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August, 2002

 

News-bytes: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will address over 300 graduates on June 22nd; BYU-Hawaii to replace the old swimming pool with a bigger one; School of Business students compete in a national free enterprise competition; and PCC resumes several major renovations, including an Easter Island display.

Faculty/staff members bid aloha: Former administrator and Religious Instruction professor Merlin Waite, who has served for 33 years at BYU-Hawaii, represents those retiring this year.

Alumni Updates: Our May Alumni Newsletter generated more responses than ever before. See if you remember any of these alums, as well as a number of Church College of Hawaii faculty. Catch up on where they're at and what they're doing. Also, Provo and Honolulu get new alumni chapter chairs, and alumni in American Samoa reach a milestone of giving.


News-bytes:

 
When completed in the fall, the new BYU-Hawaii
pool will accommodate intercollegiate water polo.

June 2002 commencement:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is scheduled to address over 300 BYU-Hawaii graduates during commencement exercises on June 22. The next day he will dedicate the new multi-stake center on campus. The July issue of the Alumni Newsletter will provide coverage of both events.

The BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association will honor several board of director members who have completed their terms in office, and introduce their replacements during the luau for graduates and their guests in the CAC on June 20th. Read about that, too, in the next issue.

Longer, wider, deeper:
The BYU-Hawaii swimming pool in the Old Gym is literally now just a hole in the ground, as construction crews hurry to complete the renovation project by early September. University officials authorized enlarging the pool to accommodate the new BYU-Hawaii men's intercollegiate water polo program. BYUH Physical Plant Director Judd Whetten said the new pool will measure approximately 117' X 54'. The old pool was approximately 75' X 42'.

Freely enterprising:
The BYU-Hawaii Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team sponsored by the College of Business was first runner-up in their league and one of the top 30 teams among more than 150 at the national SIFE Exposition in Kansas City, MO. This year's SIFE team sponsored more than 30 free enterprise projects, including microfinance work in The Philippines and Viet Nam. Read more about it.

 
PCC is proceeding with $1.1 million in renovations, including a new Rapa Nui (Easter Island) display.

Easter Island comes to PCC:
As visitor counts to Hawaii strengthen following the post-9/11 downturn, thePolynesian Cultural Center has resumed over $1.1 million in capital improvement projects, including a renovated front entrance building and a permanent Rapa Nui (Easter Island) display.

PCC construction crews are opening up the front entrance building by moving the ticket booths to the side, adding new carvings and graphics, relocating Polynesian artifacts from the Migrations Museum, and creating huge overhead star murals. The two service buildings in the inner courtyard will also be relocated, with canoe and Polynesian Triangle displays to take their places. The crews will construct the Rapa Nui area — complete with amoai stone monument in production — on Coconut Island, between the Samoan/Maori villages and the 1850s Missionary Complex. Read more about it; and remember: PCCoffers a discount to BYU-Hawaii alumni with alumni ID. Contact the Alumni Affairs office if you need a copy of your ID.

Don't forget the Education for Daily Living Conference at BYU-Hawaii from August 8-10. Chieko Okazaki and President Shumway are among the many excellent speakers.


A fond aloha:

Eight BYU-Hawaii faculty and staff members — including Margaret BakerFred Bigbie,Gerald BohnetOpura Mo'oTomasi NaeataPercy Tehira and Betty Versteeg — are retiring at the end of the spring or summer term. Several have given over 30 years or more of service to the university, Church and community.

 
Merlin Waite...retiring after 33 years.

On the day we interviewed Religious Education professor Merlin Waite as a representative of the group, he took a break from moving out of his office to share his plans and mana'o (thoughts): "We'll go to the mainland to visit family, then we'll put in our papers and go on a mission," he said.

In his early career, Waite, who is originally from Logan, Utah, taught Seminary and public school in Utah and Arizona before earning a master's degree in speech from Utah State. He also served fulltime in the Mexican Mission. After returning, he was drafted into the Army, and at the same time set apart to serve in the South German Mission in the evenings among his fellow soldiers. "We baptized 40 in the first three months," he said.

Waite came to Church College of Hawaii in 1968 as a speech communications instructor. He and his wife, Lila, and eventually their six children (another died as a child) settled in Hauula, and over the years all of the children attended BYU-Hawaii, including: Laurie Flores ['94, BS, Elementary Education], who teaches at Hauula Elementary ("Her oldest boy is in the MTC right now," Waite said.); Paul ['92, BS, Elementary Education], who teaches at Heeia Elementary; Monty ['97, BSW, Social Work], who is in grad school in Portland OR to become a male nurse; Maria Mahana Nobre ['94, BS, Elementary Education], now teaching at Ke Uka Elementary in Mililani; Delmar [attended '91], a massage therapist at the Manele Bay Hotel on Lanai; and John ['01, BS, Computer Science]. "John and Hiromi [Kochi Waite, a current student] just had their first child.

