HPU to confer over 600 degrees

Ralph A. Cossa

More than 600 students, including Major League baseball player Benny Agbayani, will receive associate, baccalaureate, or master degrees at Hawai’i Pacific University‘s winter commencement ceremony next Wednesday. Ralph A. Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies, will be the keynote speaker at the school’s 53rd commencement program, which will be held at the Waikiki Shell on Jan. 8 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Agbayani, who celebrated his 31st birthday this week, was born in Hawaii and graduated from St. Louis High School before he went to HPU. Agbayani entered the world of professional baseball in 1993 when he was picked up by the New York Mets. He played outfielder for the Boston Red Sox.

Cossa will receive HPU’s highest accolade, the Fellow of the Pacific Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community and to higher education. Cossa is a political-military affairs and national security strategy specialist with over 25 years of experience in formulating, articulating, and implementing U.S. security policy in the Asia-Pacific and Near East-South Asia regions. He is a retired USAF Colonel and a former national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Three valedictory speakers, chosen for outstanding academic performance and community service, will also make presentations. They are Carmen Nolte, B.A. Literature, who will represent the on-campus baccalaureate degree programs; Ki May Tung, M.S. Nursing, who will represent the graduate degree programs; and Monica Guy, B.A. Liberal Arts, who will represent the military campus programs.

Hawai’i Pacific University is the state’s largest independent university with nearly 9,000 students from 107 countries. HPU is accredited by the Western Association for Schools and Colleges, the Council on Social Work Education, and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.


Barbara Benson, Director
Administrative Support Operations
Phone: (808) 544-0276

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