Dr. Bannister, Faculty, Friends, Classmates, Hannah and John
And most importantly…my beautiful bride Mary Frances
I stand before you today representing the Military Campus Programs for our wonderful alma mater… Hawaii Pacific University.
I want to take a moment and sincerely thank the entire HPU staff and faculty over the past five and half years for all your wonderful support and for giving me a few minutes speak. I also want to thank the MCP staff specifically. A heart felt and sincere MAHALO for your patience and guidance working with me over these years and running a top-notch education system. You are true professionals. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning and working with you. Thank you so much.
To my bride of 15 years, your love and support, and most importantly your encouragement and belief in me propelled me to keep moving forward. Your dedication, your sacrifice, allowed me to accomplish my goal of completing a Bachelor’s Degree. Simply put, I could not have done this without you. This is much more than my accomplishment, this is our accomplishment, we did this together. Thank you, I love you with all my heart.
To my three children and two grandchildren: you inspire me; challenge me and give me hope for the future. I hope and trust that I have been a positive role model for you to follow. I love you with all my heart and I am blessed to be your dad and grandpapa.
To my parents, thank you for always believing in me and that I could accomplish anything. I love you both!
My journey towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting started when I signed up for my first two classes in December 2007 after arriving on island just a few short months before. The thought of working full time, taking college courses and balancing family life seemed like a daunting challenge, but as we so often do in the military, we step up to the plate and make it happen. We get the job done.
It was at first a bit rough, but I quickly adjusted to the new demands of working during the day, attending classes at night, and sometimes even on Saturday mornings, doing homework and working full time. Quickly enough, I soon realized one simple fact: I loved going to school, I loved learning. I excelled at it! Interacting with my fellow students, digesting new material and subjects together, and working with amazing MCP instructors was an absolute joy.
Well, the four-year tour here on island went by too quickly. It was time for a PCS transfer. The Navy, a year and a half go, decided to move us far away from the ocean to an Air Force base located just outside Denver, CO. We Sailors stationed there affectingly call ourselves the “Rocky Mountain Navy.” Being off island, I couldn’t attend classes anymore, so I’ve had to complete my degree online. The flexibility of being able to attend college courses anywhere in the world is one of the blessings of the modern world we live in today. Thank you HPU for offering online courses. Thank you for allowing this student to complete his degree off island.
I’ll close my part by asking a couple of simple questions. What dreams do you have left to fulfill? What’s still in your heart to accomplish? Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of you completing your dream.
Use your education to influence and change the world. Make it a better place.
God bless and Mahalo. And congratulations to all of us, the class of 2013!