Dobelle to deliver commencement keynote address

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Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Contact: Haunani Bernardino (808) 974-7705

For Immediate Release


University of Hawai`i President Dr. Evan Dobelle

University of Hawai`i President Dr. Evan Dobelle will deliver the keynote address at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo's Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 18 at 9:00 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym. There are 337 candidates for graduation: 26 from the College of Agriculture; 295 from the College of Arts and Sciences; and 16 from Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, which includes UH Hilo's first Master of Arts
candidate. There are also four candidates from distance learning programs--two from the University Center on Maui and two from O`ahu community colleges.


Dobelle is the 12th president of the 10-campus UH system and will be the first UH president ever to deliver the keynote address at a UH Hilo commencement. Before coming to UH, he served as president for Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, chancellor of City College of San Francisco and president of Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts.


Very early on, Dobelle was involved with public administration. When he was in his 20s, he was elected twice as the mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In his 30s, he held the rank of ambassador as the United States Chief of Protocol for the White House under President Jimmy Carter. He also served as the state's Commissioner of Environmental Management and Natural Resources.

Dobelle holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in education and public policy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master's in public administration from Harvard University. He is a tenured full professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UH Manoa and lectures throughout the world in this discipline. Joseph Watts will represent the Class of 2002 as its student speaker. Watts is graduating with a Certificate in Teacher Education. He holds a 3.86 GPA and made the Dean's List in Fall 2000.

During his undergraduate years, Watts volunteered at the Society for Conservation Biology Conference at UH Hilo and the Ka `Aha Hula `o Halauaola hula conference at Hawai`i Community College. He also has tutored at E.B. DeSilva Elementary School. The topic of Watt's address will cover the beauty of UH Hilo and the many sources of inspiration that have helped the graduating class of Spring 2002 to achieve their goals. After graduation, Watts plans to teach on the Big Island. He is especially interested in environmental education. "I want to help make this world a better place, and feel that education is one way to help," said Watts.


Wayne Miyao will address the graduating class on behalf of the UH Hilo Association of Alumni and Friends. Miyao, who recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2002, is the senior vice president for corporate marketing at City Bank.


Miyao graduated in 1968 when UH Hilo was known as Hilo College. He has long been a supporter of UH Hilo Athletics. He raised $25,000 to endow an athletic scholarship fund in the name of his parents, Miyoko and Miyato Miyao. Because of his many contributions to the program, he was inducted into the UH Hilo Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.


For more information, please contact Haunani Bernardino, commencement chair, at (808) 974-7705. For special accommodations, please contact Susan Shirachi-Gonsalves, director of University Disability Services 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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