NEWS

Graduation of the Class of 2016

Graduation of the Class of 2016

June 4, 2016 - ‘Iolani School's commencement exercises for the Class of 2016 took place Saturday evening on campus.

Click to watch webcast of the Graduation of the Class of 2016

 

Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell, who is in his fourth year as ‘Iolani's Head of School, conducted the ceremony.

The Head of School's remarks follow below.
 
On behalf of Chair Jenai Wall and the members of the Board of Governors, as well as my distinguished colleagues of the administration, faculty and staff, welcome to the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2016.
 
We gather today to celebrate the achievements of the students before you and to send them forth into a new chapter of their lives. They have rightfully earned their accomplishments and success, and done so in part through the support of our faculty and staff, who are here today to support them on this last step. Our community also relies on the support of parents, families, alumni and friends to achieve our mission. Your commitment to ‘Iolani is evident by your presence here today and we thank you for your many contributions.
 
We’re fortunate to welcome back one such group of alumni to campus today, here to honor the Class of 2016 and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their own graduation. The Class of 1966 graduated with Rev. Burton MacLean serving as their Headmaster and Father David Coon as their Dean of Studies. These young men left ‘Iolani headed in different directions. We're so pleased that they, and Father and Mrs. Coon have found their way back to campus to be with us on this day of celebration. Their generous reunion gift of more than $260,000 will benefit every 'Iolani student.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, please help me recognize and thank these members of the Class of 1966 as our seniors extend our aloha to them. Welcome home, gentlemen!

*   *   *

 
It is now my privilege to present a few awards to members of the graduating class.
 
I ask the winners of the Scholarship Medal, the nine Valedictorians of the Class of 2016, to come forward and stand in front of the stage.
 
These are the students who have earned all A’s in their time at ‘Iolani as well as those with higher weighted GPAs. 
 
As a group, these individuals thrived in our most challenging courses and achieved cumulative grade point averages which ranged from 4.33 to 4.5. All have been honored by the National Merit Corporation as finalists or commended students. Although they have distinguished themselves through their intellectual and academic prowess, they contribute to the school in other impressive ways. Six performed in our top music ensembles with another earning honors for her theatre accomplishments. One was a senior prefect. They gave back to our community as leaders of the No Free Lunch, Storytellers, Culinary Arts, and Pi clubs and as student tutors. They competed for ‘Iolani in six different varsity sports and as members of our Science Olympiad, Math, Robotics, QuizBowl, History Bowl, and Moon Riders teams. Their teachers describe them as thoughtful, brilliant, intellectual, witty, giving and kind. Each is a leader in their own way.
 
I am pleased to introduce each of them to you as Dr. Aster Chin, Dean of the Upper School, helps them to the stage to receive their medals from Dr. Karen Neitzel, our Associate Head of School: 
 
Matt Alexander, Brown University
Mychaela Anderson, Dartmouth College
Dante Hirata-Epstein, Williams College
Kevin Liu, Carnegie Mellon University
Aidan Swope, California Institute of Technology
Isaac Taguchi, University of Washington
Kaitlyn Takata, California Institute of Technology
Kento Tanaka, Yale University
Jenna Tom, Carleton College
 
Congratulations to all of you!

*   *   *

The Alumni Medals are given to the top male and female student-athletes in the class.
 
Escorting our three winners are teachers who have made an impact on these young scholars. I ask Mr. Manny Dayao, Dr. Peter Webb and Mr. Michael Park to please bring to the stage Kelly Watanabe, Matt Alexander and Kaishu Mason.
 
Kelly, escorted by her band instructor Mr. Dayao, is a master of all she undertakes. Not only is she an excellent runner committed to improvement and helping others through off-season workouts, but she's also an exceptional flute player, who featured in our spring concerto concert. She will be continuing her education at Claremont McKenna College this fall.
 
Matt, from whom you've already heard, is escorted by his 11th grade English instructor Peter Webb. They both share a love of Shakespeare, a dry wit and a way with words. Matt has been a key player for our boys soccer team throughout his time at 'Iolani. A broken foot kept him sidelined for the first part of this season, but he returned and helped the team make a late push. Matt will be studying at Brown University.
 
Kaishu is escorted by his math team coach, Mr. Michael Park, and rarely has such mathematical genius been assembled on the same stage. Kaishu has been a star for our dominant math team, regularly recording perfect scores and challenging his teammates. He was also the captain of the varsity Division II basketball team and displayed not only a love of the game but also a competitive spirit. Kaishu will attend Harvard University this fall.
 
