Chaminade students ‘Lei’d’ faculty and staff


CUH students gathered on the library lawn to show their appreciation on Nov. 12th.

Daniel Skaf

Keke Powell, a junior majoring in elementary education, was struggling with her praxis test,  a series of American teacher certification exams that is required before becoming a certified teacher in the United States. She was determined to pass, and with the help of Dr. Margaret Mize, she was finally able to do so.

Later, Powell decided to record her gratefulness with a written note on the “Lei of Thanks,” organized by Alumni Relations to allow students to express their appreciation toward the Chaminade faculty and staff on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

“Without her help, I probably wouldn’t have been able to pass it,” Powell said of her praxis test. “I think Chaminade was telling the students to appreciate the hard work that (the staff) put in for us.”

At the “Lei of Thanks,” a large banner was wrapped around a wooden billboard on the Sullivan Library Lawn for students to sign. For those expressing their thanks on camera, pens and props were placed on the table right outside the Sullivan Library.

Be-Jay Kodama, the Alumni Relations director, got this idea from a video that Notre Dame made titled, “A Thanksgiving Message.” The video showed more than 1,000 students expressing their gratitude toward their university.

Every year around Thanksgiving, Alumni Relations sends out a newsletter to CUH alumni, thanking them for all their support. This year, Kodama decided to put together an event, similar to Notre Dame’s, to videotape and share with the alumni.

She knew she couldn’t do this alone, so she sought assistance from Teresa Fujino, assistant for Special Projects; Allison Jerome, associate Dean of students; Daniel Skaf, who teaches a few communication courses on campus and produces many of our school’s marketing videos; and many others.

“It was a beautiful day and the students’ participation was awesome,” Kodama said.

Students majoring from business to elementary education came to show their appreciation toward their department, faculty and staff who inspire them to grow each day.

“I really want to say thanks to the people who help make my education possible in studying to be an entrepreneur,” said Cassin Muramoto, a senior majoring in business. Muramoto believed that Chaminade was trying to tell its students that, “there is so much to be thankful for that sometimes (being grateful) slips our mind.”

The “Lei of Thanks” brought excitement to many students, who made time during their busy schedules to come and write a thank you message on the banner.

“I came because I think the workers and staff at Chaminade deserve some recognition and thanks for what they do at the school,” said Alyssa Nagai, a junior majoring in nursing.

Nagai personally wanted to thank the nursing staff.

“They are always working hard to prepare us for the future, making sure we become the best nurses we can be,” she said.

Being a student requires so much money, time and energy that sometimes, it can be forgotten to give thanks to those who make the education worthwhile.

“There are many different approaches to show appreciation, and ‘Lei of Thanks’ is one approach,” said Kealani Demapan, a junior majoring in psychology. “We are so overwhelmed with school, work or extra-curricular activities, sometimes we may forget to say thank you. Thanksgiving is one out of 365 days, why not make it even more special and let others see how much we appreciate those at our university.”