2005 Alumni eNewsletter contains the following:
- Choral reunion a harmonious success
- 600-plus attend Utah Chapter Jubilee luau
- President Shumway undertakes Jubilee tour through Pacific
- A call for quilters
- Various groups plan Jubilee meets
- Jubilee souvenirs now available
- Seasider 'Athletes of Year' named
& Chapter News
- Alumni Association plans Big Island Jubilee tour
- BYUH, PCC officials meet with Fiji alumni and prospective
- SSA meets with Indonesia Area Authority on tsunami
- June graduation banquet details set
- Kokua Kahuku High alumni
Elder W. Rolfe Kerr
Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, a member of The First Quorum of
the Seventy who was recently
named Commissioner of the Church Education System (CES), which
came to Laie in March to learn more about the campus. In addition to
at a devotional, Elder Kerr also met with the university faculty
staff so they "could get better acquainted with me."
Elder Kerr explained he came from a farm background
studied agriculture at Utah State University, which eventually
to his career in educational administration. He served as
Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and then as a vice president
of BYU. "We
had a marvelous experience there. I developed a love for that
and what Church education means," he said.
Five years later Elder Kerr was asked to serve as Utah
of Higher Education, a position he filled for eight years before
as a mission president in Texas. In the closing months of his
1996, he was called to The Second Quorum of the Seventy, and a year
that to the First Quorum.
Several months ago President Gordon B. Hinckley
appointed Elder Kerr, who
will turn 70 in June, to succeed Elder Henry B. Eyring as the CES
Elder Kerr indicated he had been "deeply touched" by
what he had
felt at BYU-Hawaii. "I sensed a great commitment that you have made
to give yourselves to this institution and the students you serve,
you serve, and to your academic disciplines. While I know that the
are the object of your effort, I also know the faculty are the heart
institution." He added that the administrators and staff members are
also "a very essential part of this enterprise."
He shared the following lesson he learned while at
I were to be concerned and focused on my own success, then surely I
fail. But if I could create an environment where the faculty could
the grounds people could succeed, the custodians, the secretaries,
office, the admissions office, etc., then the institution would
"As administrators and staff people, we have a major
to contribute and facilitate the success of the faculty, for the
object of facilitating the success of the students," he continued.
I see it, the major focus of this institution is the hearts and
these wonderful 2,400 students who are here. I also know that we
truly give our lives to the blessing of these students."
Asked if he had formulated a vision yet of how the
BYUs could work together, Elder Kerr responded, "My first effort
has been to understand what the current vision of each of the
is in the eyes of our Board of Trustees, in the eyes of the
themselves, and to see initially how those visions are being
in existing mission statements, accreditation documents, etc."
"Then my intent would be, with appropriate institutional representatives
and ultimately the Board, to do whatever tweaking may be needed to
of those mission statements," he said, noting for example that BYU-Idaho
has done an excellent job. "Their effort, much like your own, is
people for their future careers: a good solid education covering the
a broad general education that will build strong citizenship, and a
will see them through to employment opportunities. They have a major
internships, just as you do."
Elder Kerr told the group that the objective of the
and the First Presidency is to build the Kingdom of God around
the world. "It's
not just a desire to educate people and get them back home. It's
them with leadership abilities and intercultural kinds of things
they can go back home and be forces for good, strength, power
in those communities, in those countries, and also in the Church."
"The Brethren feel very, very keenly this need to
build the base of Church
membership capabilities throughout the world," he continued. "As
a faculty and staff, everything you can do to prepare these young
and really buy into this issue — that they become an extension of
and His efforts in preparing themselves to return to their homelands
build the Kingdom and build their communities — that's the heart of
Asked what might happen when President Shumway
retires, Elder Kerr said, "There's a great sense of confidence
in President Shumway, and
there's no desire to make any changes. When that time does come, as
it will some day, there will be another Eric Shumway that will stand
shoulders for this institution." He added that such decisions are
under the direction of the president of the Church.
"You can look forward with confidence to the near
future that no changes are anticipated. In the long term,
will be inspired and I have every reason to have confidence in
Asked what role BYU-Hawaii might play in the future of
Laie and the surrounding communities, Elder Kerr replied, "The
nature of this community, even with its growth, it seems to me
a place for them. We've got to keep our primary focus on the
but there ought to be a continuing sense of identity in both
The institution with the community, and the community with the
"People with the community can participate in
kinds of activities and feel like they're still part of the
added with any future growth or development, "this institution needs
to be very, very sensitive about not imposing anything on the
creates undue friction. There just has to be a marvelous working
The local community, in many ways, is part of this institution,
Asked what the faculty and staff might do differently,
Elder Kerr stressed, "The
best answer is to make sure we don't lose the focus on the
described in Mosiah 23:18: Therefore they did watch over their
and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.