Congratulations Kelly, Matt and Kaishu!

*   *   *

The Bishop's Award goes to the senior who has given unselfish service to church, school and community and who demonstrates outstanding witness to faith in Christ and commitment to principle.
 
Escorting this year’s winner is a mentor who taught her in biology and math when she first came to ‘Iolani in the ninth grade, and just a few weeks ago accompanied her on a Science Olympiad trip to Wisconsin. A trip at which our team finished first among all private schools in the nation.
 
Dr. Lara Lee, please bring to the stage Therese Anagaran.
 
With her cheerful demeanor and bright smile, Therese has been a spot of sunshine on our campus for the last four years. She's a songbird who loves to serenade anyone within earshot, and she's eager to help in any way she can, whether as an acolyte or senior prefect. She's been a part of our Speech and Debate and Science Olympiad teams and is active in her church multiple nights each week. Therese will be attending the University of Hawai'i this fall.
 
Congratulations, Therese!

*   *   *

The Headmaster's Award is presented to the graduate who has made an exceptional contribution to ‘Iolani School. 
 
Our winner is escorted by the woman who taught her as a kindergartener and who is also graduating today after 40 years of service to the school. Mrs. Boni Gravelle please bring to the stage Cecily Choy.
 
Cecily is the kind of student teachers speak about in wistful tones. She had teachers lining up, hoping they would be asked to write her letter of recommendation. In the last year alone, she has served as the class treasurer, conducted independent genomics research on the mislabeling of fish sold in local restaurants, performed a concerto viola solo, played on the Division II girls basketball team, and penned a hand-written note to each of her 227 classmates celebrating their individual accomplishments. She's done all of this while balancing a demanding academic schedule with a genuine love of learning. The things Mrs. Gravelle saw in Cecily as a kindergartener -- her fine ability, excellent organization, charisma, and leadership skills, are even more evident today. She loves learning with friends, and will continue to do so at Carleton College this fall.
 
Congratulations and thank you, Cecily!

*   *   *

We are pleased with the accomplishments of all our students, and we honor them at award ceremonies throughout the year as well as at these commencement exercises today. As I said at our spring Honors Day a little over a week ago, each member of the graduating class could and should be recognized for their accomplishments and achievements. Before our presentation of diplomas though, I'd like to take this opportunity to recognize yet one more group of students- students who bring good character, generosity of spirit and a positive attitude to campus each day. They are important in defining who we are as a school and as a community. They make a difference in the lives of their teachers and classmates, yet seldom receive the spotlight they deserve.
 
Please allow me to introduce to you our Unsung Heroes. I ask those named to stand and remain standing until I call the last name.
 
Carlee Hirano
Kalle Suzuki
Taylor Ann Yamane
Dylan Lawton
Sammy Yee
Tyler Wong
Kylie Schatz
Leia Lau
Megan Ching
Ryan Yoshioka
Sophia Placourakis
Maya Franklin
Anthony Nguyen
 
Thank you Unsung Heroes, for your contributions to our community.
 

*   *   *

 
Class of 2016,
 
"I learned these things at ‘Iolani and they have stayed with me throughout my life” ... is a statement that I have heard, again and again, from members of the group you are about to join; the alumni of ‘Iolani School.
 
From person to person, the stories change. For some it was the wisdom of great coaches. For others, the knowledge imparted by an outstanding teacher. Or the importance of community and how this place instills in us the belief that caring for the people around us, truly valuing our friendships, is one of the keys to a life well lived.
 
Your time here has not only influenced who you are, but also who you will become. You've gained perspectives, skills, values and voices that you will strengthen you throughout your life. You will carry these things with you, out into the world and across time, as you proceed on your life's journey.
 
When I was thinking about this idea of what you carry with you from your time at ‘Iolani I was struck by the image of a metaphorical red and black suitcase. A suitcase filled with these many things that are always with you and that can be unpacked as needed on your road ahead. And, this reminded me of a game that I used to play with my kids called “In My Grandmother's Suitcase.”
 
Some of you might know how the game is played or know it by another name. It is a knowledge and memory game played by two or more people.
 
First you choose a topic, with my boys it was often Pokemon characters, but it could be animals or fruits and vegetables or countries. And the first player starts with the letter A and says -- in the case of Pokemon -- “In my grandmother's suitcase there is an Abra.” The next person would then say: “In my grandmother's suitcase there is an Abra and a Blaziken.” And this goes on throughout the entire alphabet with each player having to name a new Pokemon and citing all those that were said before.
 
