Tung, Ki May
President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, families, and guests... Aloha.
The first time I heard the word "Aloha" was eight years ago, and it reminded me of a fragrant flower. I was in the process of migrating from Hong Kong to these beautiful islands of Hawai'i, and to pursue my higher education. I was excited but honestly had some fear as I ventured towards my new life in America.
Today, I say it again before you, "Aloha". This word means welcome and caring, but thoughts of love, confidence, and hope also come to mind. Tonight I am filled with aloha and gratitude to Hawai'i Pacific University, for the high quality and solid educational environment. It has provided a model of cultural diversity, leadership, and innovation where we can lean upon and grow with.
As a nurse, I have the opportunity and privilege to help prevent illness, to guide and care for people from sickness to health, and to empower people to improve their quality of life. The family nurse practitioner program at HPU has enabled me to strengthen my clinical reasoning, my leadership skills, and broadened my career opportunities.
To our faculty, these excellent scholars, I would like to express our gratitude for your extra time and support. You taught us to pursue a higher goal. It is with your gifts that we have the courage to face our new journey in this uncertain world.
My fellow graduates, we should be proud of our accomplishments. We have spent countless days and nights of hard work, finding balance in our jobs, our families, and our study. Tonight, we made it! Tomorrow, when a new day comes, we know we are ready for our new challenges.
To my clinical nursing students, that I taught in the past semester, your eagerness and diligence reaffirms my belief in the beauty of nursing. You inspire me! Nursing is exceptionally demanding but also very rewarding. Welcome to your new profession! May you succeed and continue to feed your passion for caring.
While we are full of happiness and satisfaction at this special event, please remember our families and friends, and those who have helped us along our academic journey. I would especially like to acknowledge my mother for her encouragement and inspiration.
Today brings new hope and a new beginning for all of us who are graduating. As we leave, take a moment and savor the fragrances of the flowers as they remind us of love, confidence, hope, and the Aloha that surrounds us. Carry forth these unique gifts we have received and share with our communities.
Mahalo and once again, Aloha!