"We need to watch over the people that we are serving
here, and nourish them in the academic disciplines that they
and nourish them also in things pertaining to righteousness."
"As faculty and staff members, we need to think
in terms of not teaching mathematics and not teaching
not teaching English, but teaching hearts and souls. We're
and we're changing lives. We just happen to be using our
Elder Kerr also expressed "deep appreciation for
all that you're doing under these very special circumstances in
you find yourselves. There is a very high level of confidence
in you. It's a confidence that comes out of the expertise that
the commitment that you have to the students."
"Remember that principle," he concluded, "that
your success will be measured in the hearts and souls of future
of the people you've come here to serve."
Choral reunion honors Dr. James
Over 140 alumni and Laie community members who have sung under
direction of BYU-Hawaii music professor Dr. James A. Smith — about a
them from off-island — joined the Golden Jubilee Choral Reunion in his
to present a concert on Saturday, April 9, and participated in a
Sunday evening, April 10.
Dr. Smith, who is retiring at the end of this school
over the past 30 years taught the university's A Cappella Choir,
Choir, Men's Choir, Showcase Hawaii, the Seaside Singers jazz group
community-based Laie Choral Union. He also conducted a series of
and international tours. He and his wife, Linda, an award-winning
at Kahuku High School, plan to move to Utah this summer.
The excitement began as the musical alumni entered the
Stake Center on Saturday morning and started to practice the numbers
would sing in concert that evening. One of the first alumni through
was Keith Nako ('88, Office Management), a Hawaiian Airlines
in Honolulu who was a member of A Cappella when Dr. Smith started
"It was great to see and renew old friendships with
people I haven't
seen for a very long time. It was fun to talk about old times and
things we used to do, to talk about choir, the tours we participated
Dr. Smith, and the great times we shared with him and his family. I
with Dr. Smith when he first came to BYU-Hawaii, and how fitting it
I also sang with him at the end of his teaching career," said Nako,
who also sang in several of Dr. Smith's other choirs.
Terry Stietzel Eskaran ('78, Travel Industry
another 1976 A Cappella veteran, recalled Dr. Smith "really
it out of us. Most importantly, he taught us how to blend and
Other alumni included Dr. Smith's children — Mike
Smith (93, TESL)
and his wife, Shawna Smith ('92, Elementary Education), who
near Austin, Texas (he teaches at the University of Texas, where he
finished his Ph.D., and they have five kids); daughter Amy
Smith Rodriguez ('01), who came the farthest to attend the
Smith Kongaika ('01, Vocal Music), whose husband, Joel
Kongaika ('02, ICS: Communications) helped organize the
played a key role in the Concert Choir's 2004 tour to Japan and
Soon enough the combined alumni started warming up
together for the first
time, and after singing Draw Near Unto Me, Dr. Smith joked,
all passed the audition." Then added, more seriously, "That was
worth the whole reunion. It's so wonderful to see you all again. I
wanted to go back over the years and pick the all-stars, and here
Following the morning rehearsal, the alumni went to a
at the Polynesian Cultural Center and entertained themselves with —
else? — music. Ka'au
Alapa ('96, Hotel & Restaurant
Management), who now lives in Bountiful, Utah, for example, sang one
old Showcase Hawaii songs and recalled the earthquake that group
in the Philippines. Current Concert Choir member Stephen
Lowe delighted everyone with Me from Beauty
and the Beast, which recently earned him a first place in the
Theater category of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
Philpott ('99, CMMT: Vocal),
who went on from BYU-Hawaii to earn a master's in vocal performance,
filial feelings toward Dr. Smith before he sang some German opera:
Smith was really very much like a father figure to me. I was
him daily as I watched him embrace his profession." Taran
Erickson McQuivey ('97, Elementary Education) also saw Dr. Smith
as a "father
figure. He's a great man...and so talented in all that he does."
Funaki Piena ('94, English) drew out some
- BYU-Hawaii political science professor Dr. Dale
Robertson sang with Dr. Smith in A Cappella at BYU in
- Several alumni met or sang with their spouses in
the various choirs.
- Several alumni have children who also sang in Dr.
- Some Laie Choral Union members sang under Dr.
direction for about 15 years.