These two thoughts came together and I decided that today I would fill an ‘Iolani suitcase for you.
 
For the sake of time, I won't exactly use the “In My Grandmother’s Suitcase" format. I won't repeat each prior entry as new things are added. But that said, there are 26 letters in the alphabet so, buckle up Class of 2016, this will take some time.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase, you have aspirations. We heard this at Baccalaureate as you look out toward the opportunities ahead of you. 
 
Some of these are aspirations are typical of where you are, right now, in your lives. The thoughts of your next stop, college or serving our country, of meeting new people, doing well, graduate or professional school, possible careers and thinking about all the things that earning money makes possible.
 
Next to these there are some quieter aspirations that those who love and care for you and who have already tread the path ahead, packed away for you and that will unfold as aspirations of greater and greater importance throughout your lives.
 
For you, we aspire that you be comfortable anywhere and enjoy the world and other people exactly as they and you are -- to ever increasingly know yourself and find true happiness.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase, you also have benches, these memorable gray metal picnic tables around which you ate, talked, laughed, disagreed, made up and together shared an experience of close proximity that some of you might find in future jobs.
 
When you are in that open workspace used by some of the world's most innovative companies and everyone is being asked to share space, work, create, laugh and eat together, you can unpack some 'Iolani-made senior-bench confidence and say to yourself: “Hey, this feels like home, it's like the benches and I know how to live, work and help make this a great space for those around me.”
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase, right next to benches is community. You cannot be packed that tightly together for a year without learning to appreciate community -- a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. That's one definition.
 
This item, community, takes up a lot of space in your suitcase and will never leave you. It is a power in the world to appreciate the importance of community and to build it when others don't see the need for it and you will do so.
 
In addition to this ability, your community of ‘Iolani School is one to which you will always belong and upon which you can always depend.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase, you have determination. This is the grit and perseverance you needed to get through the ‘Iolani experience.
 
We are not Sparta; but on some days, for each of you, we have been a pretty good 21st century approximation.
 
Mrs. Weaver was kind enough to do me a favor a few weeks ago and it was to send you all a survey, asking about the memories, experiences and lessons you will take away from ‘Iolani. I wanted to know what you might pack in this metaphorical suitcase.
 
One of the responses was about the determination, grit and perseverance you learn here.
 
"Whether it was in class, in dance practice, or even just socializing and meeting new people, I learned to stick with whatever I was doing. Throughout the seven years I've been at ‘Iolani, times definitely got tough, academically and socially. But, I figured out that the phrase 'If you can dream it, you can do it" is very true. ‘Iolani taught me to never give up on what I want."
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase, some of you have E's, that's a capital E not the word e-a-s-e.
 
We don't give F's at ‘Iolani we give E's. And for all of you, even if it wasn't a grade you received, you've experienced some failures here and this is a good thing. In fact, I can tell you that the administration and faculty are constantly trying to find more places where students can experience failure as part of the authentic process of how most endeavors come to success.
 
If you are going to take risks in life; present your ideas, take on responsibilities, have kids, you need to be able to handle failure, learn from it and appreciate that without failure we have no experiences upon which to build resiliency.
 
So keep those literal or representational E's that you've achieved at ‘Iolani and use them as a strength to be personally and professionally courageous and resilient throughout your lives.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have friendships. This experience, all of it, creates lifelong friendships. We celebrate them and you all know in your heart of hearts how important they are to you. On the survey, you said friendships more than any other thing you value and will take away from your time here. And you are right on the money.
 
Life is about the relationships we have with other people. These connections give meaning to our lives. And you have found a lot meaningful connections here and they will stay with you.
 
You are about to go your separate ways. Some of your ‘Iolani friendships will remain every day connections -- social media helps with this -- and others will move to the background as new friendships enter your life.
 
I can tell you that in either case, when you get together after an absence of one or 50 years, when you see each other at a future alumni reunion, it will seem like you saw each other yesterday and you will pick up right where you left off.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have gratitude. Gratitude is the antidote to many of the things in life that can be overwhelming. It is also a state of mind that is easily lost under stress and difficulty. Like prayer, thoughts of gratitude should be part of your daily practice because regardless of what is happening around you, it helps us remain optimistic and grounded.
 
Class, I know that you have gratitude in your suitcase because I've assigned gratitude journals to some of you and read the gratitude journals of many other ‘Iolani students. You are grateful for all that your parents give you, for this education, for your friends, for your teammates and much more.
 
