“You are very welcome here.”
The Ho‘oulu Scholars Welcome Dinner on September 7, 2018, began with a very welcoming message from Dr. Helen Turner, dean of natural sciences and mathematics and vice president of innovation at Chaminade University. “We are delighted that you are here. Many applied but few were chosen—the Ho‘oulu Scholarship represents an investment in the future of our community here in Hawai‘i.”
Chaminade faculty and staff gathered on campus with families from across the state to celebrate the new class of scholars and officially welcome them to the Chaminade ‘ohana. The dinner began with a traditional oli led by returning scholars and Kahoalii Keahi-Wood, cultural engagement specialist at Chaminade University.
President Lynn Babington motivated the students to make an impact. “We are counting on you to lead us into a better world,” she said. “You have an entire ‘ohana here, and we are so invested in your success.”
Thirty six students received this year’s scholarship, joining a cohort of 89 Ho‘oulu Scholarship students on campus. But the evening also brought an exciting announcement from Dr. Helen Turner. Earlier that week, Chaminade University received a prestigious $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand the program and offer an additional 15 scholarships next year. She also announced that next year an additional major will be available to Ho’oulu Scholars—the brand new Bachelor of Science in Data Science, Analytics and Visualization. “This will be one of Hawai‘i’s hottest degrees,” said Dr. Turner. “We are the first school here to offer it in support of Hawai‘i’s transition to an innovation economy.”
The Ho‘oulu Scholarship is a partnership between Chaminade University and Kamehameha Schools to build a new generation of Hawaiian scientists, health practitioners, forensic specialists, environmental professionals and business leaders. Students who are accepted into the program receive full tuition assistance, consideration for a housing stipend and wraparound academic support.Livingston “Jack” Wong, CEO of Kamehameha Schools, inspired the students to work hard and compete. “If you work hard and compete,” he said, “you can do anything.”