President Wright, Members of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, fellow graduates, families, friends and honored guests.
It is a tremendous honor for me to speak on behalf of the undergraduate class this evening.
Looking back on my years at HPU, I would like to make the analogy of climbing a mountain, striving to reach for the top. On our way we have enjoyed beautiful scenery, we have walked through rain and hail, and we have experienced both paradise and inferno as Dante described them. Some times we fell, and the top of the mountain seemed to be very far away. But since we are here tonight, we were all able to get back up and carry on. Tonight we are very close to the top, and the only thing we have to worry about before reaching it, are making those few steps over the stage to receive our diploma.
As we tonight will reach the top of Mount HPU, we are leaving this institution with knowledge, experience and skills that will help us climb an even bigger and more challenging mountain tomorrow. And don't you worry, there will be another one waiting, as there will be every day for the rest of our lives, ready to be challenged.
The new millennium has just started and never before have any graduates been facing a more different and ever changing world. We have reached a time in history where global concerns are as important as national concerns, and therefore international collaboration is more important than ever. After several years at HPU we know that we are all very different. For many people in the world, differences are the same as obstacles, a view that is the main reason for many ongoing conflicts. The international diversity present at HPU has taught us to not see differences as a problem, but rather as an opportunity for new solutions, perfection and advancement.
Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg traveled around the world in 80 days. Today we can do the same trip in two days by airplane, and at HPU we get a glimpse of the world by walking down Fort Street. Earning a degree at HPU is not only about academic achievements, it is providing us with international understanding, experience and expertise to successfully handle the global problems of the future and in our individual lives.
We all have different dreams, some of them reasonable and some of them not so reasonable. No matter what, life is too short to not acknowledge our dreams and we should be obligated to ourselves to at least try. The important thing is not whether or not we will fulfill our dreams, but rather that we will give them a chance to be fulfilled. As the prominent scientist Louis Pasteur once discovered that life could not arise spontaneously, dreams will not come true by just dreaming. I encourage all of you graduates to seize the day and give it a serious try to make all your dreams come true.
On the behalf of all the graduates here tonight I want to thank family, friends, classmates, faculty and all others that have helped and supported us throughout our time at HPU. Without you we would not have been here tonight. I wish you all a happy and successful life, and may it be even better and more enjoyable than you could ever imagine.
Aloha and mahalo!