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Abercrombie to speak at UH-Hilo commencement


U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie will deliver the keynote address at the University of Hawaii at Hilo commencement 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at the UH-Hilo New Gym.

A total of 184 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences (146), College of Business and Economics (21), College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management (14), and Ka Haka Ula O Keelikolani College of Hawaiian Language (3) are candidates for various degrees or certificates. 

The graduating class also features 15 graduate level students, including Katarina Edmonds, a Maori educator from New Zealand, who will become the first student to earn the Ph.D in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization. Fourteen others will receive master’s degrees. 

Tara Anderson, an English major on the writing track, pursuing a minor in marine science and a Marine Option Program certificate, is the student speaker. Born and raised in the small Alaska fishing town of Cordova, Anderson is a three-time member of the dean’s list, is a prolific writer, and is a member of UH-Hilo’s newly formed Freedom Equality Movement club. 

Her commencement speech will focus on the capability and necessity for Hawaii to become sustainable and the responsibility of the graduating class to contribute to that effort.

Abercrombie currently serves as chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, which oversees the Air Force and Army. He also is a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has wide-ranging responsibilities over native people’s issues and our national parks, forests, wilderness areas, oceans, and the energy and mineral resources they contain.

Abercrombie has used his seniority in Congress to establish relationships on both sides of the aisle and secure congressional authorization for more than $3 billion in Hawaii military construction projects, millions more for transportation infrastructure, and support for Hawaii’s visitor industry.

For more information on the commencement, call Judith Fox-Goldstein at 974-7555 or e-mail

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