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Obama’s former personal chef to speak at UH commencement

Craig Gima
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Sam Kass will speak at the UH undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 16 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

President Barack Obama’s former personal chef is the undergraduate commencement speaker at the University of Hawaii’s 104th spring graduation ceremonies on May 16, while Gov. David Ige will speak to graduate students.

Sam Kass, who served as personal chef to the first family from 2009 until last year, was also executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and a senior White House policy advisor for nutrition policy.

He helped the first lady create the White House vegetable garden and was also a frequent golfing partner during Obama’s vacations in Hawaii.

The undergraduate ceremony runs from about 9 a.m. until noon at the Stan Sheriff Center. About 1,200 students are expected to participate.

The advanced degree ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and runs until 5 p.m. About 800 graduate students are expected.

The doors to the Stan Sheriff Center open at 7:45 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and at 2 p.m. for the advanced degree ceremony.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Balloons, strollers and large signs are not allowed in the arena.

Family and friends can greet undergraduates whose last names begin with A to N, and all advanced degree graduates after the ceremonies at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex. 

Undergraduate students whose names begin with the letters O to Z will go to the Les Murakami Baseball Stadium after the commencement exercise.

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