E-mail Aloha

November, 2002

E-mail Aloha

...and Happy Thanksgiving, even if you're someplace in the world where Thanksgiving is not a holiday. The November 2002 BYU-Hawaii Alumni Newsletter is piha nui — very full! — with information on:

Enjoy, and please let us hear from you once in a while: Send us an e-mail, talk story, and share your mana'o (thoughts) about your CCH/BYU-Hawaii experiences. A hui hou,

—   Mike Foley ('70), Editor
BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association President

News Bytes

New Alumni directors appointed, board reorganizes:
Eight new members have recently joined the BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association board of directors, who reflect some first-ever changes in the organization's leadership. For example:

  • Bill Kwong ('74, Business Management), Falema'o "Phil" Pili ('74, Accounting) and P.J. Rogers ('94, International Business Management) live in Los Angeles; Pago Pago, American Samoa; and McKinney, TX, respectively. They each run their own businesses and travel extensively. They are believed to be the first directors who live outside of Hawaii to serve on the board.

  • Rich Vial, an attorney and rancher who lives in Oregon, has served as a member of the BYU Alumni Association executive committee, travels frequently to Asia, and has several children who have attended or hope to attend BYU-Hawaii. Rich served a mission in Japan, starting with the Asia-Pacific Language Training Mission which used to be based at BYU-Hawaii.

  • Ellen Gay Kekuaokalani Dela Rosa ('75, Physical Education) is a senior manager at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and travels all over the world with the PCC Promo Team.
  • Christian Wilson ('84, Business Management) operates his own retail business, including a shop at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and has extensive e-commerce and Internet promotional experience.
  • BYU-Hawaii student body president, Tareak Dahini is an ex-officio member of the board.

The new board members join Mike Foley ('70, TESL), President; Susana Berardy ('85, Travel Management), Lei Cummings ('86), Kalake Fonua ('92), and Craig Huish ('68).

Leading up to BYU-Hawaii's 50-year "golden jubilee" in 2005, the board members have committed to invigorating our Alumni Association by:

  • Working more closely with the University on fundraising, recruitment and placement.
  • Strengthening the chapters, including the student-alumni chapter.
  • Significantly increasing the percentage of alumni who contribute, and the amount they contribute, through the Keith & Carol Jenkins Matching Fund.
  • Increasing communications with the chapters and individual alumni.
  • Increasing the amount of funds we generate through ancillary channels.

Consequently, board assignments have been reorganized so the directors can focus on the following, including working more closely with chapters in the field:

Mike Foley: Executive Committee, ancillary funds, placement and work with Neighbor Island chapters and chapters at large.
Les Steward:
 Executive Committee, placement, New Zealand, Australia, and work with all chapters.
Susana Berardy:
 Executive Committee, Honolulu, The Philippines, and Beijing.
Craig Huish:
 Executive Committee, ancillary funds, placement, Alaska, Arizona, and other mainland chapters (as available).
Lei Cummings:
 Executive Committee, Awards Committee chair, Koolauloa.
Ellen Gay DelaRosa:
 Programs Committee, mainland and Asia chapters (as available).
Chris Wilson: 
Ancillary funds, Awards Committee, French Polynesia.
Kalake Fonua:
 Programs Committee chairman, Koolauloa.
Bill Kwong:
 California, Nevada, and Hong Kong.
Phil Pili:
 Awards Committee, both Samoas, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, and Utah.
P.J. Rogers:
 Texas, Korea, Japan, China, other Asia chapters as available.
Rich Vial:
 Student-alumni, Washington, Oregon, Japan, and other Asia chapters as available.
Tareak Dahini:
 Student-alumni, Programs Committee.

If any of you have questions, please feel free to contact our Association Director, Rowena Reid ('76, Social Work), or e-mail

Donors dedicate new pool:
BYU-Hawaii benefactors Ira and Mary Lou Fulton formally opened the University's new swimming pool on October 31st with the traditional untying of a maile leaf lei.

Ira and Mary Lou Fulton (right) untie a maile-leaf lei
to formally open the new BYU-Hawaii swimming pool.

Over the summer, contractors excavated the old pool, which was 75' X 42', and replaced it with the new one, which measures approximately 117' X 54' — large enough to accommodate the University's new men's NCAA Division II water polo team competitions.