"Laurie married a Mexican, Paul married a Hawaiian, Monty married a full Filipina, Maria married a Portuguese and is now married to an Uruguayan, Delmar is single, and John has a full-blood Japanese wife. We consider ourselves quite an international family," Waite said.

The senior Waites plan to return to their home in Hauula after their mission. After all, he served as bishop of Hauula 1st Ward, and many people remember he was a Laie Stake counselor and then more recently served nine years as Laie Stake president. In between, Waite also spent seven years as executive secretary under three presidents in the Hawaii-Honolulu Mission. During that time, he recalls "I was the branch president for everybody in Micronesia who didn't have a branch. I did Temple interviews by letter."

On campus, Waite initially taught speech and then worked for a couple of years on the executive council in a position now equivalent to the Dean of Students, which required him to deal with Honor Code violations. "The real joy of being here is the students. They're good, basically," Waite said. "You deal with such a small percentage, in terms of violations. Most of the rebellious recognized that they were out of order."

Asked what changes stick out in his mind since he started teaching, Waite replied that even though he is "older than some of these buildings, the classrooms have been greatly upgraded. The air conditioning has made it nice for teaching. Many of the new buildings are really a boon. For example, the new student stake center is absolutely grand and marvelous. The Religion Division will move into there, and many of our classes will be taught there."

Waite said he especially enjoyed his time in the classroom. "I was asked to be the New Testament specialist, but I've also taught Book of Mormon every semester. I enjoy family history as a hobby, and I've also taught that. In fact, the older I get, the more interested I get in Church history. We're going on a Church history tour this summer that starts in Boston and ends up in Winter Quarters."

 

Waite estimated he has taught thousands of BYU-Hawaii students over the years. "For a number of years I would have 90 students in each class. We used to be in GCB 185." But, he added, he saw his role as more than teaching. "We were dealing with people's strengths, helping people develop testimonies, go on missions and get married in the Temple.

"You learn some choice things about people. For example, years ago I had a girl from Hong Kong whose family didn't want to cross the border at the crossing. She told me they decided to swim across…'and I heard my family scream one by one during the night. The sharks got them. I was the only one that made it.'

"I'm very grateful that the brethren have been so kind in making this place available for people who would otherwise not be able to get an education," Waite continued, describing BYU-Hawaii as a place of refuge.

"I truly believe that the statement made in the Book of Mormon, that those who would come to America would be brought by the Lord, has special application here. I heard Mark E. Peterson say that once from the pulpit in the Auditorium; and the idea that there are things they will learn here that they will not get anywhere else, that will prepare them for some future time."


 

Alumni Updates:

Chapter chairs and affairs:
New Alumni chapter chairs David ['76, BS, Accounting] and Sue Settle [attended '92] have succeeded Roberto Culas ['86, BS, Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management] and his wife, Jennifer, in Provo, Utah; while Sandra Sagisi-Moser ['83, AA, Theater] now heads the Honolulu chapter.

Congratulations to the American Samoa chapter — the first to reach 100 donors to theKeith & Carol Jenkins Matching Fund, which means they receive an additional $2,500 for their scholarship fund. The Tonga chapter, meanwhile, has the most money in their fund.Brent Schwenke ['81, BS, Travel Industry Management; '82, BS, Accounting] and his wife, Tagi Faumuina Schwenke [attended '79] chair the American Samoa chapter, whileSuliasi ['79, BS, Biological Science] and Peggy Similai Kaufusi [attended '79] head up the Tonga alumni.

The Oregon/Southwest Washington chapter chair Kathleen Snyder Taukolo ['98, BSW, Social Work] and her husband, Motekiai, report they held a great spring reunion. In fact, they've included a reunion slideshow on their website.

Need a date?
Here are a few to keep in mind: July 4th: The San Diego chapter will hold a 4th of July Summer potluck at Holiday Park in Carlsbad, CA, from 2-5 p.m.; e-mail chapter chairsAdolf ['81, BS, Business Management] and Avis Cabacungan Singh ['78, AS, Secretarial Science] or call 760-434-6473 for details.

July 13th: The San Francisco chapter will hold its summer potluck at Scott Creek Chapel from 11-5; contact Raymond Jou ['90, BS, Computer Science] at 408-568-8989, Felix Cheung ['93, BS, Information Systems] at 510-794-4328, or Nohea Bersamin Nakaahiki [attended '81-84] at 831-439-7630.

