Twenty years ago a special person changed the course of my life.
Vice President Nancy Ellis had a way that made you feel noticed and important. It didn’t matter whether you were a confident master’s student or a confused freshman from another country. I met her as a late blooming sophomore from O‘ahu.
I was on Fort Street Mall when she approached me and said, “Jayson we need to start a student newspaper, and your professor said you are a decent writer.”
Years later, I have a wonderful family, a fulfilling career in media, and I’m thankful for that day and for Nancy’s belief in me.
After I graduated, I worked downtown and would continue to see her, still looking radiant and impeccably dressed, smiling and talking to students. She would ask how I was doing, keeping up with my career. On more than one occasion, she commented on my wardrobe. “If you are going to wear black shoes, you should wear black socks ... try wearing more aloha shirts, shave your beard.” I kept the beard.
Aloha Nancy, travel well, you are missed.
(BA Political Science ’99)
Note: Nancy Ellis passed away on May 16, 2013.
I truly enjoyed the Spring 2013 issue. Reading about the accomplishments of other HPU alumni continues to amaze to me.
Like many HPU alumni, I am eternally grateful for the education and sense of community provided by the university. My master’s practicum became the cornerstone of my career and has evolved into what is now Element Media.
As a publisher, the clean layout, refreshing editorials and the general look and feel of HPU Today make for a great read. Like HPU Today, Pacific Edge Magazine has also featured a handful of those outstanding HPU graduates, and it is my privilege to not only be an advocate for local entrepreneurship, but to also spotlight the achievements of my fellow “Sea Warriors.”
Element Media has also been fortunate to partner with Hawai‘i Pacific in the university’s green initiative. Through participation at Green Drinks Honolulu and partnerships at Pacific Edge Magazine’s business and networking events, HPU has made an admirable push to develop sustainable programs.
I cannot wait to read about, and hopefully feature, the future successes of new generations of HPU graduates. I am proud to be among them.
(MA Communication ’05)
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