- There were alumni at the reunion representing
Dr. Smith has taught at BYU-Hawaii.
Following another rehearsal that afternoon, the alumni
combined with Dr. Smith's current Concert Choir for a stirring
in the Cannon Activities
Center. At the beginning of the concert, BYU-Hawaii President
Shumway paid tribute to the retiring choral music professor as "a
of unique talents and uncommon spirituality" and thanked him for
tremendous legacy in the community and the university. We owe him
wife, Linda, a profound debt."
President Shumway also noted Dr. Smith was "a maestro
of the top tier, but he is no musical snob," had an "elegant and
warm stage presence," and
the "ability to live and inspire students and audiences. We will
his ambassadorship on tours...as a wonderful representative not only
music department, but of Brigham Young University Hawaii and the
Representative Colleen Meyer also presented Dr. Smith with a House
During the April 10 fireside portion of the choral
Dr. Smith reminded his former students that President David O.
said we use music and other art forms for the "feelings in the
breast that cannot be expressed in any language or words...which
the language of the soul."
He also noted that Brigham Young said music "can
lead and guide and point you toward truth. I discovered this
thought when I was thinking about the power of music and its
"The ultimate experience of beauty is so closely
related to joy that
we have difficulty distinguishing the difference. When we experience
it is beautiful. When we experience beauty, it brings joy. This joy
object of all art, and the portrayal of it is art's reason for
Smith said. "It may be man's too, because men are that they might
After sharing memories of several international choral
tours, including the most recent in 2004 which included the
performance by a Christian group inside the heart of the Shinto
Shrine in Tokyo, Dr. Smith thanked the alumni for coming. "I
at you, and I just have such warm family feelings for all that
shared... You will always be family to us."
"The marvelous thing about your last concert is that I
was able to choose
everything I wanted," said Dr. Smith, whose selections ran from a
chant, Over the Rainbow, jazz, modern Hawaiian arrangements
early Baroque genius of Giovanni Gabrieli's In Ecclesiis to a
Hymn of the Republic finale.
A video of the choral reunion will soon be posted on
Jubilee web site, as well as a scrapbook of photos; and
of the choral reunion will receive a CD of the photos in the near
600-plus attend Utah Chapter
Chapter chairs David and Sue Settle report their April 16 luau in
Wilkinson Center was a huge success, drawing over 500 alumni and
The evening began with Lono Ikuwa ('03, ICS:
chanting a Hawaiian oli, to lead the Procession of VIPs into
room, who included President and Sister Elliott Cameron,
the daughter of the late President Steven Brower, and Alumni
president Les Steward.
The highlight of the evening began with excerpts
video From This School….Fulfilling the Prophecy, and the
of two scholarships for Utah residents to attend BYU-Hawaii. The
ballroom was alive with music, food, and pride, as Alumni stood proudly.
of pictures were taken at the "coconut tree" and everyone felt the
sweet spirit of aloha in the beauty of the night and the hearts of
those in attendance.
In thanking everybody who helped, Sue Settle shared a
written by her uncle, Dr. W.R. Mete-Kingi:
Rapua te huarahi whanui
Hei Hei ara whakapiri
I nga iwi
I runga i te whakaaro kotahi"
which means ...
Seek the broad highway
That will unite the people
Towards a common goal"
"May our Father in Heaven continue to bless us all
as we continue to work towards a common goal in serving our
in this part of His vineyard," she added.
President Shumway to take Jubilee
through the Pacific
BYU-Hawaii President Eric B. Shumway and his wife, Carolyn
Elementary Education), hope to meet alumni during their upcoming travels
through the South Pacific. For the details
of their itinerary...
A call for quilters
Any alumni out there into quilting? BYU-Hawaii will display
quilts" during October, and invites those interested to design and
own art "that exemplifies some aspect of the Jubilee — either its
historic foundation, our landscape and campus, or the spiritual nature
Place." Categories include Hawaiian quilting, patchwork, tivaevae,
The official deadline is April 30, but please contact Jane
Ching Toluono ('88, Business Information Management) at
if you're interested.
Various alumni plan Jubilee meets
So far, we've heard the following alumni groups are planning to
own Jubilee reunions:
William Ng ('89,
Social Work) and Sin-yee
Michelle Kwok Ng ('92, Social Work) — both of Hong Kong —
organizing a Social Work alumni meeting on campus during the
16-23 Golden Jubilee celebration. Contact William at firstname.lastname@example.org for
- The Alumni Office is forming a committee to
organize a mini-reunion for Showcase Hawaii alumni.
