and is trying to write a play that may incorporate Polynesian motifs.

We heard from Kepi ['95, Accounting and IS] and Shauna Gooch Foliaki [attended '93-95], who now live in Mesa, AZ, where he's a CPA and real estate agent, and she's a fulltime mom: "Our memories of Laie and BYUH are so dear to our hearts. Life was tough, especially at TVA, going to school fulltime and working to support our family. However, those hardships are not the memories of BYUH that we have. We remember the close and humble friendships that we have with one another. We remember those loving and very understanding professors at school…individuals like Brothers Thornock and Lloyd Munson. We miss our days at Laie. Thank you for such fond memories."

Raphael Chibota ['93, IS] e-mails from his home in Zimbabwe, where he was recently released as bishop, that he works as a systems administrator, got married, has a four-year-old daughter, and has nearly finished building a family house.

Kristina Blunck Puriri ['96, Political Science] lives in Highland, UT, with her husband Michael and their three children. She e-mailed: "I will always consider Hawai'i my second home and hopefully we will have the opportunity to return someday to stay a while or forever."

 
Mandarin Club…1998 Foodfest

Yutaka ['97, International Business] and Katia Kamegawa [attended '95], who were married while at BYU-Hawaii, said they have not been getting as much e-mail since they moved from Japan to Tours, France.

Melina Jonassen Tuiravakai ['97, Pacific Island Studies] now works for the BYU-Hawaii ITS team. Tuiravakai previously worked for Oracle and Microsoft before returning to her alma mater.

Jamie Dearman ['99, Elementary and Special Education], is a teacher in Lodi, CA: "As I see other new teachers graduating and entering the work field, I am very grateful for the level of education I received at BYU-Hawaii."

2000s

"One of the best portions of my life was spent attending BYUH…where I met wonderful people from all parts of the world and was taught by professors with integrity, intelligence, dedication and love," writes Florence Prasad ['00, Tourism Management], a home and electronics store manager in Hayward, CA.

Danelle ['01, Elementary Education] and Benjamin Fobert ['01, Social Studies Education], now live in Campbell, CA, where he's a high school band and choir director and she is an apartment manager. They fondly recall their band and choir trips to the neighbor islands, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand."Laie will always have a special place in our hearts as it is our first home as married people. No words can express the place we have in our heart for BYUH and the community of Laie."

Angilene Benson Lloyd ['01, Psychology] said BYU-Hawaii was the "perfect place for me to prepare for a mission and eventually meet my eternal companion" — Trevor Lloyd['00, Psychology]. "I will forever thank my Father in Heaven for allowing BYU-Hawaii to exist and for having the choice opportunity of learning there. My experience in the little town of Laie has shaped the rest of my eternal existence." The Lloyds live in La Mesa, CA.

And, finally, we've heard back already from two new graduates: Giovanni (John) Vottari['02, IS] is working for Australia Post in Adelaide, South Australia; and Kyle Mauldin ['02, IS], who is married to Amanda Kay Blackwelder ['02, EXS], works for EDS in San Diego, CA. Kyle recommends BYU-Hawaii to "anyone and everyone. I loved every minute of my four years there. I'm so proud to say that I attended and graduated from BYUH. It's the easiest way to start talking about the Church. I'll be able to use this tool forever. Thank you and Aloha."

 

Collecting the information and preparing our July 2002 Alumni Newsletter has been an incredibly enriching experience for me. A former CCH acquaintance recently e-mailed me and said how fortunate I am to live in Laie…but I've known that for 35 years. Mahalo nui for the privilege of working with you, of reading your comments and feedback, and sharing the spirit of your own special experiences at BYU-Hawaii.

Mike Foley ['70, TESL]
Alumni Association President
and Newsletter Editor