Categorized | Education, Featured

Ige, Lassner help dedicate Hawaii CC – Palamanui

Moku Ka Piko ceremony (Photo courtesy of UH)

Moku Ka Piko ceremony (Photo courtesy of UH)

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Hawaii Community College – Palamanui hosted a Moku Ka Piko ceremony Friday afternoon to dedicate and bless the new West Hawaii campus.

Speakers at the Friday event included:

* The Honorable David Ige, Governor, State of Hawaii

* Dr. David Lassner, President, University of Hawaii

* Dr. John Morton, Vice President for Community Colleges, University of Hawaii

* Joni Onishi, Interim Chancellor, Hawaii Community College

* Dr. Marty Fletcher, Director, Hawaii Community College – Palamanui and University of Hawaii Center, West Hawaii

* Kuulei Keakealani, lineal descendant of Kekahawaioleonakona

Moku Ka Piko is a traditional ceremony that blesses and dedicates a newly constructed home. It literally means “to sever the umbilical cord” as the opening of a new home is likened to the birth of a child.

The ceremony acknowledged Hawaii CC – Palamanui as the new home for higher education in West Hawaii.

Dignitaries, including Gov. David Ige, were on campus Friday, Feb. 26 for a Moku Ka Piko ceremony to dedicate and bless the West Hawaii community college campus. (Photo courtesy of UH)

Dignitaries, including Gov. David Ige, were on campus Friday, Feb. 26 for a Moku Ka Piko ceremony to dedicate and bless the West Hawaii community college campus. (Photo courtesy of UH)

The new campus is also celebrating this weekend with the blessing and with an Open House & Grand Opening Celebration that takes place 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.

“Palamanui opened for classes in August 2015, and now we are excited to welcome the community to the campus for a fun and celebratory event,” said Dr. Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher, the Director of Hawaii CC – Palamanui. “Residents of West Hawaii worked very hard to turn the vision of this campus into a reality. We look forward to introducing them to their new home for higher education.”

The Open House and Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday is free and open to the public.

Events will include live performances by:

* Award-winning musician and singer Robi Kahakalau

* Hawaii-based reggae band The Steppas

* Contemporary Hawaiian musicians the Keawe Trio

* Polynesian cultural group Te Ea o Te Turama

The event will also feature a cooking demonstration by the college’s Culinary Arts program, with samples and light refreshments to be provided.

In addition, there will be campus tours, many exhibits from academic programs and community partners, student performances, and more.

Hawaii CC – Palamanui is a branch campus of Hawaii Community College and is part of the University of Hawaii system. It is located in North Kona, mauka of the Kona International Airport.

The $27-million first phase of the Palamanui campus includes 24,000 square feet of learning space, comprised of classrooms, culinary arts kitchens, science labs and a nursing lab.

The campus plans to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

Hawaii CC – Palamanui offers certificates and Associate degrees from Hawaii Community College.

The campus also includes the University of Hawaii Center, West Hawaii. The Center is a gateway for residents of West Hawaii to undertake programs from other University of Hawaii campuses while continuing to live in West Hawaii.

Programs from other UH campuses enroll, and deliver courses to, students in West Hawaii using a combination of formats including: online any-time, site to site real-time interactive video conferencing, and face-to-face participation.

Local students have the advantage of campus-based resources and support (library, counseling, student activities) plus the opportunity to access an entire spectrum of associates, bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

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