Freshman and Hawaii Island native Shalei Parong was among a throng of incoming students who moved into the Hale Pohaku co-ed dormitory on August 17. Meanwhile, after attending the freshman Apo Haumana Retreat, Gavin Ritcheson, Chase Murray and Kanden Yamada bonded and became instant friends.
“It was a fun retreat,” said Yamada of Apo Haumana. “We learned more about Chaminade’s mission, Hawaii’s culture, and we met with our new faculty mentors. We also sang a lot of karaoke., too”
This year, Chaminade University welcomed one of its largest incoming classes in recent history. The projected number of new students amounts to 1,572 undergraduate students and 642 graduate students for a total of 2,214 student enrollment. (The official final count is due Oct. 1.) The incoming class of freshmen and transfer students added up to 481, many of whom attended the New Student Orientation.
This Fall, the University also noted a 34 percent increase in new students from Hawaii, thanks in large part to the Hawaiʻi Guarantee initiative, which makes tuition for local Hawaiʻi freshmen on par with tuition at UH Manoa.
“It’s gratifying to see so many local high school graduates and others selecting Chaminade as the institute to pursue their higher education,” said Chaminade University President Dr. Lynn Babington. “We also have the highest graduation rate of Hawaii colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and that’s something of which we’re really proud.”
Also of note, 285 students live in university residence halls, with nine resident assistants guiding their dormitory experience that includes activities, and all safety and security procedures.
“We enforce the dorm rules,” said Kieffer Hall resident assistants Mady Jensen ’26 and Epifana Petelo ’23, as they waited to check in incoming students. “We make sure that everyone abides by the curfews and other regulations.”
New this year is Chaminade’s Major and Minor in the Sport and Event Management (SEM) program within the School of Business and Communication. It is the first college program of its kind in Hawaii, according to SEM professor Wendy Lam, Ph.D. Students will take an interdisciplinary approach to build their foundation of knowledge with courses in sports business administration, sports psychology, sustainability, law, ethics and communications.
“Sports programs generate tremendous value to both our communities and Hawaii’s economy,” said Lam, Associate Professor of Business. “The future of the school is mission-focused, practical and exciting.”
New graduate programs include the Education Specialist in School Psychology (EdS); Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership for Adaptation and Change (EdD–Sustainability Leadership concentration; Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)–BSN-DNP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) certificate; and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)–Post-Doctor Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Certificate.
In addition to more than 60 majors and minors, the University’s Office of Student Engagement offers more than 30 active student clubs for students to join.
“Looking ahead, we have an exciting year planned, and I am grateful in advance for all of the hard work and commitment of our faculty and staff members,” Babington said. “We are always here for our students.”