As executive members of the BYU-Hawaii President's Leadership Council (PLC), the Fultons have donated over $1 million to the University in the past several years, including funds to replace the pool. Other members of the Council, athletic team players, coaches and university staff also attended the opening ceremony.

"The quality of experience you are having here is greatly enhanced by these people," President Shumway said to the student athletes, explaining the significance of his PLC members — including a number of alumni — who donate a minimum of $25,000 to the University. Other Executive Council members at the ceremony included Keith and Carol Jenkins, and Ed and Shauna Smith.

"We're also here to celebrate all the acts of generosity that have made this possible," President Shumway continued, praising the willingness of many people "to do something that will benefit generations to come."

Fulton, a housing developer based in Arizona, said he often makes contributions after seeing a need. "What got me involved with the pool is I came over and looked at it," he joked, drawing laughs from the audience filling the cement bleachers. Then getting serious, Fulton added: "To give to BYU-Hawaii is not too difficult for my wife and me because we love you students. I feel very honored to be participating with this University."

"We are so grateful for all of the people who donate," responded BYU-Hawaii water polo player Cody Weidauer, representing all the athletes. Athletic Director Dr. Randy Day added that the BYU-Hawaii's sports program "is one of the most successful in the nation," pointing to the school's 18 team and 26 individual championships.

"But as significant as our athletic teams are, they are not the reasons the University sponsors these teams," Day continued, explaining the teams represent "important principles in the educational process."

"We value discipline, commitment and sacrifice," he said. "Every team also has a strong international presence; and we wish to show the world the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

In concluding the ceremony, which included music by BYU-Hawaii musicians and refreshments, President Shumway recognized the Physical Plant people for bringing the pool "to that final point of pristine beauty. We couldn't perform without your devotion and dedication."

"If you take anything away from this ceremony," he continued, "I hope you take away your commitment to be as generous as these people…that you not just be consumers of happiness, but providers. That should be the lesson today."

Asia-Pacific Basketball Invitational:
The BYU-Hawaii men's basketball team literally ran away with the championship of the first Asia-Pacific Basketball Classic pre-season invitational tournament, played Nov. 15-16th in the Cannon Activity Center.

Members of the BYU-Hawaii and Fiji National teams celebrate after the Asia-Pacific Basketball Classic.

For the record, the Seasiders defeated the Fiji National Team, 103-57, to take the tournament, while Kinki University of Osaka, Japan, defeated Jing Tao University of Shanghai, 90-81, in the consolation bracket; but that doesn't mean there wasn't a whole lot of hustle on both sides of the court 'til the final buzzer in each of the games.

The tournament started with a banquet on Nov. 14th by the co-hosting Polynesian Cultural Center in the Samoan fale, that included island food along with the traditional presentation of gifts, and the more relaxing invitation to try Tahitian dancing with the PCC promo team.

"This is a tournament that is conceived within the tradition of the campus, and is linked directly to the mission of Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus," President Shumway told the visiting players and accompanying dignitaries.

"We are very proud that you have been able to come to this tournament," he continued. "We feel already that you are close friends. It seems that we have known you for a long time; and to exchange gifts, to enjoy a good meal together, and to see our coaches dancing, this is a very wonderful beginning."

"Even though we will be competing on the court, the ultimate goal is not competition, but friendship and understanding, and a mutual admiration for those qualities I have mentioned...all of which are central to the mission of the University," President Shumway said, pointing out that "some of the greatest athletes on our campus are those who dance the cultural dances."

The next night, BYU-Hawaii students from Fiji and China sat in cheering sections in the CAC to encourage their respective countrymen — the Fiji National Team vs. Jiao Tong. After trailing the entire first half but cutting their deficit to 52-49 by the break, a very physical Fijian team came back strong in the second half to win, 111-93, and advance to the winner's bracket.

In the second game of the evening, the Seasiders clearly overwhelmed visiting Kinki U. from the outset. The Kinki players demonstrated excellent ball handling and fighting spirit, but just couldn't buy a basket — even with lively cheering by BYU-Hawaii students from Japan, who performed a taiko drum [made out of plastic and rubber tires] number at half-time. In the end, the Seasiders put Kinki down, 106-41.

