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Hawai`i Congressional leader to deliver spring commencement keynote address

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Date: Monday, April 28, 2003
Contact: Haunani Bernardino, (808) 974-7705

For Immediate Release

United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye

United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye will deliver the keynote address at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym. A total of 344 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences (321), College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (11), and Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language (12) are candidates for degrees and/or certificates.

Inouye, Hawai`i's senior U.S. senator, is a highly decorated veteran of World War II who served as a member of the army's famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He returned home in 1947 as a Captain with a Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster, along with 12 other medals and citations and was later awarded the Medal of Honor. With financial assistance from the G.I. Bill, Inouye graduated from the University of Hawai`i in 1950 and George Washington University Law School in 1952. A member of congress since Hawai`i achieved statehood in 1959, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and is currently the fourth most senior member of that body.

Inouye gained nationwide prominence in 1968 when he addressed the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and for his service on the Senate Select Committee on Watergate, which led to the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

Throughout his career, Inouye has championed the interests of Hawai`i's people. In 1993, he was instrumental in engineering the restoration and return of Kahoolawe, a former military target practice site, to the State of Hawai`i. He has also fought for improved health care for all
children, additional jobs for Hawai`i's economy, affordable housing and the protection of the nation's natural resources.

Inouye is also credited with spearheading two major initiatives, which will reside in UH Hilo's University Park of Science and Technology.
Inouye championed the development of the $40 million Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, and is responsible for securing $18
million in federal funds to finish the first phase of the project. He also initiated procurement of federal funds for the Mauna Kea Astronomy
Education Center.

Inouye's commencement address will reunite him with longtime friend and political associate, Henry Giugni, who will receive an Doctorate of Humane Letters. Giugni, Inouye's Chief of Staff from 1963 to 1986, served as the U.S. Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms from 1987 to 1990 and has participated in each of Inouye's campaigns dating back to 1957.

Ann Haggerty, a four-year starter for the UH Hilo women's volleyball team will represent the graduating class as student speaker. An Oregon native, Haggerty attended Douglas McKay High School in Salem, before earning a volleyball scholarship to attend UH Hilo.

Equally adept both on and off the court, Haggerty was a three-time member of the Pacific West Conference all academic team and made the Deans List four times. She has maintained a 3.6 GPA majoring in psychology with a minor in communication. Her post-graduate plans
include attending graduate school at Denver University, where she hopes to earn a masters in forensic psychology.

For more information on commencement, contact Haunani Bernardino at (808) 974-7705 or email For special accommodations, contact Susan Shirachi Gonsalves at (808) 933-0816 (V) or (808) 974-7335 (TTY). Requests for special accommodations should be made at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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