Chaminade University Alum '60
A L O H A
I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to come before you all, BISHOP LARRY SILVA, MAYOR MUFI HANNERMANN, THE MARIANIST COMMUNITY, MEMBERS OF HAWAII’S EDUCATIONAL AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITIES, HONORED GUESTS and THE CHAMINADE ‘OHANA, to express the support and aloha of the Alumni of Chaminade University to Bro. Bernard J. Phloeger on his investiture as the ninth President of Chaminade University.
I am proud to say that I am a graduate of Chaminade University, a member of the second graduating class of 1960, celebrating our 50th anniversary next year. I am sure that you my fellow alumni here today have fond memories of Chaminade. I thank you for allowing me to represent you and to share some of my thoughts, experiences and memories of Chaminade and my Marianist education. Yes, I am proud to say that I am a product of the Marianist education, being a graduate of both St. Louis High School and Chaminade University. I was here on Kalaepohaku when Chaminade first opened its doors as St. Louis Jr. College in 1955. I was beginning my senior year at St. Louis High School and ready to join the working class upon graduation from St. Louis, as a member of the class of 1956, but the Marianists in their wisdom and nurturing ways encouraged me to continue my Marianist education at the new Marianist College. Some of you may not know that Chaminade started out as St. Louis Jr. College, then St. Louis College, then Chaminade College and then to what it is today, Chaminade University of Honolulu.
I shall always remember the day of registration for us, the second incoming freshmen class. There were only 13 of us. We the 13 of the incoming freshmen class, plus the 13 returning second year students of the original 27 students, were labeled as the “pioneer students.” The future of the College was uncertain. At that time, the College was limited to male students only. During one of my speech classes with Brother Joseph Becker, my assignment was to speak on a problem and solution situation. In my speech, the problem was: This College will have its doors closed next year for lack of students. The solution: Admission of women. I am not saying it was because of my speech, but the following year, women were admitted to the College and the name was changed from St. Louis College to Chaminade College. From its first graduating class of three in 1959, Chaminade has grown to a great small Catholic Marianist University with all your help and support. Today there are upwards of 18,000 alumni, many of whom are outstanding citizens and successful in their chosen careers and professions, some of whom are here today. Chaminade prepared me well, intellectually for law school and spiritually for life, and I am forever grateful to Chaminade and the Marianists.
Today, I come before you all with a deep sense of gratitude to the Marianists and I am most pleased that a Marianist in the person of Bro. Bernie has been selected to lead Chaminade University. I know that Bro. Bernie can and will guide Chaminade in the same direction which our late beloved President Sue was leading the University. I served with both Bro. Bernie and Dr. Sue as members of the Marianist Center Board, and I observed them as a great team, working together for the good of Chaminade. Bro. Bernie, I know how much you miss Sue, as we all do, and I don’t believe any one can fill the void, but let me assure you that the Alumni of Chaminade University, under the leadership of Alumni Relations Director Be-Jay Kodama, Class of 1986,, not only congratulate you on this momentous occasion, but extend to you our aloha and support as you lead Chaminade to new heights. I am sure that at this very moment some souls in heaven are looking down on us, Dr. Sue, Father Mackey, Father Bolin and Blessed Chaminade, the namesake of this University and showering their blessings upon you, Bro. Bernie. God Bless you, Bro. Bernie, God Bless Chaminade University, and Mahalo and Aloha to you all.