By Shawna Takaki | Staff Writer

Word on the Street: What does Commencement mean to you?

Michi Kamada
Age: 21
Hometown: Kyoto, Japan
Major: Hawaiian Studies

“This is my middle step. … I’m going to go to UH next semester, so this is the first step to achieve my goals.”

Shelley Chang-Purdy
Age: 43
Hometown: Makiki, Hawaiʻi
Major: Education

“This day made me feel a relief. … It was hard. It took me like 8 years to get a 2-year degree, because I work full-time and have 3 kids.”

Cullen Takushi
Age: 21
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Major: Information Technology

“Patting yourself on the back. … Congratulating yourself for the stuff that you’ve been through in college, especially during the pandemic.”

Keana Garrett
Age: 22
Hometown: Kaneohe, Hawaiʻi
Major: Hospitality & Tourism

“The way I see it, it could be both a mix of the end and a beginning. … For me, it’s really meaningful because I’m the first in my immediate family to graduate from college, so this is like a really great step forward. I’m really bringing my family members forward with me.”

Tiare Chun
Age: 22
Hometown: Aiea, Hawaiʻi
Major: Liberal Arts

“A rite of passage. … You’re moving from one era of your life to the next.”