HPU News for June 2011

Dr. Chun of the Kamehameha Schools Elected Chairman of the Board of Hawai`i Pacific University

June 27, 2011

Michael Chun, Ph.D., president and headmaster of Kamehameha Schools (Kapalama), was elected Chairman of Hawai`i Pacific University’s Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on June 24.
Michael Chun, Ph.D., president and headmaster of Kamehameha Schools (Kapalama), was elected Chairman of Hawai`i Pacific University’s Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on June 24.

Michael Chun, Ph.D., president and headmaster of Kamehameha Schools (Kapalama), was elected Chairman of Hawai`i Pacific University’s Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on June 24. Dr. Chun succeeds Chuck Sted, who served as chairman since 2009. Sted is president and CEO of Hawai`i Pacific Health.

Dr. Chun has been a trustee of HPU since 1989 and played a significant role in the growth of the state’s largest private university. He became president of The Kamehameha Schools in 1988, and in 2001 was appointed president and headmaster of Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama.

“Dr. Chun has been a leader in education and business in Hawai`i for many years, and the success of Kamehameha Schools is attributable in great part to his vision and stewardship of its flagship campus in Kapalama,” said Chatt Wright, president of HPU. “He has been an invaluable member of Hawai`i Pacific University’s Board for more than 22 years. I know that he will continue to ensure HPU remains a leader in private higher education in the state of Hawai`i and throughout the Pacific region,” continued Wright.

A 1961 graduate of the Kamehameha School for Boys, Dr. Chun earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Hawai`i, and his doctorate in environmental health engineering in 1970 at the University of Kansas.

In addition to his longstanding relationship with and service to HPU, Dr. Chun has been involved with local business and community organizations for the past 40 years. He has been, or is currently serving as, a member of numerous governing boards, including: the YMCA of Honolulu, the Hawai`i Medical Service Association (HMSA), the Bishop Museum, the Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, the Army Civilian Advisory Group, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation, the Blood Bank of Hawai`i, the Hawai`i Visitors’ Bureau, the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Aloha United Way, the Hawai`i Cultural Research Foundation, the Hawai`i Opera Theater, and many more.

The transition of leadership of HPU’s Board of Trustees mirrors the imminent change at the presidential level as well.  Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D. will succeed Wright as HPU’s fourth president on July 1. 

“I am deeply honored that my fellow trustees have called upon me to take on this responsibility,” said Dr. Chun. “I have witnessed HPU’s growth and evolution first-hand. The University has had a significant impact in our state and the potential to be an even greater good in our community,” Dr. Chun continued.  “Our new president, Dr. Geoffrey Bannister, understands the significance of HPU’s location in Hawai`i and in the Pacific. He has bold vision for what HPU can become, and I am ready to lead a board that will work closely with him to achieve that vision.”

Wright’s 35-tenure as president makes him one of the nation’s longest-serving university presidents. He joined HPU in 1972 as the founding dean of its School of Business Administration and was appointed president in 1976. From a college of 57 students in 1976, Wright developed HPU into a comprehensive university and a model of diversity and global perspective. 

Sted has served as a trustee for HPU since 2004. As chairman for the past two years, he provided exceptional perspective and leadership during some of HPU’s most historical events. “I am deeply grateful to Chuck, who is a close personal friend and colleague, for his leadership during an important period in HPU’s history,” said Wright. “As the University embarks on its most ambitious project – the expansion of the windward Hawai`i Loa Campus – Chairman Sted, for the past two years, has provided a steady hand and exceptional vision during the planning process. Equally important, he supervised the search for and selection of HPU’s new president, Dr. Geoff Bannister, paving the way for a smooth transition and continued success for HPU,” Wright concluded.

Hawai`i Pacific University was founded in 1965 and is the state’s largest private institution of higher learning with a student body of more than 8,000 students from Hawai`i, every mainland state, and more than 100 countries.  HPU is an independent, coeducational, career-oriented, comprehensive university that offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.