Fiji National coach Mike Whippy, a Latter-day Saint from Suva, said he was delighted that his team could come to the tournament "to get experience playing at a level above" in preparation for the South Pacific Games next year. "We've also never played in a gym like this, or on a floor like this."

An official with the Chinese team, who said through a translator that Jing Tao "is considered one of the best teams in China," praised the experience. "It was a good competition, and an excellent way for us to practice," he said. "I want to thank the University, the officials and all who helped put on the tournament. This was our first time to play in America. We would come again."

Shoshin Kamuro, head coach of the Kinki U. team, expressed similar views: "We had a wonderful experience. BYU-Hawaii is very close [in skills] to the Division I team [Temple] we played before."

"Big Joe":
The Asia-Pacific Basketball Classic also provided the first opportunity for CCH alumnusJosaia "Big Joe" Vakalalavanua ('70, Physical Education) to return to Hawaii and the campus for the first time since he left in 1974 as a protocol and cultural spokesman for the Fijian National Team.


Known on campus by the shorter form of his name in those days, Vakalala recalled the Polynesian Cultural Center's first Fijian cultural instructor, the late Ratu Isireli Racule, recruited him to come to Laie in July 1964 as an entertainer. He soon noticed others taking the CCH admissions test, and he did, too.

After being admitted, Vakalala went on to play on CCH's 1967 national rugby championship team, and as a member of the Methodist Church, was allowed to do his student teaching at Kamehameha School, which required all of its teachers to be Protestants at that time. After graduating, Vakalala continued to work at the PCC, and then was "drafted" to play rugby for a year at BYU.

Vakalala eventually returned to Fiji, where he has been teaching physical education and Fijian culture. In 1975 he married Dorothy Logovatu Tuidrakulu, who worked at the PCC in 1972. The couple has five children.

Asked if he was surprised at the changes since he was last in Laie, Vakalala said, "It has changed tremendously, naturally for the better. The CAC is now sitting on the old rugby ground where I used to play. Also, I'm very thankful that the Cultural Center and BYU-Hawaii now have a central administration building."

"The PCC has also grown tremendously. To me, as a performer, it's still the number-one entertainment center throughout the world. Mind you, I took a group in 2000 to Disney World, so I can compare. The Cultural Center not only teaches employees to entertain, it imbues values and discipline, and satisfies the cultural thirst of anyone who comes there."

"The PCC has what Fijians call vude: When people hear the music, they want to stand up and dance."

Vakalala, who is a lay minister for the Methodist Church in Fiji, said he still greatly respects the Latter-day Saints. "They're tremendous. Ratu Isireli, who was also a Methodist, told me when I first came, 'I want you to uplift the name of the Church and the Cultural Center.' I was very thankful, and I trained myself to represent BYU-Hawaii and the Cultural Center. I still relate to the PCC cast and all those I've been talking to since I've been back," Vakalala said, recalling in his student days he always felt inspired when he "used to wake up at 5:30 in the morning, go look at the mural of David O. McKay, then often go running to the Temple, and up to Laie Point. It was very special."

"I'm thankful for the Church standards, for being a guiding light to me," Vakalala continued. "Somehow, the people here, especially in the Physical Education department, really turned me around."

"Thank you, BYU-Hawaii. You made me, and prepared me very well to tackle challenges in education. I've also continued to be the model that Ratu Isireli hoped for the LDS Church and the Cultural Center."

Concert Choir presents new international tour CDs:
The BYU-Hawaii Concert Choir has just released two new CDs: Songs of Jubilee, with 15 selections, including two recorded live in 1997 at Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, New Zealand; and Four Oceans, All Brothers and Sisters, with 17 selections, from their 2000 international tour to Taiwan and Singapore.


"I am pleased that recordings representing our two international tours, 1997 and 2000, have been professionally released," said Dr. James Smith, Concert Choir director. "Those choirs and the resultant CDs represent a high achievement for our program and our university."

"The successful recording, production, release and promotion of a CD is a process that requires a lot of love and many helpers. Many of our past choirs have been excellent, but recordings were not made nor released for lack of a production team when I was unable to do it all myself. I am especially grateful to Quincy Magalei ('00) and Ruth Kongaika ('95), who put in many hours on the 1997 project; and to Joel Kongaika ('02), production assistant, who rescued both recordings and made them a reality."

