Skip to main content

Welcoming ceremony teaches new students about school history and campus resources

Students attend the Malamalama Ceremony in the CAC

Incoming students were encouraged to respect and love Laie at the second Mālamalama welcoming ceremony on Jan. 3 in the Cannon Activities Center, while receiving instruction about the Holokai program.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President for Academics John Bell advised new students to attend the temple and devotional weekly. He said if students are temple worthy, living the Honor Code will not be hard.

He said insignificant little choices would bring forth significant results, saying many small decisions he made when he was young made him who he is today.

At the beginning of the Mālamalama meeting, which translates to “light of knowledge,” new students received kukui nut leis. Anciently, the kukui nut was used for a torch, shared Bell. He said the leis are to remind students to choose the right throughout their academic journey and to be a light for each other and the world.

New Student Experience showed a short video about the history of Laie to new students about Brigham Young’s prophecy about Laie and David O. McKay’s prophecy about BYU–Hawaii. The video also showcased Laie as a sacred place of refuge for centuries.

Lilieta Latu, a freshman from Tonga majoring in marketing, said, “I am very grateful for the people who sacrificed to build this place. Coming here was my childhood dream, and I am the first person attending university from my family.”

Baasansuren Chimedbaatar, a freshman from Mongolia majoring in communications, said, “This event helped me understand how blessed I am. I have learned that if I will be a light for others and be spiritually strong, I will enjoy my academic journey and will be successful.”

President Tanner also challenged new students to practice stewardship for the earth, to live up to their privileges and to spread aloha.

Palolo Latu, a freshman from Tonga majoring in human resources, said, “I am so grateful to be here. The spirit was so strong there and testified to me that I am in the right place. I am at home away from home.”

Holokai fair

At the end of the Mālamalama meeting, Academic Advisor Charity Fonoimoana introduced the Holokai program and testified of the divinity of the program. She said academic advisors will be there to guide the new students throughout their academic lives.

New students and their parents walked around the CAC and discovered various campus services, while learning about the majors and minors offered at BYUH.

Chimedbaatar shared, “I see that if I try hard, I can get many minors and majors and will be a great professional in the future. I talked with many professors and I’m excited to take their classes and learn from them.”

Taylor Spataro, a freshman from Washington majoring in graphic design, said, “Holokai fair was very useful. I was able to see different resources that the school provided for us, such as SWATT, and it will save some money for me.”

Lisa Komoita, a transfer student from Japan majoring in TESOL, said this event helped her understand the important details of the school’s history, while guiding her with the academic journey she hopes to pursue.