Details are forthcoming.
Golden Jubilee souvenirs now
The Alumni Office recently received a shipment of new Golden
- A jubilee tote bag, $8 each
- Jubilee tee shirts in red, cream or black, M-XXL, $10
- BYU-Hawaii alumni license plate holder, heavy
- BYU-Hawaii silicone wrist band, red, $1 each
- BYUH Hawaiian quilt-style throw pillows, $29 for one,
for matching pair
- Men's ties with BYU-Hawaii logo, in red, gold, or
stripe, $15 each
- Golden Jubilee souvenir DVD (includes free Jubilee
- 2005 Golden Jubilee calendar, $3
All items are plus shipping and handling. "We're also
more things to come in," said Association Executive Director Rowena
Reid ('76, Social Work). "We'll let you know as soon as they
Seasider 'Athletes of Year'
BYU-Hawaii named women's tennis
player Adrienn Hegedus and men's water polo player Vanja
Kalabic as Seasider
athletes of the year during the annual athletics banquet on April 12
outgoing seniors. Read
more about them and other athletes who were recognized...
latest BYU-Hawaii sports news...
Subscribe to the PCC newsletter
The Polynesian Cultural Center invites all BYU-Hawaii alumni
to its online newsletter.
Alumni Association plans Big
As part of the Golden Jubilee celebration, the Alumni Association
planning a three-day educational, cultural and spiritual tour to the Big
leaving from Honolulu International Airport on September 23. Highlights
- Natural history and geology hikes led by
Dr. Dale Hammond.
- Cultural and ancient history commentary by PCC's Cy
- Opportunities to meet with Hilo and Kona alumni.
- A Kona Temple session.
Details will be disseminated as soon as they're
Once they are, don't hesitate if you're interested: Available spaces
be limited to about 45 people.
BYUH, PCC officials meet with
and prospective students
BYU-Hawaii Assistant Dean of Admissions Arapata
Meha ('83, Music)
Steward ('73, Business Management), Alumni Association president and
to the President of PCC, recently returned from a student recruiting
Fiji. While there they visited Labasa on the island of Vanua Levu for
first time. "Also, while we were in Suva, chapter chair Makereta
Business Management) organized a small gathering of alumni," said
talked about how we could help students return after graduating."
The Fiji chapter plans to have a dinner on Friday, May
and a family fun day on Saturday, before meeting with President
a multi-stake fireside on Sunday, May 15.
Student Alumni Association meets
Jeremiah Lim, Executive Director of the BYU-Hawaii Student Alumni
reported that a meeting with Indonesia Area Authority Seventy Elder
Subandriyo, presented an April 12 forum on the devastating tsunami
that affected Southeast Asia and the Church's quick-response
programs. He also gave a fireside
on April 13 for the Southeast Asian students on "return-ability,"
them to return home after they graduate.
In other SAA news, Alumni Association board member P.J.
Rogers ('94, International Business Management), who
in Korea, and Stanley
Yui Kin Fong ('93, International Business Management),
a Japan-based businessman, recently visited with students on
"Their meetings went very well," reported Alumni President Les
"We're trying to hook up our chapters with the students so they
on mentoring and career connections. They also shared some good
advice. For example, P.J. stressed how important networking is
June graduation banquet is set
The Alumni Association will hold its annual graduation banquet
June 16, in the Cannon Activities Center. There is a $15 cost. Contact
Office to purchase tickets.
Kokua Kahuku High alumni
The Kahuku High Alumni Utah Chapter, which includes quite a few
alumni, is holding its second annual golf fundraising tournament on
June 11 at "The Reserve at East Bay" in Provo, with a 7:30 a.m. check-in
an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. A Hawaiian barbecue follows the tournament.
is a $240 fee per four-person team (with a limit of 30 teams). For
contact Richard Tollefsen at 801-375-0637 or Chad Salanoa at
In Memoriam: Celva Boon To'a ('98,
Teacher Education), Administrative Assistant to BYU-Hawaii Vice
Napua Baker and an important member of the University Advancement
passed away on April 24 while surrounded by her husband, children
family members, tulou
le lagi ma le auosilagi. Celva was involved in planning and
out many activities at BYU-Hawaii and in a similar position she held
Polynesian Cultural Center before joining the university staff. She
be buried in Laie Cemetery.
Tukukino ('90, International Business Management) and his wife, Esther
Tukukino ('91, Travel Industry Management), now live in Nerang,
Coast, Australia, where he works as a finance advisor.
