HPU honors military couple as distinguished alumni

June 04, 2013

The 2013 Paul C.T. Loo Distinguished Alumni Award honorees
The 2013 Paul C.T. Loo Distinguished Alumni Award honorees Iven (BA ’01) and Courtney (MA ’09) Sugai meet with Hawai‘i Pacific University Trustee Violet S. Loo and Vice President of Marketing and Communication Todd Simmons to accept the award, May 31.

HONOLULU — Two U.S. Army officers, both Hawai‘i Pacific University alumni, have accepted the Paul C.T. Loo Distinguished Alumni Award.

 Majors Iven T. (BA Economics ’01) and Courtney M. (MA Diplomacy and Military Studies ’09) Sugai were recognized at HPU’s 80th commencement ceremony last month as outstanding alumni and for their professional and community accomplishments. HPU trustee Violet Loo formally presented the award, named after her late husband and a university founder, when the Sugais returned for a short visit to Hawai‘i, their home state, May 31.

 “We’d like to accept this award on behalf of the men and women of our armed services, both past and present, and the families who support them,” said Iven Sugai, in a pre-recorded message at the commencement ceremony.

 The couple met while participating in the HPU/University of Hawai‘i ROTC program. They are now stationed in Georgia. Iven Sugai recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan and Courtney Sugai is scheduled to begin a deployment later this year.

Even with deployments, community service and raising a family, the couple have found the time to support their alma mater. They co-chaired the Paul C.T. Loo Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet in 2011 and frequently engage alumni with the university and encourage potential students to apply.

The Sugais were among the many military service members honored at HPU’s spring commencement. Service members past and present were asked to stand to be recognized.

Members of the audience and HPU's new graduating class stood, including two valedictory speakers on stage: U.S. Navy Sailor Anthony J. Corey, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, who represented HPU Military Campus Programs, and retired U.S. Army colonel John T. Hansen, Master of Arts in Diplomacy and Military Studies, who represented the graduate degree programs. Also standing were a number of HPU faculty members, including the 2013 HPU Trustees’ Award for Teaching Excellence recipient Assistant Professor of History James Corcoran, a retired U.S. Army colonel.

 May was also the 28th Annual Hawaii Military Appreciation Month Hawai‘i, which HPU supported as a sponsor of the kickoff event “An Evening of Aloha,” at the Battleship Missouri Memorial. HPU —  consistently recognized as a military-friendly university — continues to work with current service members and veterans to fulfill their higher education needs, including through its well-regarded Military Campus Programs and the HPU Veterans Center.

James Corcoran, Ph.D.
James Corcoran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History and curriculum area liaison with Military Campus Programs, was named this year’s HPU Teacher of the Year.