July 20th: The Washington chapter summer potluck will be held at Lake Tapps, starting at 3 pm. Contact chairs Ben ['89, BS, Business Information] and Cathy Hosack Lim ['92, BA, History], or Ahlberg ['82, BS, Business Management] and Tia Auna ['89, BS, Business Management].

Also, though the details are not set, the Salt Lake City chapter is planning an event in August, and the Los Angeles chapter hopes to get together with the PCC Promo Team in September. Stay tuned, and stay in touch!

Third time's the charm:
Our May Alumni newsletter issue received "choke" (i.e. 'lots of' in Standard English; or 'uku pile' in Hawaiian English, for those of you who have been away a long time) replies, so the word's getting around among our fellow alumni. In fact, we received so many responses we can't possibly publish all of them, but here's a sampling you might find interesting:

Brian Carrington [attended '81] thinks we have an "awesome alumni newsletter...thumbs up.  Keep this up and you just may change the way we keep in touch." Daniel Schubert[attended '98 with his wife, Cheryl], who works for Uniglobe Focus Travel in Traunstein, Germany, submitted similar thoughts:  "I miss Hawaii and I am excited about every bit of information I can get from the place that has had such a big impact on my life and that of my family. Thank you very much for your efforts."

Former Alumni Affairs Director Meli Lesuma ['87, BS, Human Resource Development], who recently returned to BYU-Hawaii from Fiji and is now with Multicultural Student Services, wrote that our Newsletter "is first class in so many ways. Thanks for your talents, vision and closeness to the Lord. Is this a partial fulfillment of what President Kimball many years ago said that, 'The story of Mormonism has never yet been written nor painted nor sculptured nor spoken. It remains for inspired hearts and talented fingers yet to reveal themselves. They must be faithful, inspired, active church members to give life and feeling and true perspective to a subject so worthy...' I believe it is. Mahalo again."

 
1963: The CCH tennis team plays its first intercollegiate match in Hilo. 2002: The BYU-Hawaii men's tennis team wins its first NCAA-II national title. The women's team also captured their national title, for a historic dual victory.

We mentioned last issue that national champion UH men's volleyball coach Mike Wilton ['72, BS, Physical Education] was a candidate to replace BYU coach Carl McGowan: He has since decided to stay at Manoa and has been named volleyball coach of the year by the national coaches association.

CCH faculty feedback: And speaking of volleyball, former CCH faculty memberRobert W. Donigan (1964-67), who is now retired in Waimea, Hawaii, pointed out that the May Newsletter incorrectly stated McGowan was a CCH student: Kala mai (sorry)! He was the men's coach in the late 1960s, and then went on to a distinguished career at BYU. Donigan, by the way, said he keeps himself busy playing tennis and writing biographies of his seven children.

Former CCH instructor Merrill L. Tew (1963-72) wrote to point out the same mistake — mahalo. Tew, whose distant cousin Glade Tew currently teaches in the School of Business, said his Australian student, Norm Harris ['72, BA, Music], forwarded a copy of the last newsletter to him.

Finally, CCH journalism professor Ralph Barney — who also launched the Polynesian Cultural Center's first PR efforts — wrote that former education professor Ivan Musepassed away a couple of months ago. He reported that after teaching in Laie, Muse transferred to BYU where he became an authority on rural education. Barney, who is now retired, also transferred to BYU and is a leading authority on media ethics. For example, he recently conducted workshops in Indonesia and is the current editor of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

Ron Lowell who attended the summer of '71 after graduating from Kahuku High, is the son of CCH volleyball and rugby coach John Lowell ('66-'71). Coach Lowell, a retired Marine officer, initiated the infamous "pain barrier" conditioning for CCH athletes. Ron said he would love to hear from his "many friends who went to CCH during that time frame."

Aaron Nicholes ['93, BS, International Business Management] and his wife, Joyce Nicholes, now live in the North Idaho panhandle town of Post Falls ("It's beautiful, but COLD in the winter," he writes), where Aaron works as the business manager for a dermatology group and she is a stay-at-home mom with their three children and a Relief Society president calling.

Former ASBYUH Student Body President Sai Naivalu ['01, BS, Accounting] got married last month to Angel Mathews [attended '01] in the St. George Temple.

Richard Fung ['82, BS, Hotel Management] e-mailed us from Hong Kong that "both my wife [Berinda Man Han T. Fung, '81, BS; Travel, Hotel, Restaurant Management] and I love to hear news about BYUH because we miss the great time that we had when we were students there, a place where we met and got married in the Laie Hawaii temple." He added that their son, Dixon Haipo Fung, attended BYU-Hawaii for two years before starting to serve in the Australia-Sydney North mission.