Take a moment each day of your life to unpack this one, take a few breaths and think of things in your life for which you are grateful. If you do, you will be happier, stronger and more forgiving of the world around you.
 
Next to gratitude in your ‘Iolani suitcase is another quality of strength that you take from your time here and it is humility.
 
We achieve and win a lot of things at this school and we are known to do so with grace and respect for our opponents.
 
Some of you have probably heard me talk about this as one of the most highly valued employee qualities by companies like Google. They value intellectual humility.
 
What they want are highly accomplished people who want to win, can win and always work to achieve excellence, but who don't need to prove that they are the smartest person at the table or the star on a team.
 
We value the same thing in our school culture. We want to win, we don't need to be modest about our drive to achieve, however, you've all learned how to lead and be part of a team that has space for the success of teammates and that works to become a sum greater than its parts. This is anchored in the power of humility.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have iStuff, like iPads, iPhones, the technologies with which you have grown up. You are part of the most technologically savvy generation in history and within this group, your experience here has equipped you better than most to embrace change, new technologies and quickly learn how to use them to get things done.
 
Don't lose this edge. It is a tremendous competitive advantage to be able to learn and stay current with technological changes. Unpack this from your ‘Iolani suitcase and use it throughout your careers.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have jalapeños, those spicy times where you were at your wits end, pulling at your hair and saying to yourself: “I can't take it anymore!” The times when you really pushed what you could manage, that extra course, club, theatre production, sport, whatever it was that pushed you to the edge of your endurance.
 
The many opportunities at ‘Iolani make it easy to get there, to the edge of what you can manage, and this happens throughout life. And when it does, you'll remember your ‘Iolani jalapeños, and say to yourself: “I've been here before and can do this.” And you'll take the next bite.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have knowledge.
 
I posed to a few of your teachers, the question, what does every ‘Iolani student know when they walk across this stage? And I have to say it is impressive. I'm impressed that each of you walking across the stage today has a complete and total mastery of what shared with me.
 
According to Mr. Masunaga, each of you know that mathematics is a vital tool which enables a person to better discern the difference between a prejudice and a principle.
 
Moreover, each of you leaves this place with the knowledge that Algebra is a creation of the Muslim world and is one of the crowning achievements of mankind because it allows geometry to be codified abstractly into symbols.
 
Also that each of you has a deep appreciation that the Pythagorean theorem is much more than just a2 + b2 = c2. That it is in fact a vital link between the one-dimensional notion of length and the two-dimensional concept of area.
 
Finally, in mathematical terms, you all know how things grow; from no-growth, to non-exponential to exponential.
 
In the words of Mr. Masunaga: “You have been bombarded with the idea that as things dilate, the area grows as the square and the volume grows as the cube.”
 
You depart us with an impressive mathematics toolkit.
 
Dr. LaGory shared with me that your writing has been molded by the gentle touch of your English teachers. That you have committed the Keables Guide to memory. And that never for a moment will you be puzzled by the legendary mysteries of the English language.
 
You know that “good actors act bad well” and “bad actors act well badly.”
 
You know whether “you and I” or “you and me” went on a double date with “he and she” or “her and him.”
 
You know exactly how many commas to put in the sentence: “‘Who, me?’ said she, to which, without pause, I replied, ‘Oh, yes,’ though not, perhaps, as sure as the tall, dark man.”
 
You know the singular of “graffiti,” and the plurals of “genus,” “mongoose” and “scrip.”
 
You never write sentences like: “While giving birth, her husband fainted” or “She could not explain why she wanted to get married to her mother.”
 
You know “adapt” from “adopt” … “prodigies” from “protégés” … and what kind of “principal” I am.
 
As you leave us, each of you knows a great deal and reading the thoughts of these two great teachers made me happy to know that ‘Iolani is graduating young people remarkably well prepared to participate thoughtfully in our nation's democratic process.
 
Your ‘Iolani suitcase abounds with love, it is all around you today.
 
This is life's greatest gift and strength. It is an emotional state and if you are blessed with children you will learn what this means. Our children take our breath away and it never changes.
 
Even when you have been profoundly annoying to your parents, they love you, unconditionally.
 
Make it a point to find the time to open your suitcase every day and let the people in your life who love you, know that you appreciate and love them back.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have malasadas. Not the ones you buy at Leonard’s or some other favorite spot, but the ones you made with your parents at the ‘Iolani Fair.
 
These tasty little memories are just like a malasada, they make you want more and there are usually more in the box.
 
