Photos: UH Hilo 2016 Fall Commencement

A total of 242 students are candidates for 318 degrees and/or certificates. A surprise this year: No keynote—the program highlighted the student speaker and celebrated higher education through an indigenous lens.

Happy graduate holding diploma. Chancellor in background on dais.

In addition to honoring graduates, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo 2016 Fall Commencement highlighted higher education through an indigenous lens, a high priority of the UH System through its Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao initiative. There was no traditional keynote speaker during this commencement program, but rather a focus on the student speaker Kyle Davis and a Kīpaepae Puka Kulanui presentation about learning and growth.

Photos by Bob Douglas, click to enlarge.


Candidates in cap and gown wait in line to enter venue.


Kīpaepae Puka Kulanui

A chant-hula was performed by UNUKUPUKUPU, the Indigenous Leadership through Hula Program under the directorship of Pele Kaʻio, Hawaiian Protocols Committee chairperson, and Taupōuri Tangarō, director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement at UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College. About 50 individuals performed, representing UH Hilo, Hawaiʻi CC, and Waiākea High School. Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, interim executive assistant to the chancellor and director of Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, introduced the chant-hula entitled, ʻUlei Pahu I Ta Motu, which was composed more than 200 years ago and documents the evolution of world view.  The chant-hula was preceded and followed by the sounding of 20 pahu (drums) and 20 (conch-shell trumpets). The 20  also sounded in honor of moana-nui-ākea (large and broad oceans) that connect Hawaiʻi to the world. The performance concluded with the presentation of paʻakai (sea-salt) to honor the profound intersection where the learner transitions to graduate.

Group blows conch shells. Dressed in dramatic red and black.


Commencement Ceremonies

A total of 242 students are candidates for 318 degrees and/or certificates from the College of Arts and Sciences (233), College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (21), College of Business and Economics (30), College of Pharmacy (6) and Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (7), while 21 others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Male candidate walking down from dais holding diploma.


With Friends and Family

Graduate with his mom.


Read more about the commencement program here.


About the photographer: Bob Douglas is a local artist, photographer, and student who volunteers his photography skills to the Office of the Chancellor and UH Hilo Stories. 

-UH Hilo Stories 

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