The University of Hawaii announced earlier this week that it is issuing the graduates of its 10 campuses with two diplomas — one in English and one in Hawaiian — at its commencement ceremonies, including the one for graduates of the University of Hawaii at Manoa this Saturday.
Most UH campuses will begin implementing the new two-diploma practice this year in recognition of Hawaii’s two official languages, and all campuses will be issuing two diplomas as a standard practice by the 2018–19 academic year, the university said.
“My thanks to Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana for raising this opportunity with the Council of Chancellors,” said UH President David Lassner in a news release. “All of our campus leaders strongly supported this new practice, an important step forward in our work to be a model indigenous-serving university.”
Hawaiian-language diplomas have been offered by the university, but for an additional diploma fee. Under the new practice, students will only be charged a standard, single-diploma fee for both the English and Hawaiian diplomas. Students who have already paid an additional fee for a Hawaiian-language diploma this academic year may obtain a refund from their campus registrar’s office.
“The issuance of two UH diplomas moves the University of Hawaii closer to its goal of fostering and promoting the use of Hawaiian language at parity with English throughout the UH system,” said Gail Mililani Makuakane-Lundin, director of the UH Office of Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao.