Aris Springs will graduate this May with his college degree and a bright future. An orphan from Guam, Aris almost didn’t get to attend college, due to last-minute funding issues. As the student-speaker chosen to represent the student body at the 2014 Mahalo Scholarship Luncheon, Aris, a decorated student-athlete and four-year recipient of Chaminade scholarships, spoke to how important donor philanthropy has been to his academic career. In his four years at Chaminade University, Aris has been able to compete with the men’s cross-country team and garner All-Conference academic awards; expand his cultural and academic knowledge by gaining a summer-research opportunity at the prestigious Yale University; and participated heavily in extra-curricular ventures, including extensive volunteering throughout Honolulu, holding officer positions and memberships to student clubs, and providing technical assistance with Chaminade University’s performing arts program.
As he put it bluntly, Aris never would have been able to finish college without these donor-funded scholarships. He also never would have been able to pursue all that Chaminade University, Honolulu, and Hawai`i have to offer. After he graduates in May, 2015, Aris plans to attend law school and become a lawyer in order to make an impact in the lives of those whom he will serve. Aris also plans to pay it forward someday with contributions to Chaminade’s scholarship program.
Ever since she was 10 years old, Dominique Bocanegra had dreams of attending college in Hawai`i. Though she hails from California, Dominique felt a connection to the islands, learning about the culture from her Hawaiian best friend and through hula. While touring colleges, Dominique knew the moment she stepped onto Chaminade’s campus that it was the school for her. She immediately felt that same connection to the university, especially the many opportunities for growth and learning. For Dominique, her Chaminade education allowed her to experience the diversity that continues to inspire her.
Over the course of her four years at Chaminade, Dominique maintained a strong academic record and was involved in numerous student-life activities, competing as a student-athlete on the women’s softball and soccer teams; serving as a peer mentor and orientation leader for new students; and leading as a Hogan Entrepreneur. Her favorite opportunity was serving as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she helped to build school spirit while benefiting the university and greater community through athletic-related events. Dominique was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Founders’ Award, presented to a student who is an exemplary role model for the Chaminade community and whose outstanding generosity, respect for others, and spirit of faith exhibit a commitment to Marianist values. Upon graduating with her degree in criminal justice and minor in business administration in May, 2013, she continues working for the greater good through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Kaipo Leopoldino has big plans. The 2014 Chaminade graduate, a criminal justice major from the Big Island of Hawai`i, likes to tell his family and friends that he’ll be governor by 2030. It is ambitious, yet achievable for Kaipo, whose path to Chaminade was one of purpose and perseverance; he firmly believes that anything is possible.
While looking at colleges, Kaipo was advised that getting accepted to a university following a challenging start in high school would be difficult. Determined, Kaipo applied to a few schools, including Chaminade. While two immediately said no, Chaminade remained in contact every step of the way, conditionally admitting him into the Summer Bridge program. Kaipo attended the required training and courses to help prepare him for his first semester in college, ultimately passing and gaining full enrollment here.
For Kaipo, every experience at Chaminade was rewarding, and every program and activity became an opportunity for learning and growth. He immersed himself in all aspects of the student life, from performing in musical-theater productions and vocal arts ensemble, to participating in campus ministry’s Awakening retreat and leading in student government, where he served as President his senior year. Through his work as President of the Hawaiian Club, he found a deep connection and mentorship with the late Henry Gomes, whose passion and talk-story sessions inspired Kaipo to pursue a minor in Hawaiian and Pacific studies as he works towards his dream of becoming a lawyer and helping his Native Hawaiian community. Kaipo states that Chaminade gave him a chance at a bright future, and he really flourished during his time on campus. “I often sing praises to my family and friends about our professors. Each is an expert in his or her respective field and loves what they do. You can see this translated in how they teach. I learned and gained so much.”
Students are the most important aspect of Chaminade, and we have been continuously impressed with the quality of students here. I think one of the major reasons that a lot of people give is to encourage others to give. The funding of the campus and the capital campaign shows others our resolve to be a key part of the future success of the University.
Chaminade University Governor
As a board member and alumna, it is very special for me to be a part of the transformative progress that the University has made over the years and to see how it benefits the current students and the rest of the Chaminade `ohana.
Jean E. Rolles
Establishing the Fumiko Kanazawa Scholarship was my family’s way to honor my aunt and her love as an educator, while offering help to those who are joining our Chaminade `ohana. By also leaving Chaminade in my estate plans, I feel assured that future generations of students will benefit from a Chaminade education, just as I did.
Jan A. Seymour