CUH Introduces 1st Sport, Event Management Program in Hawaii


Kelsey Sablan

Chaminade University is proud to present the first Sport and Event Management Degree Program in the state of Hawaii.

Chaminade University will be the first and only university to produce a Sports and Event Management degree program in the state of Hawaii. 

After a year and a half of curating the degree program, students will be able to either minor or major in Business Administration in Sports and Event Management in the upcoming  spring semester when registration opens on Wednesday.

The majority of the courses for the program are existing classes — such as Video Production, Principles of Marketing, and more — with a few added courses like Intro to Sports and Event Management and Sports Psychology.

“I’m very excited,” said Dr. Wendy Lam, chair of the new program. “I’ve actually been a program chair before for existing programs, but this is a totally new program, so I think we have a lot of flexibility and we can develop that into something that would really help Chaminade stand out from the others.” 

The School of Business and Communication originally wanted to make the new program strictly sports management but Chaminade’s president, Dr. Lynn Babington, came up with the idea of having the program be sports and event management because adding event management would make the degree broader. 

“As a state, we have huge community sports at every level,” said William “Bill” Rhey, dean of the School of Business and Communication. “There’s enormous interest in sports of all types at the collegiate level, and we also have interest in professional sports. There’s such keen interest in sports of all types.”

On top of that, this program will appeal to both men and women. However, it could attract slightly more men, Rhey said. Chaminade’s study body consists mostly of women, according to US News in 2021, and Rhey said he hopes this program could help balance that percentage. 

“We’re matching our resources to opportunities,” Rhey said. “We have the heritage, the instructors, courses already in place, interest, student athletes, students who are interested in sport event management. There’s just a pent-up demand out there for this kind of program, and we’re just the right ones to deliver it.”

With the help from Chaminade’s connections, it allowed them to meet with 16 individuals who represented major events and programs in the sports event industry on Oahu. Plus, a few of them will become advisor board members for the program. 

They said the program was a good idea, however, what they really needed was interns. 

Within the next semester, Chaminade will be building the internship program first. Lam will be supervising the upcoming internship program and focusing on getting the industry ready to hire and advise the program’s students. 

Students will be able to have the opportunity to participate in internships and can earn anywhere from three to six credits.  

Once graduated from this program, students will be exposed to a broad array of jobs. It can open up opportunities in marketing, video production, event organization, retail, administration, and more  

“If someone were to graduate with this degree, it would give them the tools and foundation to do any kind of business,” Rhey said. “They would have opportunities beyond sport and event management.”

Chaminade is hoping that the new program will grow by having multiple concentrations — such as sports medicine, coaching, and/or one focusing solely on water sports — within the degree program. Creating this program offered opportunities for students moving forward. 

“I think this program really allows students who are passionate about this segment of the industry, sports and events,” Lam said. “They have something to work on while doing something they love.”