"A special thanks must go to Jeff Chang who made the live recordings in Taiwan possible and furnished the masters to us," Dr. Smith continued. "I will be grateful forever for all the wonderful singers who have gone through our program during my years at BYU-Hawaii. They have enriched my life and left a legacy of excellence and spirituality. Even if they are not singing on these two CDs, I hope that the recordings will remind them of the wonderful times we had together in Concert Choir."

The choir is currently preparing for their next international tour, this time to Japan and Korea in Spring of 2004.

Click through, please, for the complete list of songs. To order the CDs from Hawaii and across the Asia-Pacific region, please click through the BYU-Hawaii Bookstore link. In the continental U.S., please call your order into the BYU-Provo Bookstore toll-free mail order number: 1-800-253-2578 (various shipping options are available; credit card orders accepted).

Alumni back on campus:
BYU-Hawaii alumnus R. Eric Beaver ('87, Business Management), President & CEO ofHawaii Reserves, Inc. and also Laie Stake President, recently delivered a campus devotional on knowledge and character; and Stanley Fong, a '93 International Business Management alum who was born in China, now lives in Tokyo, and works throughout Asia,shared his insights with School of Business students during a recent Entrepreneurship Lecture Series presentation.


Alumni Updates

Chapter News

American Samoa:
Brent Schwenke ('81, Travel Industry Management; '82, Accounting) reports the chapter recently held a barbecue fundraising event. Over 100 American Samoa alumni have already contributed to BYU-Hawaii through the Keith & Carol Jenkins Matching Fund.

We have formed a new chapter in Arizona, and asked Kepi ('95, Accounting and IS) andShauna Gooch Foliaki ('93) to be the first chapter chairs. Kepi, who runs his own CPA firm and is also a real estate agent, and Shauna live in Mesa.

Auckland, New Zealand:
Chapter chairman Myron Broederlow ('98, Business Management) said he and fellow alumni are planning a Thanksgiving get together at his house "to catch up and share some laughs, share some memories of Hawaii and a little pumpkin pie too."

Hong Kong:
As announced in the October e-newsletterWayne Wai Tong Shek ('94, Art) is the new chapter chairman. He wrote recently to announce that Spencer Ko ('98) is the chapter vice-chairman, and Lai Wah Megan Lau ('99) is the secretary. The Hong Kong executive committee, as also mentioned, is working closely with the BYU Management Society there, headed by Bill Lok Ka Shum ('95).

Rob Hardisty ('77, Accounting) and his wife, Mary Lou Holmes Hardisty ('89, Physical Education) are the new Honolulu chapter chairs. Rob is the senior vice president for Century Computers, Inc., a Honolulu computer services company, and Mary Lou does substitute teaching in special education. The couple, who have four children and four grandchildren, live in Hawaii Kai.

San Francisco Bay Area:
Chairman Raymond Jou ('90, Computer Science) writes the chapter "is planning a cultural festival, tentatively in May 2003," and is seeking alumni and friends to share their talents in singing, dancing, handicrafts, cooking, etc. "I am personally longing for a luau," he adds. The chapter is also planning several joint activities with the BYU Management Society; and the BYU East Bay chapter, which will host the BYU Ambassador performing group at the Oakland InterStake Center near the Temple on March 14, 2003. The group also has performances set on three other nights in the Bay Area.

Chapter chairman Ben Lim ('89, Information Systems) and several other alumni recently participated in a Church Educational System recruitment fireside for about 1,000 students in Seattle. BYU-Hawaii Dean of Admissions Jeff Bunker thanked Lim for the support: "We appreciate the sometimes unknown, yet wonderful work, that you and others like you are doing for us. People like you make this a very special place to work!"

"My heart belongs to BYUH, so I'll do everything I can to help the institution," Ben replied.

Chapter chair conference:
Finally, chapter chairs, if you haven't received preliminary information on our February 2003 training conference, please contact Rowena Reid immediately. This will be an important meeting.


Personal Updates

1950s & 60s

Gail Pratt Wasden graduated from CCH with an associate's degree in 1958, a year after her sister, Laura Lee Pratt Edwards. She and her husband, David now live in Petaluma, CA, and returned from a mission in Guatemala in '98. She lists "learning how to pronounce Mae Kunishige's last name and figuring out what 'da kine' meant" as among her CCH accomplishments. "I really miss the aloha spirit and the friends I made there."

