University of Hawai‘i Maui College Virtual Commencement Tentatively Set for June 3
The University Hawaiʻi Maui College will hold a virtual commencement this year. The tentative date for the Maui College Virtual Commencement is Wednesday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m.
In a letter to graduating students, UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana said, “We know how deeply disappointing this is for our 2020 graduates and their families, and will do our best to include ways for graduates to share their celebration with their classmates, family and friends. While no one could have anticipated a virtual commencement, we would like our graduates and their families to know we are committed to ensuring our graduates are recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments.”
This virtual ceremony will incorporate many of the customs associated with the traditional on-campus commencement exercises. This will include a virtual processional to “Pomp and Circumstance,” the playing of the National Anthem and Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi, the official conferring of graduate and undergraduate academic degrees, and the culmination of the turning of tassels.
“Our chancellor will be making an address. We’ll have the Board of Regents–one of them–will be doing their address, and those will most likely be streamed in live,” said Albert Paschoal UHMC Director of Student Life.
He notes that specific guidelines are forthcoming and school administrators are still reviewing the different apps and online services available to determine the best way of honoring graduates.
Part of that process is getting students to schedule a graduate photo session and utilize those photos during the virtual ceremony in recognizing graduates.
Although many students will be viewing the event online, Paschoal said, “I’m going to definitely suggest that they all be wearing their regalia during the ceremony and at that point, make it as special as you can make it.”
“We’ve all been to graduations here in Hawaiʻi. They’re epic. Our campus, when we have it here, we’re packed to the gills–so how do you replace that type of feeling with a virtual ceremony? We don’t know. We’re going to do our best, but you know I’m sure it’s deeply disappointing to many families. But still, we want to provide something as opposed to not providing anything and waiting until a later date. I think it would be worse. They’ve really definitely earned this right and it’s a time for celebration, so we’re going to do whatever we can to try and make it special,” said Paschoal.
Prior to the pandemic and transition to online learning, a traditional commencement ceremony was planned on May 14 at the great lawn of the Kahului campus. On March 19, UH president David Lassner announced the decision to cancel all traditional commencement ceremonies at UH’s 10 campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are an estimated 430 to 450 graduation applicants that are currently being vetted, as well as an estimated 70 individuals from the University Center which houses students who are registered with other University of Hawaiʻi colleges through distance education.
Graduating students who have questions or concerns regarding commencement are asked to call the Student Life Office at 984-3434 or email [email protected].