President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, parents, and guests: good evening and Aloha!
I was raised in Alaska and spent many years in the capital city of Juneau. As I grew up in this beautiful and wild natural area, one of my favorite activities was hiking to the top of Mt. Roberts high above Juneau. From the summit I could see an amazing panorama of endless miles of forest, mountains, and shining waterways. It was exhilarating!
I see life in much the same way as an amazing panorama of endless opportunities and shining possibilities. Earning my Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language has been a satisfying academic, personal, and professional achievement.
As a student, I explored the theory and practice of good teaching and the learning process. I developed skills in the use of technology. I discovered valuable resources for my continuing work as a teacher, and every HPU course I have taken has helped me contribute to the teaching and learning needs of others. I appreciate those who have inspired me along the way. Congratulations to all of you, my fellow graduates, for what you have achieved in your studies. I am a mother and grandmother. I know that life is often difficult. But we can turn difficulties into occasions for powerful and positive growth and service.
I know that each of us helps to shape the world around us. What we do - as individuals - really does matter.
May we go forward now and use what we have learned to contribute in positive ways to our families, our communities, and our professions.
Thank you. Mahalo nui loa.