As you will learn through the years, the Fair, for ‘Iolani alumni is an informal class reunion. Alums return from near and far to serve the school by manning the food booths, but really it is to once again work side-by-side and spend time with their friends.
 
The Fair is a big community magnet that pulls on all the connections between classmates and brings us back together to take a sweet bite of friendship. In the years to come, take advantage of it.
 
This next item in your ‘Iolani suitcase is part of our personality as a school as well as a big part of the power we bring to the world each year.
 
Our suitcase is nerdy and we embrace nerd-dom.
 
Your Head of School still has his collection of Magic the Gathering Cards and reads Mathematics Magazine.
 
For those of you who consider yourselves or have been labeled nerds, congratulations! The world is your oyster.
 
If you look around at companies in the news from Google, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Facebook, to Intel and on and on, folks who would have been called nerds growing up run these companies and are many of the most powerful and wealthy people on Earth.
 
They don't play on the professional sports teams … they own them.
 
Being nerdy growing up is tough in most schools, but we are uniquely enlightened in this sense. By and large, our school culture is one in which we appreciate the unique qualities of each member of the team.
 
Math Team, Econ Team, Science Olympiad, Robotics, and more groups like these compete at the highest levels nationally and the student participants represent us and make us just as proud as our fantastic athletic teams.
 
To the friends of nerds, those of you who didn't understand my Magic the Gathering reference, you have also benefited from your diverse friendships. As you shape your careers, you won't reflexively need to establish superiority by labeling those around you. This is because you've grown up in a place that celebrates many kinds of achievement and that has enough room, culturally and socially, for everyone to be supported and celebrated.
 
Which leads right into the next item in ‘Iolani suitcase and that is One Team.
 
One Team means something a little different to each of you because you have lived it in different aspects of life at ‘Iolani -- sports, the performing arts, clubs and in the classroom.
 
As a school, we will never stop working to evolve a culture of supporting each other, caring for each other and recognizing the power of teamwork. This is a great strength in life and I've lost count of the number of times that alumni have said to me that the One Team philosophy is a big part of the success they have found in professional and personal life.
 
Don't be shy about using and sharing the One Team philosophy in all aspects of your life, it will lead you to many successes.
 
The next item in your ‘Iolani suitcase was referenced a lot on the survey. Apparently, you've all packed a healthy amount of procrastination.
 
Here is the definition: "Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time."
 
That's a formal definition and I'm going to put a little bit of an ‘Iolani spin on it.
 
Class of 2016, you are masters of balancing many commitments, responsibilities, assignments and more, while also being able to find some time to let down, have fun and do the things that you most enjoy.
 
Other than for your college applications, I would say that most of what you label as procrastination, you'll relabel at some point in your life as exquisite time management ability.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have questions. We heard some at Baccalaureate. Who am I going to be? What am I going to do? Where will I go?
 
You are at a place in your lives where maybe for the first time, you are in charge of the big questions. Learn to be comfortable with it, because from here on out, the questions change, but the fact that they are there and you are responsible to answer them, doesn't.
 
Every once in a while, unpack and check in on the question, "Am I happy?" Now that you are in charge, it is important to let the answer to this question guide you throughout life.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have Raider Nation.
 
As a group you are about to become Bulldogs, Terriers, Setters, Huskies, Pios, Wolves, Foxes, Wildcats, Bobcats, Cougars, Mountain Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Bearcats, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, Sagehens, Martlets, Thunderbirds, Griffins, Beavers, Bears, Broncos, Mustangs, Stags, Rams, Goats, Buffalos, Purple Cows, Gila Monsters, Yellow Jackets, Narwhals, Dragons, Phoenixes, Acorns, Crimson, Big Green, Boxers, Loggers, Lumberjacks, Bruins, Trojans, Spartans, Sun Devils, Lobos, Leos, Hokies, Scots, Saints, Knights, Pilots, Pilgrims, Pioneers, Miners, Athenas, Buccaneers, Boilermakers, Boomers, Vikings, Quakers, Hoyas, Keelhaulers, Renegades, Commodores, Cavaliers, Don Franciscos, Aztecs and Rainbow Warriors.
 
More than any of these, you will always be Raiders.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have Senior Trip.
 
Now, I'm sure that because this was a while ago, you don't remember it or have strong impressions, but I was wondering if any of you remember the Passion Orange Squad? Anybody? Okay, a little bit.
 
Has anyone out there packed a bit of a louder memory of Light Green Eggs and We Go Ham?
 
Alright, we'll just have to see which group has packed this away in the most spirited way.
 