William Haleck ('68, Art Education) recently returned to American Samoa as the first Federal Security Director for Pago Pago International Airport. Haleck was the first American Samoa college graduate to join the police force there. He later trained with the Honolulu Police Department, and worked for many years with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Responding to an article about a 40-year history book for the Polynesian Cultural Center inKaleo o KoolauloaCaroline Wolfgramm Irwin ('68) writes: "My family helped build the PCC with my father, Charles Ataongo Wolfgramm, being the only Polynesian supervisor on this project. …Dad laid out the footpaths for CCH…and helped build the chapel by Clissold Beach, which became our stake center at the time. It was our Laie Ward Beehive class that cleaned out the 'water curtain' area of debris to get it ready for the dedication of PCC." Irwin now lives in Saguache, CO.

1970s Hawaiian Club assembly


Denise Thomasen ('75, Home Economics) has been working lately as a nanny around London, England, but is now back home in New Zealand for the holidays. She writes she and a friend visited Paris "and also visited Monet's garden and Versailles. I was able to better appreciate these experiences because of my Art 101 class I had with Brother [LaMoyne] Garside one summer. My education at BYUH truly opened my eyes to evaluating art, trends and events that happen about me, and the world. Because of my dorm life, my heart is connected to so many brothers and sisters and their families who live in many parts of the globe."

George Sadowski ('76, Business Management) is president & CEO of his own human resources company in Salt Lake City, UT. He and his wife, Linda Taylor Sadowski ('74, Mathematics) have four children and four grandchildren.


Ellen Jefferson Oba ('80) is a Registered Nurse working at the BYU-Hawaii Health Center. She and her husband, Douglas, live in Laie.

Kelley Arredondo ('87, Travel Industry Management) was recently selected to head The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities "Bridges…from school to work" program in Philadelphia. Kelley, who is also a Lt. Cmdr. in the U.S. Naval Reserve, has been with Marriott operations and human resources for the past 15 years.

"I loved my experience at BYU-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center," writes Julia Austin ('87), a medical and educational speech language pathologist in Salt Lake City, UT. "It helped me draw closer to my culture and provided me with life-changing experiences and friends who I am still in contact with today."


John Dorff ('90, Business Fundamentals) started an accounting firm in Tokyo last June with fellow alum Yorihiro Sawada ('88, Accounting), who has moved there with his wifeJanne Clemens Sawada ('79).

Jeff "Pulei" Bray ('91), who attended BYU-Hawaii after serving a mission in Tonga, graduated from the Y in '92, received his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine in '96 and now lives in Twin Falls, ID.

Dyment Fa'amafoe ('99, Social Work) is now a Los Angeles County probation officer. He and his wife, Fetaula'i Soliai Fa'amafoe ('80) live in Rialto, CA.

Chun Hee Han ('99, Accounting), who works as director of property management systems at the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, recently wrote: "I am so grateful for all the experiences I had at BYUH. Most of all, the close relationship with teachers was very helpful as an international student. Due to their big help, not only academically but also spiritually, I stand strongly against any trials. I appreciate them so much for their love, help, and the care they showed."


BYU-Hawaii's first student from Trinidad, Richard Ramoutar ('00, ICS/Political Science), recently completed his master's at BYU in communications with an emphasis on cultural hybridization, and now lives in Waipahu, HI.

Peni Basalusalu ('00, Political Science) has one more semester to finish a master's degree at the Y, which includes a teaching assignment on campus and an internship for the City of Orem. He and his wife, Amy Baird Basalusalu ('98, Political Science), have a four-month-old son.

Alex Kopayghora ('01, International Business Management) is working as an accounting manager for Marriott Hotels Resort Suites in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Joenee Briones ('01, Information Systems) and his wife, Keilani Navalta Briones ('01, Physical Education, Health & Wellness), recently moved to The Philippines and are pursuing business opportunities there.

"There is not a day in my life that I do not thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity I had to experience a wonderful undergraduate program at BYUH, the Lord's school," writesShane "Sharke" Clarke ('02, Accounting). Clarke is in navigator training at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.