Valedictory Speakers

Chang, Chih-Wei

Thank you Dr. Brittain. I feel very grateful for your kind introduction.

Honorable President Wright, Board of Trustees, Faculty and Staff, distinguished guests, family, friends, and especially my fellow graduates from all over the world— Good evening! 

I feel nervous but yet honored to speak at the largest graduation ever in the history of HPU. Do not worry! I promise this will be the last time I am giving a speech in front of you. 

I would like to take this special moment to acknowledge those who have helped me profoundly through my education endeavor. To my professors, without your help, you would not see me at this graduation. To my friends, without your encouragements, I would be too shy to speak up here. And most importantly, to my eighty-five-year-old grandma, without your cooking, I would end on day 1 of kindergarten. Jiou-Gan-Wun, which means very grateful in Taiwanese! 

On behalf of the graduating class, I want to thank those who have helped us through this journey. To parents, thank you for the continuous support, and leaving the earth the way it is. Now, we have to fix it. To friends, thank you, without you, our Facebook would be empty. 

HPU is a great place for real-world education. In my freshman science class, there were even number of girls and guys. In my senior science class, there were 10 girls and 2 guys. This environment encourages me, and offers me the best odds if you know what I mean. However, that’s also where I learned the invaluable lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success. 

Couple weeks ago, I lost an eight-year loyal companion— my calculator. Suddenly, I could not do simple calculations such as 1-10. Many of you will lose a four-year-companion— Hawai‘i, I hope you still remember how to survive without nice weather, good water, and the incredible view at Waikiki Beach. 

Tonight, many of you will graduate and become doctors, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs, government workers, social workers, researchers, healthcare providers, and young mothers and fathers, but this is not the end of your education. One of the greatest educators in the history, K'ung-tzu (Confucius), once said san ren xing bi you wo shi yan. Amongst three, there must be one who can be my teacher. I hope you can continue the virtue of lifelong learning to improve yourself. 

President Wright, this unfortunately might be the end of your work and education, but I assure you this will be the springboard of your remarkable fishing career!

Finally, to my classmates, the graduating class of 2011. In the last four years, we have worked hard day and night, gone through difficult times, enjoyed beach parties, DaFreak Show, and Intercultural Day, traveled abroad for musical performances, captured National Cheerleading, Dance, and Softball Titles, and we have dreamed about this moment, our moment, our achievement. Now, graduates, it is our time. Forward with truth, holomua me ka oiaio. Congratulations, the class of 2011! Thank you.