BYU-Hawaii Grants 159 diplomas

After receiving an education from BYU-Hawaii, graduates should now be prepared "to give back to the world," Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy said during the school's winter commencement exercises Dec. 17.

Elder Dunn, president of the North America West Area, told the graduates: "There is something that we would hope for each of you. . . . That is the desire to render service. One of the main objectives of education is to give back to the world and to your fellow men something of what you may have learned or received as a student on this campus."A total of 159 graduates received diplomas - 128 bachelor's degrees, 19 associate degrees and 12 professional diplomas. More than half the graduates are from Hawaii and other islands of the South Pacific. Twenty-five percent of the school's student population is from Hawaii, 25 percent from the mainland United States and 50 percent from more than 60 countries around the world.

The graduating class was the first class to graduate under new BYU-Hawaii Pres. Eric B. Shumway, who was inaugurated in November. He conducted the commencement exercises and awarded the degrees. Yuk King Joan Chung was the valedictorian and Jin-Ru Cassie Chen delivered the salutatory address.

In the graduation address, Elder Dunn spoke positively about current attitudes toward service. "Some people have designated this younger generation as a `me' generation - a generation that is more interested in what they can receive than in what they can give," he pointed out.

"In the assignments I have had, which have taken me to a number of places in the world, I have not found that to be the case. Yes, there are always a few who are only interested in getting what they can. But with the coming generation, I see more charity, more consideration, more people trying to help other people than perhaps there have ever been."

Elder Dunn acknowledged that the idea of service wasn't a new one at BYU-Hawaii, reminding that it was one of three virtues spoken of by President David O. McKay during a campus devotional in 1958.

Then he reviewed the words of President Howard W. Hunter to Pres. Shumway at the new president's inauguration: " `We charge you, therefore, to keep the building of character a central educational purpose of this institution. We charge you to find ever better ways to allow the diversity of cultures from which students come, and to which they will go, to be an effective and important part of the educational resources of this campus. Students can learn from each other to be more compassionate. They can learn from each other to be more productive. They can learn from each other the value and the necessity of honesty and integrity. Some of that they will learn from lectures and sermons. More of it they will learn from serving each other. And as you find those better ways to build character, you will change individuals, families, communities, and nations for the better.' "

Elder Dunn added: "To you, the graduates of this school, we say that now that you have been the beneficiaries of the lectures and the sermons, now that you have been the beneficiary of the opportunities of serving one another, you are in a position in your own personal way to change for the better individuals, families, communities and nations."

He then listed some of the former BYU-Hawaii graduates who have gone on to excel in the service of others. The list included Richard Hideo Kiyabu, a Hawaii native who has distinguished himself in special education as well as the Boy Scouts of America and other organizations; James William Harris, Secretary of Labor, Commerce and Industry for the kingdom of Tonga; and Linette Alapa Hunter, the coordinator for the University of Hawaii-Hilo Center for the Gifted and Talented.

"These people are representative of a list that goes on and on. . . . People from all over the world have prepared themselves to serve their fellow men at this institution," he said.

"Every day in every situation there is something that people can do," Elder Dunn continued. "Service, rendered as time and circumstances permit, will help bless the lives of those around us. We see this in those honorable men and women who lead Scout troops. We see volunteers putting in countless hours with the PTA, coaching Little League teams, and knocking on doors for the heart fund or some other worthy cause. These volunteers come from everywhere. They know no color, age or creed. They are hard at work in the inner city and in the rural countryside, and they can be found in every nation.

"Someone once said that in the last century in America, greatness can be measured not by what the government did for the people but primarily as a result of what the people have done for themselves."

In conclusion, Elder Dunn encouraged the graduates: "Each of you, in your own way and in your own circumstance, in you own country and in your own neighborhood, learn to reach out. Learn to recognize what is needed and serve your fellow men. If you do, I can promise that the learning experience will not end here. You will continue to grow and develop spiritually and mentally and, in the purest sense of the word, you will be in the service of your God because you chose to be in the service of your fellow men."

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