The numbers are nearly all in, and so far about 500 students are expected to graduate this May from Chaminade University. This makes for about a 25% jump in graduates from the previous spring graduation, an all time record for the private Catholic Marianist University located above Kaimuki.
It has been a banner year in enrollment as well as in retention for Chaminade. There were strong increases in enrollment for both Chaminade’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Accelerated Evening and Online Program (AEOP) also showed high numbers. Day undergraduate hit a record high enrollment of more than 1200, the largest number in the university’s 56 year history. This came in tandem with the university’s new higher academic requirements of standardized test scores and high school grade point averages (G.P.A.) for unconditional acceptance. The university’s first to second year retention rate at more than 71% also looked good as the highest rate since the 1990s. In addition, the university serves at any one time 800 graduate students and 900 AEOP students.
“Though we are not sure of all the reasons for this growth trend, we believe that in these tough financial times we were able to provide an affordable, quality university experience for our students,” said Chaminade President Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM, PhD.
According to Ploeger, during the last decade, Chaminade invested approximately $14 million in developing its science facilities. In 2002 Chaminade had embarked on an ambitious program of laboratory renovation. Ten teaching laboratories comprising approximately 9000 sq. ft. have been renovated. These included biology, forensic sciences, chemistry, and physics laboratories. The university completely overhauled teaching laboratories and created new research and support facilities, funded by a variety of federal and private foundation sources. The renovation of the science laboratories, the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment, and development of science programming provide a solid foundation for the sciences and the university’s new nursing program. The University has also entered into several articulation agreements with medical schools and other health profession programs and significantly expanded off-campus research internships for the benefit of its students.
The campus transformation has not been limited to science and nursing. Gifts from foundations and donors, as well as major federal grants, have supported Chaminade’s programs in Interior Design, Communications, the Arts, and the Humanities. From the Sullivan Family Library dedicated in 2008 to the recent dedications of the History Center, the Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence K.W. (BoHing Chan) Tseu Center for Nursing Education, and the Science facilities, Chaminade University has become a first choice destination for a growing number of students.
Graduating students will celebrate with their families, friends, faculty and staff, the conferring of degrees at Chaminade University’s 2012 Spring Commencement on Monday, May 14, at 7 p.m., in the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena. The free event is open to the public. Members of the media are welcomed.
Featured keynote speaker is Dee Jay Mailer, Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer. She joined Kamehameha Schools in 2004, bringing with her more than 12 years of proven corporate leadership experience in the healthcare industry. Born and raised in Hawai’i, she is a 1970 Kamehameha Schools graduate and holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Nursing from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. For more on Ms. Mailer, go to: www.ksbe.edu/about/chiefs/ceo.php
Featured student speakers include Joshua Thinsew, as salutary undergraduate speaker, and Elizabeth Marian Bernard, as salutary graduate speaker:
- Joshua Thinsew was born and raised on the island of Yap and attended high school in Chuuk. He has a 4.0 GPA and was selected as Chaminade’s 2012 Outstanding Business Graduate. He has served as president of the Micronesian Club and has worked with the youth at Mayor Wright Housing.
- Elizabeth Marian Bernard, born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised in San Diego, California, received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology. While working toward her M.S. in Counseling Psychology, she has worked for Child and Family Services as a life skills specialist as well as interned for the Schofield Barracks Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) and the Honolulu County Mental Health Court System.
For more information, go to: www.chaminade.edu/graduation/. In addition, Olelo will broadcast the event live on Channel 49, as well as stream it live on www.olelo.org
Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 9681, which is its main campus. It also has nine satellite locations around Oahu. Chaminade University is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and looks forward to increased opportunities to promote environmental sustainability. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at www.chaminade.edu or call (808) 735-4711.###
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