Hundreds of trees and plants and thousands of orchids forming giant lei chandeliers helped transfer the Cannon Activities Center at BYU-Hawaii into an indoor paradise for the school's capital campaign kickoff, "Lighting the Way."
The June 19-20 activities, coinciding with spring graduation, included receptions and displays at the Aloha Center Ballroom and dinner and entertainment at the campus arena. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Merrill J. Bateman, BYU president, spoke during the events, which members of the BYU-Hawaii faculty and staff, special guests and alumni representatives from as far away as Korea and Australia attended.The capital campaign was announced in April on BYU's Provo, Utah, campus. The $15.3 million BYU-Hawaii portion of a $250 million fund-raising effort will provide for more students, enhance educational quality and extend BYU's influence.
Announced at that time was a $100,000 corporate leadership gift from the Bank of Hawaii for the School of Business and a matching $100,000 gift from the First Hawaiian Bank for the study of the Hawaiian language.
Nearly half the funds have already been raised during the past two years in the "silent phase" of the campaign, which should be completed by the year 2000. But during the Provo announcement, President Gordon B. Hinckley issued the challenge to complete the effort "ahead of schedule"
On the Laie campus, some of the funds will be used to reallocate admissions, allowing more students from the Pacific islands and Asia to enroll. The annual family income for some people in the Pacific islands is generally less than the cost of tuition for one semester at BYU-Hawaii.
"The growth and progress of our campus in the next 10 years will equal that of the last 40 years," said BYU-Hawaii Pres. Eric B. Shumway.
Elder Bateman said, "It's very important that more students have the opportunity to attend BYU-H. We need more teachers, more scholarships and to make better use of the resources of the campuses."
Elder Oaks emphasized the importance of education and invited support for the campaign. He also was the principal speaker at commencement. (See separate article on this page.)
Guests watched a film entitled "Lighting the Way for the 21st Century" and were entertained by students from the Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Japanese clubs. The Tongan Community Choir also performed.