Archbold ('94, Physical Education), who now lives in
Kaysville, Utah, as a wheelchair seating and rehab specialist,
wife, Cyndi, and I have been married now for nine years and have
beautiful little girls. My time spent at BYU-Hawaii has changed
From the sandals and aloha shirts I still wear in the dead of
to the Hawaiian music I listen to at work. I'd do it all over
Gabbitas ('96, Accounting) is a purchasing supervisor
Alhambra School District in Phoenix, Arizona.
Crosby (left) and Wunder
Wunder ('00, International Business Management) and Aaron
International Business Management) have just completed their MBA degrees
in Provo. Ray writes: "It looks like my family will head out to
for work and Aaron is hoping for an offer in New Mexico. I've got an
back home and a possible one (still interviewing) here, but our
seems like it will be the most promising. We will see. I also had an
at 1-800 Contacts and it was with Juhnyon Park — do you remember
him? He's been there for a year or so but he's doing well and from what
heard, the people at 1-800 Contacts are extremely happy to have him."
Svobodova ('00, Art), who is back home in Chrastava, Czech
and working as a member of a professional music band and race horse
writes: "As a student at BYU-Hawaii I learned to understand many
of our international and yet common spirit of human beings within the
I met many wonderful people of Polynesian cultures as well as other
the world, and this for me as a European, was a lifetime experience I
forget. As a volleyball team member during those years when we gained
of national champions of our division, I enjoyed working with our
the team players from all over the world. As a BYUH assistant
had the privilege to work with many of the faculty members, I gained a
appreciation for their dedication in the Lord's work to bring our youth
better future. I loved every minute of it and miss all of them very
much. I was
able to achieve many of my goals because of them, and I wish they could
I stand today so they can see their reward."
Brown ('00, English), now a stay-at-home mom in Draper, Utah,
writes: "One of my most memorable experiences at BYU-Hawaii was walking
the campus grounds on my way to class and having a feeling of happiness
the university was so beautiful to me. Just looking at it made me smile.
memorable experience was playing volleyball in the CAC and having so
from students and faculty at our matches. Good times!" Becky played on
volleyball team from 1994-96 and '98.
Croft ('01, Accounting), who now lives in Los Angeles, writes:
so much out in Hawaii that I cannot even begin to describe without
a novel as to the many things — spiritual, secular and otherwise — that
I learned while attending BYU-Hawaii and even working there after
Former student body president Saimoni
Naivalu ('01, Accounting) recently wrote the Alumni office that
been accepted into the University of Hawaii's graduate program in
"I am excited for the opportunity to move back to the
islands but most importantly to focus my attention on public policy
issues affecting the Pacific region, in preparation for our eventual
move to Fiji. We'll be moving to Hawaii in mid-July after having my
son in June. I'll stop by your office once we are settled in. Both
Angel [Angel Mathews Naivalu ('02, Social Work)] and I would be happy to help in any
way possible with Alumni activities."
Centeno ('03, Biology) now works at the University of Baguio in
She writes: "Nothing beats eating in the cafeteria and passing by five
and hearing five different languages spoken. That is BYU-Hawaii's
Where else can you find such a place? It's simply amazing. BYUH has
me to learn more about languages and learn languages, too. I have
say at least a phrase or greeting in 14 different languages. I greet
from different countries in their own language. Aside from that, BYUH
me to express myself more confidently in English. As a result, whether
or not, I've landed a job as a university instructor and just recently
a radio DJ. Thank you, BYUH!"
Editor's Note: The spirit of joy and sense of
approximately 150 of us experienced during the two-day choral
Dr. James A. Smith's former singers provides a sample of what the
Jubilee week-long celebration from October 16-23 is going to be
will be a great time to re-visit BYU-Hawaii. We realize
most alumni cannot come for a variety of reasons, but if there's any
you can make it back, the celebration promises to be a
event. We'll cover the news, of course, but it won't be the same as
in Laie again for a truly special occasion. Hope to see as many of
Foley ('70, TESL), Editor
The BYU-Hawaii Alumni Newsletter is
by the University Advancement office, under the direction of Napua
Baker ['59-61 and '70-72], Vice President; Rob
Wakefield ['75, Asia/Pacific LTM], Director of
and Media Relations; and Rowena
Reid ['76, Social Work], Alumni Association Director.
Young University Hawaii Campus is a four-year comprehensive
institution sponsored by The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 2,400
from 70 nations are currently enrolled.
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