Kahului, HI — May 15, 2014 — Two-hundred and sixty UH Maui College students and thirty-five University of Hawaiʻi Center, Maui students walked at the combined commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18th at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 4:30 p.m. The commencement address was given by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, with the State Anthem, Hawai‘i Pono‘ī, performed by UHMC’s Institute for Hawaiian Music students.

This year’s UH Maui College valedictorian was Anna Miller. It was the first time the two commencement ceremonies were combined. Seats were limited during last year’s UHMC Commencement Ceremony held indoors at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and each graduate could only invite a maximum of five family members.

During the course of exploring other venues for 2014, expanding outdoors appeared to be the best solution and the most inclusive—under the Yokouchi Pavilion and in the A&B Amphitheater. This area would accommodate the UHMC as well as the University of Hawaiʻi Center Maui graduates and families to celebrate commencement at the same time.

“There’s a breadth of opportunities for higher education here on Maui, and having a combined commencement for both UHMC and the UH Center illustrates just what’s available to our community,” said UHMC Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Bio. “It also shows the continuum from associate’s degree to master’s degree, which will inspire students to consider all their degree options.”

“We’re excited at the prospect of a combined commencement,” said UH Center, Maui Director Karen Hanada. “It’s important that Maui County residents understand their options when it comes to choosing a degree path, and not everyone can or wants to leave Maui County to pursue their higher education. The UH Center offers our community the chance to work, meet their family obligations, and still reach their academic goals.”