Founders’ Week celebrates Chaminade’s roots
It seems to me that we must not become discouraged if we encounter some obstacle in the way of the necessary change. Never has change been done, and never will it be done, without difficulty.”Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Letters, March 23, 1833
In 1955, Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was declared safe and effective. Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. The United States began its involvement in the Vietnam conflict. And St. Louis Junior College was established and would eventually change its name to Chaminade College.
“Founders’ Week gives us the opportunity to honor our founders, including the university’s namesake Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous,” says Chaminade University President Dr. Lynn Babington. “Central to Father Chaminade’s legacy is his commitment to forming schools as a principal means for transforming society. Today, we perpetuate that tradition and remain committed to a holistic education of the whole person.”
Throughout the week of Jan. 16-21, events are planned to acknowledge Chaminade’s past founders and presidents, who have all significantly contributed to the Marianist heritage of respecting both faith and reason as means to the truth and justice.
“Founders’ Week allows us to affirm our Marianist spirit and carry forward the Marianist values,” says Bro. Ed Brink. “In 1883, eight Marianists arrived aboard the steamboat S.S. Mariposa, but only five would be assigned to organize the fledgling St. Louis College with the other three departing for St. Anthony’s on Maui.”
Honoring the Past
On Tuesday afternoon at 12:30, Chaminade and Saint Louis School communities are invited to gather on the Front Lawn at the Oval for a Lei-Draping Ceremony at the Father Chaminade statue. The annual tradition precedes the week’s festivities, including the Marianist Founders Day Mass on Wednesday, where students, faculty and staff are invited to gather as one Chaminade ‘Ohana in prayer, and the Servant Leadership Day on Saturday.
Embodying Marianist Values
During the Founders’ Day Mass, Bro. Brink will announce this year’s Heritage Awards honorees. To recognize their exceptional contributions in personifying the Marianist values, Dr. Darren Iwamoto, Maritel Suniga and Kobe Ngirailemesang will be honored with this year’s Heritage Awards. It’s a distinction that Bro. Brink says “shows the breadth and impact an individual may have on campus and in the community.”
This year’s awardees are:
- Dr. Darren Iwamoto, Associate Professor in Education and Behavioral Sciences will receive the Chaminade Award, given to a faculty or staff member who has exhibited a continuous commitment to Marianist values in education;
- Maritel Suniga, Payroll Specialist in the Business Office, 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;
- Kobe Ngirailemesang, a graduating senior, 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.
On Saturday, Founders’ Week culminates in service. Faculty, staff, and alumni will join students to outwardly express their Marianist Catholic values together. From sorting out clothes and household items at the Institute for Human Services (IHS) to refurbishing furniture at Habitat for Humanity, from cleaning up the campus to cleaning out an ancient fishpond in Heeia, Chaminade volunteers devote their energy into doing good work across the island.
This year, the Servant Leadership Day will take place at the Women’s & Family Shelter at IHS.
Join us throughout Founders’ Week to celebrate the Marianist future.
Founders’ Week Recap Video