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HPU Graduates 600+

by Mohammed Faisal, staff writer


More than 600 students, including major league baseball player Benny Agbayani, received associate, baccalaureate, or master degrees at HPU’s 53rd commencement ceremony Jan. 8 at the Waikiki Shell.

Ralph A. Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies, was the keynote speaker and recipient of the Fellow of the Pacific Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community and to higher education.

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Three valedictory speakers, chosen for outstanding academic performance and community service, addressed the graduates.

Carmen Nolte, B.A. Literature, represented the on-campus baccalaureate degree programs; Ki May Tung, M.S. Nursing, represented the graduate degree programs; and Monica Guy, B.A. Liberal Arts, represented the military campus programs.

“This award signifies our recognition of Ralph A. Cossa’s outstanding leadership in the community and salutes his dedication to the people of Hawai‘i and the Asia Pacific,” said HPU President Chatt G. Wright.

Cossa is a political/military affairs and national security specialist with more than 30 years of experience in implementing U.S. security policy in the Asia-Pacific and Near East-South regions. He is a board member of the Council on U.S.-Korean Security Studies and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London) and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (N.Y.). He also served on the Asia Foundation’s Task Force on America’s Role in Asia.

Cossa served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966-1993, achieving the rank of colonel, and last serving as special assistant to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. He also served as deputy director for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, and earlier as a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.




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