Scott Doying (attended '80-81), and his wife Susie Dastrup Doying, (attended '81), said he has been trying for years to find a way to stay in contact with the school and the people I met there. You are now providing me with a way to do this. Thanks." The Doyings have been living in Idaho for the last 16 years where he teaches school, runs with the ambulance as an EMT, works as a reserve deputy in the sheriff's office, and fights wildfires in the summer for the Bureau of Land Management. Susie raises four children, sang with a country band for several years, and now sings at a local restaurant. "Every few years when we can scrape up the money, we return to Hawaii and BYUH for a visit," they said.

Yvonne Aitu ['99, BS, Information Systems] e-mailed that she's back home in Fiji for now, but plans to live in San Jose, CA, after she marries Peter Mafileo — "the brother of my favorite companion on the mission" — on August 31st. Congratulations.

Grant Stone ['77, BS, Business Management] saw a BYU-Hawaii Magazine in an acupuncture clinic, and let us know that he and his wife, Sheryl Ann Jones Stone ('74-78) have been in Hamilton, New Zealand since 1978. Following a three-year stint working at CCNZ, the couple owned a series of successful businesses and has also been very involved in Church service. He said BYU-Hawaii "was a wonderful and challenging time, and totally worth it! We still keep in contact with many friends in Hawaii, Salt Lake and Idaho." Grant added he's still very interested in photography, and has 14 albums from Laie days.

Tamra Murdoch Cikaitoga ['75, BS, Elementary Education], who is now a parks and recreation director in St. Anthony, ID, said she would attend BYUH again "in a heartbeat! From the cockroaches to the mold growing in the closet. The dorms in the early 1970s were less than perfect, yet I remember only the warmest of friendships and the constant spirit of Aloha. Two things stand out in my mind when I think of the years I attended school in Laie: First, the eternal friends I made, and continue to associate with, plus the opportunity to truly understand the concept of a worldwide Church. What a blessing it was to live as a minority and learn." Tamra added she recently held a reunion with her "campus rowdy" group: Karma Hackney ['74, BA, Speech and Dramatic Arts], Cheryl Blasnek['76, BA, English-TESL] and Jacque Clay Smith ['76, BA, Social Work]. "We continue to be the best of friends," she wrote.

 
1985: IBM PCs are introduced in the Typing Lab

Reed Hokanson ['84, AS, Electronic Technology] is an automation engineer for Eli Lilly and Company in Raleigh, NC. He met and married his wife, Louisa Kameda Hokanson ['83, BA, English] at BYU-Hawaii: "I was her home teacher, and we all went through the Hurricane 'Iwa experience [on November 23, 1982]. Many parts of the island (as was Laie) were without power or running water. As fate would have it, it was during Thanksgiving week, and I remember eating under emergency power a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner on campus. We waited in a long line for our free dinner, as did everyone, rich and poor. I remember going to Goo's Store for bread when the truck arrived the next day. I quickly delivered one fresh loaf to my home teaching family — now my wife."

And a couple more quick updates…

Siaosi Tuihalangingie ['99, Political Science] and his wife, Rosemarie Tagelagi ['99, History] now live in Alofi, Niue. Jennifer Belnap [attended in '97], is in Germantown, MD, and works as a Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah. Changsup Yang [attended '86] is an instructor at Soonchunhyang University in Choongnam, South Korea. Kenneth Quinn ['93, BA, English Education] and his wife, Beverly Jo Hall Quinn, [attended '85] now live in Wrightwood, CA. He teaches in nearby Phelan, CA. Jamie Kaku['96, BS, International Business] and his wife, Rie Nakajima ['96, BA, TESOL] live in Matsudo, Japan, where he's a financial risk manager. José dos Santos ['95, BA, English] is an adjunct professor at Faculdades Santa Cruz in Curitiba Paraná, Brazil. Craig Brandow ['70, BS, Biology Education] is a school counselor for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Espanola, NM. He and his wife, Kwen-lynn Kamae, used to dance for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Etimani Lafaele ['87, BS, Elementary Education] and his wife,Susan Peery Lafaele ['87, BS, Business Education] live in St. George. And Brysen Poulton ['00, BA, International Cultural Studies-Communications] is a researcher and media analyst for the Hawaii State Legislature.

A Hui Hou:
Well, that's it for another issue. We want you to know we're still working on an online directory so you can look up former classmates; also, we would like to know if any of you whose names and e-mail links were published in an Alumni Newsletter have been contacted because of it by former classmates. Send us your comments, and more importantly, stay in e-touch with each other. Until next time, ALOHA NUI,

Mike Foley ['70, BA, TESL]
Editor and President-Elect