An isle-raised Army general urges new UH graduates to adapt
The second-highest ranking Filipino American in the Army told more than 1,000 University of Hawaii graduates at yesterday's fall commencement exercise that education is the ticket to becoming a successful leader to better the lives of the community.
"Be a landmark for the future, and expect nothing less," said Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Reserve readiness, training and mobilization.
Taguba was the keynote speaker at the 2005 fall commencement exercise, held at the Stan Sheriff Center yesterday. He migrated to Hawaii from Manila with his family when he was 11 years old, and graduated from Leilehua High School. He is the son of a World War II Philippine Scout who served in the Korean War.
"He's a member of the generations of Filipinos who over the past 100 years have come to Hawaii and who have been brought up in the island ways and contributed to the ethnically diverse culture that enriches all of us in so many ways," said UH-Manoa Interim Chancellor Denise Konan at yesterday's commencement.
Taguba attracted global attention with his investigation of Iraqi prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
"Success in leadership is about being dynamic, being adaptive and being persuasive communicators," Taguba said. While all those characteristics are important, he said that leadership is also about learning how to deal with failure.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba addressed the graduating class yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
He quoted Winston Churchill, who said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, while an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
His speech was inspirational, said UH graduate Cherie Ganiban, 22, of Lihue.
Odeelo "Delo" Dayondon, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration, addressed fellow graduates yesterday.
Dayondon and his family migrated to Hawaii from Cebu, Philippines, in 1992. Faced with a language barrier and culture shock, he decided to attend UH to pursue better opportunities.
Dayondon said he overcame some obstacles while attending UH that included failing a history class. His positive attitude eventually helped him to become president of the American Marketing Association, University of Hawaii Chapter.
Like Taguba, Dayondon reminded graduates to give back to the community as leaders.
"As we move forth into a new chapter in our lives, recognize the fact that the pages are still unwritten. Explore other possibilities to discover what truly brings a sense of happiness into your life. Once you find what you are truly passionate about, let it be your duty and responsibility to contribute to our future generations," he told the graduates.
Big isle kumu hula receives honorary doctorate
Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele, a renowned Big Island kumu hula and expert in Hawaiian cultural practices, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree yesterday during the University of Hawaii's 2005 fall commencement exercise.
Kanahele was born and raised in Keaukaha on the Big Island. She is instrumental in the resurgence of Hawaiian practices. Kanahele is one of two daughters of the late hula and chant master Edith Kanaka'ole.