It was innovative. It was fun. And it was family. Chaminade University’s alumni ignited the campus with positivity for their annual reunion celebration from Thursday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2.
Thursday evening’s Mocktails and Masterpieces event kindled the fire with bursts of creativity. With artist Jenny B. facilitating, alumni painted canvas masterpieces that they could take home. The alumni mingled and caught up with old friends. The familiar warmth of campus ‘ohana surged feelings of nostalgia and fanned their anticipation for Saturday.
On Saturday, organizers launched Chaminade’s first ever Alumni Reunion Street Festival, and the campus was cooking literally. Food trucks rallied on Second Road with hunger-arousing aromas permeating from the Oval to Kieffer Hall. Some of Hawaii’s favorite food trucks were on hand to feed the masses.
Chardonnay Pao, BA '13, MBA '15 served ‘ono food from Kapakahi Grindz. Shawn Niwa Kadooka, BBA '91 made lemonade from lemons from the Nalo Made Lemonade truck. Prime Sandwiches and Chamorro Grindz were there, as well as others. Oh, and of course, there was shaved ice from Tat’s Shaved Ice.
Alumni like Teresa Fujino, MBA ’16 guided activities such as “DIY – Salty Scrubs,” where participants made bath scrubs. Kacie Cohen, MSCP ’13 and Darren Iwamoto, MSCP ’98 with Dale Fryxell, grant director of the E Ho‘opili No Na Haumana Project and interim dean of Education, manned the 110-AOK (Acts of Kindness) beading table.
Besides the food and guided activities, the live music and entertainment kept energy levels high. Stacie Ku'ulei, BS '02, MED '10 emceed. Na Meha with Kaipo Leopoldino, BS '14, Teuila Tauaese, BA '13 and Baron Kaholokua, BA '13 continued the heat, followed by Micah G boosting the flames.
There was a poignant moment when the alumni showered the outgoing president Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM with lei. They expressed their abundant gratitude to the man that has been a part of the Chaminade universe for decades. Bro. Ploeger will conclude his service as president on June 30, 2017, after having served the university for 23 years: eight years as its president, plus the prior 15 years in other leadership capacities.
Especially moved, Bro. Ploeger expressed to Be-Jay Kodama, BA ’86, MBA ’16, Chaminade’s Alumni Relations director, that he planned to place some of the lei on Father Mackey’s grave at Diamond Head and at the Father Chaminade statues on campus.
The night settled, as the fires dimmed. On Sunday morning, the warmth of the embers could still be felt at Mystical Rose Oratory for the Alumni Mass. The alumni received a special blessing. Later they hugged each other and said their ahui hou (until we meet again).
“Next year, yeah?”