Commencement Ball 2014 celebrates students and staff


Seniors strike a pose and be recognized at Commencement Ball 2014.

The newest member to Chaminade University’s Campus Ministry, Brother Mark Motz, was awarded with the Outstanding Faculty Award at the annual Commencement Ball on Friday night. The students nominated Bro. Mark at the start of the night’s festivities.

“I was very shocked, I didn’t even know there was an award,” Bro. Mark said. “And then all of a sudden they’re calling me up. And so, it was a lot of fun. It’s a deep honor for sure, but I think I have a great love for a lot of the students, and I guess it’s reciprocal.”

This was his first time at Commencement Ball, as he’s only been with CUH since August. In his short amount of time here, he has left a lasting impact on the students.

Bro. Mark was recognized for an award as part of Commencement Ball 2014.

Chaminade University Student Programming Board (CSPB) hosted the Commencement Ball 2014 to honor the graduating seniors. Students and staff were taken back to “The Roaring 20’s” with a night of music, dancing and fun at the Hyatt Waikiki ballroom on April 25.

Vice President of Programming for Chaminade University Student Government Association (CSGA) Ashley Yadao planned the event.

She recalls the planning process as stressful, yet rewarding.

“I think the outcome is amazing just to see everyone arriving and enjoying their time,” Yadao said. “Especially the seniors because primarily this is what the event is for, to celebrate their graduation. Where as everyone else is able to join to celebrate with them so that everyone can have a good time.”

Students chose the theme for the night’s event. Surveys were taken earlier in the semester and “The Roaring 20’s” was a unanimous winner. Feather centerpieces adorned each table where students and staff sat to enjoy dinner and entertainment.

Everyone in attendance dressed to impress. The theme carried throughout the night with students and staff dressed up in 20s attire. Dean Grissel Benitez-Hodge, Dean of Students, wore a sparkling headband with feathers and a nice black dress.

“I’m so glad that people actually dressed up and went along with the theme, where as just showing up in some formal dress,” Yadao said.

The night focused on the graduating seniors by calling them up to the dance floor for a group photo. Seniors rushed the stage to strike a pose. The audience cheered and shouted names out in recognition of various students.

Kaipo Leopoldino, a senior, was nominated for the Outstanding Student Leader Award. Leopoldino needed no introduction. His outgoing attitude and caring personality showed as he graced the stage to receive his award. The Hawaiian Club, which Leopoldino is the president of, also won the Outstanding Student Club Award.

For senior Letisha Vaba, it was her first time at Commencement Ball.

She said it was “pretty good.” Although she didn’t understand the theme at first, she said, “it’s cool now.”

While Vaba stood in the endless line waiting to take photos in the popular photo booth which was provided by Party Pix Hawaii, she left a positive note for the graduating seniors,

“Great job for accomplishing your goals and having a good time while we’ve been through these four years at Chaminade,” Vaba said.