CUH Welcomes Prospective Undergraduates to Open House


Chaminade faculty, staff, and current students welcomed prospective undergraduates to the Fall Open House on Oct. 21.

Fifty-four anxious high school students packed into Clarence T.C. Ching Conference Center with their families on Oct. 21, hoping to gain valuable insight into their academic future and if Chaminade University of Honolulu might be the right fit for them. For many students, planning for college can be a daunting task.

“I’m not college knowledgeable,” said Moon DeLeon, a junior at Sacred Hearts Academy.

In the hopes of easing the nerves of upcoming college students like DeLeon, Chaminade held the Fall Open House to provide prospective Silverswords and their families with helpful information regarding what the school has to offer in terms of academic programs, as well as student life on campus.

The Saturday morning consisted of a campus tour, informational fair, academic presentations by each division, and brunch, followed by presentations on admissions and financial aid. Prospective students also had the opportunity to speak with faculty, administration, and current students to gain a wide range of perspectives about life at Chaminade.

“I think one of the most admirable qualities about Chaminade’s education is the smaller class sizes,” said Rena Pascual, a CUH senior. “These class sizes really allow me to get to know my professors and peers, which comes in handy when I need help or advising. I also think Chaminade’s four-year plan was extremely helpful in regards to the type of curriculum and classes one can expect to take throughout their college career.”

Pascual, a double major in History and Political Science, was one of four current students who attended the Humanities Division academic presentation. During her conversations with the high school students in attendance, she was able to answer questions about both the positive and negative aspects of attending Chaminade.

Spearheading the event was a new addition to the university, Catherine O’Rourke, vice president of Enrollment Management. Although she has only been working at Chaminade for roughly one month, O’Rourke comes with years of experience, having worked in higher education since 1974.

“There is such a unique sense of community here and I knew that this was the type of community that I wanted to join,” O’Rourke said. “It seemed to me that Chaminade was very, very unique for a lot of different reasons. For me, as a native New Yorker, [it was unique] from a cultural perspective.”

The goal of the undergraduate open house was to attract prospective transfer students and high school juniors and seniors, just as O’Rourke had been upon visiting Chaminde. The event was advertised on the university website, but students who showed a particular interest in Chaminade by asking to be on the mailing list were specifically invited.

For current high school seniors, the Fall Open House was critical in providing them with necessary information since they are in the process of submitting applications. For high school juniors, the primary goal of the event was to give them introductory exposure to Chaminade and get them to start thinking about their plans after graduation.

“There are so many options, so many to choose from,” DeLeon said. “I’m like oh my god what do I pick? I’m only used to one thing in my field of vision.”

Only in her junior year of high school, DeLeon is still unsure about where she will go to college, so she decided to visit Chaminade because it is nearby to where she currently attends school. She is interested in pursuing a major that will allow her to write creatively and attended the Humanities academic presentation.

By O’Rourke’s standards, the Fall Open House was a success. She said that there was a 51 percent increase in student attendance in comparison to last fall’s open house. There will be another open house held in the spring semester for high school sophomores and juniors and a separate open house for admitted students. The date is still TBA.