Banners with the images of Marianist founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous, held steady by the high winds, unfurled throughout Chaminade University’s campus. Banners of past founders and presidents of Chaminade University also heralded in the week. It was Founders Week (Jan. 23-28) and an opportunity for the University to celebrate its Marianist heritage, affirm its present day Marianist spirit and carry forward its Marianist values.
Honoring the Past
Monday morning, Campus Ministers set up a lei making station in the Vi and Paul Loo Student Center. They stacked boxes of white and purple dendrobium orchids and threaded lei needles for students, staff, and faculty to craft together long garlands of flowers. The garlands were completed in time for a simple draping ceremony at the Father Chaminade statue on the oval. A simple prayer united the onlookers and gave pause. The group reflected on the rich Marianist past that preceded them.
Fully Present in the Here and Now
On Wednesday, the Chaminade family gathered at Mystical Rose Oratory for Mass and to honor three of its finest. This was the 15th year that Chaminade University gave out its Heritage Awards. These awards, given annually to members of the faculty, staff and student body, who embody the Marianist spirit, give clear evidence that the Marianist charism is alive and well on campus.
This year’s awardees were:
Joan Riggs, associate professor and director of the Environmental and Interior Design program, who will receive the Chaminade Award, given to a faculty or professional staff member who has exhibited a continuous commitment to Marianist values in education;
- Elaine Oishi, director of Administrative Services, who will receive the Marianist Award, given to a staff member who has exhibited a continuous and extraordinary commitment to the vision and mission of Chaminade University while drawing others into the collaborative community (Elaine was unable to attend due to health issues);
- Jerri Gisela Francisco, vice president of CSGA Programming and Campus Ministry volunteer, who will receive the Founders Award, given to a student who has exhibited a commitment to Marianist values by outstanding generosity, respect for others, and spirit of faith.
Combining education and application, Campus Ministry on Tuesday presented an exhibit of Marianists doing good works globally. That afternoon the Chaminade community prepared food to serve to the homeless at Next Step Shelter in Kakaako, Honolulu. On Thursday, it was off to see the film Hidden Figures, which reminded students of social justice issues. On Friday, it was an Ice Cream Social, where Campus Ministry highlighted activities of involvement and civic engagement available to students and winners for the Founders’ Week photo contest were announced.
On Saturday, Founders’ Week culminated in service. Faculty, staff, and alumni joined more than 60 students to outwardly express their Marianist Catholic values together. From sorting out clothes and household items at the Institute for Human Services to refurbishing furniture at Habitat for Humanity, from cleaning up the campus to cleaning out an ancient fishpond in Heeia, the Chaminade volunteers poured their energy into doing good works across the island.
The good works that the ‘ohana did that service day and participated in throughout Founders’ Week would continue to pay forward towards a rich Marianist future.