Thank you Vice President Cyboron for that humbling introduction, President Wright, Mayor Hannemann, members of the Board of Trustees, Distinguished faculty, fellow graduates, families, friends, and guests:
It is a great honor and privilege for me to be here this evening on this momentous occasion, representing the military campus program as valedictory speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to President Wright, Vice President Cyboron, and all the other amazing people in the military campus. It is through their dedication, high standards and expectations that I am able to stand here before you tonight.
My dear fellow graduates, I know firsthand just how many sacrifices you have made to earn your place here this evening. Tonight is indeed the night that calls for all celebration, as well as a well-earned pat on the back. However, tonight is also the night to take a moment to think and reflect on just how this education we have received changes each of us as a person, a world citizen, a son, a daughter, a father, or a mother. We all come from all walks of life, as well as different backgrounds, countries of origin, cultures, beliefs, and dreams. But we also share common ground, common accomplishments for which we have all worked very hard, common desires, common goals, and certainly common knowledge that we have accumulated during our time at HPU.
However tonight, let us put aside what we have formally learnt and reflect on the people who have touched our lives. Ask yourself:
- Who are the three educators whom have inspired and pushed you to reach your full academic potential?
- Who are the three friends whom you know deeply in your heart will be there for you, in times of happiness and difficulties?
- Who are the three people whom you just cannot wait to reach out to tell them just how much you love and appreciate them?
It is not common knowledge and education that makes us a world citizen or the different diversity and cultures that set us apart, it is however, the different people in our lives who define who we are. They are the individuals who truly allow us to reach our full potential and to bring our own unique gifts to the table. Success, as you know, is not a solitary journey. The journey of success is however having the important people in our lives, walking hand in hand with us, across mountains and seas.
That be said, I would like to thank my mother who raised me to be the person who I am today. I would like to thank my husband, Jeff, for going through with me all the ups and downs in life. Also, I would like to thank my six years old son, Cannan, for inspiring and pushing me to be a better person each and every day.
Finally, I want to give a shout-out to all my fellow graduates. We have set a goal, gone through the turbulence, and now arrived at our destination. Now, it is time for us to set a new bar for ourselves. For now, we know there is nothing, absolutely nothing, which is impossible.
Aloha and Mahalo!