How about Red and Reckless, The Dark Green Queens, Royal Blue Mountain Crew, Maroon Platoon, Pink People, Blue Bandits, Hella Yella, and Purple Paradox?
 
Wonderful, you do remember.
 
Unpack these memories from your suitcase when you need something to smile about.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have teachers and this includes your coaches, who have also taught you a great deal in your time here. You will find that these folks live on with you as voices in your head that will continue to share wisdom, insights, knowledge and encouragement.
 
When you return to campus, let them know that what they gave to you continues to be an important part of your life.
 
This is why those of us who choose to teach and coach, choose to do so.
 
As you grow older, you, as do all human beings, will begin to overly romanticize the past including your time at ‘Iolani and the less favorable memories will fade. Given enough time, your suitcase will contain a little utopia that is the people, events, colors, weather, smells and laughs of ‘Iolani and you will long to recapture these times.
 
If this one gets to be too much, just remember you can unpack a little memory of all the nights of homework and this will temper it a bit.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have values. Our school culture is values-based.
 
It was interesting to watch the new schedule unfold this year. I can share with you that one of my concerns was the decrease in daily classes and potential increase in student free time. That you crazy kids would just go wild if we weren't around to impose our agenda on every moment of your day. Happily that is not at all how things turned out.
 
What I learned is that while the adults set, model and uphold values in our community, it is the students who live and breathe them on a day-to-day basis and you did.
 
The new schedule changed a lot of things, but not your willingness to strive for excellence, put in the time to do well, and continue to engage with this place as serious and responsible students.
 
Thank you for being part of what keeps our values strong and alive.
 
The next item in your ‘Iolani suitcase is one of these values and that's work ethic. At ‘Iolani we work hard and you've lived it.
 
This is a big advantage in life. Don't lose it, a lot of success comes to those who are willing to put in the work that it takes to do everything well.
 
X … I bet you think I'm stumped here because there are so few words in the English language that start with X. True enough and that's why I had to look to Mandarin.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have Xia. Which if I said it correctly means “shrimp,” although, Dr. Chin told me that it sounds like I'm saying “down.”
 
Be that as it may, what I mean is “shrimp,” a food that is part of our local cuisine and this stands for all the food that brings you back home -- mochiko chicken, shave ice, plate lunch, spam musubi, poi, sushi, fried rice, loco moco and on and on.
 
Smells and tastes imprint very strong memories and these will stay with you.
 
Three years ago when we opened the Sullivan Center, Guy Kawasaki, a member of the Class of 1972, who is famous for being part of the team that created Apple, came back to give the opening address. He flew in that morning and had to depart on a plane just after the event.
 
About an hour before we were set to start, he looked at me and said: "Do you think I have time to go to Waiola and get some shave ice?" I said: "I don't know Guy. That's cutting it kinda close.” He said: "I gotta do it. I can't be here without getting shave ice."
 
He did it and he made it back in time with a big smile on his face.
 
Love the foods of your childhood and unpack them for happiness at every opportunity.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have yourself, who you were when you came here, who you have become and the many variations of who you can be.
 
Always know that from the perspective of this place, you are fantastic.
 
And finally, in your ‘Iolani suitcase, you have the word zeolite
 
I'm educated as a chemical engineer and because of this, I'm surprisingly good at scrabble.
 
My mother-in-law loves to play scrabble and on more than one occasion when I've had a Z and a bunch of other common letters: E, O, L, I and T, I've laid down a 16-pointer using the Z in zeolite, Z E O L I T E -- which, if you have to defend it, is a family of minerals that contain hydrated aluminum silicates.
 
You can use it when you play scrabble or use it as a metaphor for whatever special power you have to drive your in-laws a little bit crazy. It is one of life's small pleasures.
 
In your ‘Iolani suitcase you have aspirations, benches, community, determination, E's, friendships, gratitude, humility, iStuff, jalapeños, knowledge, love, malasadas, nerd-dom, One Team, procrastination, questions, Raider Nation, Senior Camp, teachers, utopia, values, work ethic, xia, yourself and zeolite.
 
You packed it here and now it is ready to go.
 
God bless each and every one of you and come back to this place as often as possible.
 
Thank you.

*   *   *

Chair Jenai Wall and members of the Board of Governors: We, the faculty and administration of ‘Iolani School, in consonance with the laws of the State of Hawai'i and our requirements, do certify that all students have satisfactorily completed the requirements for graduation and present the Class of 2016 to be awarded their diplomas.
 

*   *   *

Two hundred twenty-eight names followed.

Congratulations Class of 2016!

 
 
 
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