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Chancellor Bonnie Irwin welcomed to UH Hilo with traditional kīpaepae ceremony

The traditional Kīpaepae Ho‘onoho (welcoming ceremony) was held at the UH Hilo campus this morning for Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin. A Kīpaepae Ho‘oku‘u (releasing ceremony) was also performed for Marcia Sakai, who served as interim chancellor since 2017.

Bonnie Irwin and Marcia Sakai
From left, Bonnie Irwin and Marcia Sakai at the traditional Native Hawaiian ceremonies honoring Chancellor Irwin’s arrival and former Interim Chancellor Sakai’s departure.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo community welcomed its new chancellor, Bonnie D. Irwin, to her post as leader of the Hawai‘i Island university on July 2 with a traditional Native Hawaiian appointment ceremony. Irwin officially started her new position yesterday.

“I’m very honored to be here and I’m humbled that I was chosen for this position,” Irwin says. “I see great things in the future for Hilo and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

The Kīpaepae Ho‘onoho (welcoming ceremony) was held on the UH Hilo campus with students, faculty, staff, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim, Chancellor Irwin’s husband and author Ned Huston, and UH President David Lassner in attendance.

“The kind of education that students can get here is amazing,” Lassner says. “And I don’t know that any other campus has as much impact on its island, its people, its community, its families as UH Hilo. So, this was a wonderful day.”

Read full story at UH Hilo Stories.

From left: Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Harry Kim, UH President David Lassner, former interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai, Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin and her husband, author Ned Huston.
From left: Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Harry Kim, UH President David Lassner, former interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai, Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin and her husband, author Ned Huston. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge.
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