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History

Now in its sixth decade, BYU–Hawaii's unique history combines solid moral roots with legacies of evolving academics and interwoven cultures.

On July 2, 1954, David O. McKay, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced the establishment of a college in Hawaii, fulfilling what he had envisioned 33 years earlier. At that time as Latter-day Saint apostle, he witnessed a flag raising ceremony by children of the Church-sponsored elementary school in Laie, and foresaw an institution of higher learning in this small community. A decorative mosaic above BYU–Hawaii's David O. McKay Building commemorates that historic occasion.

On February 12, 1955, President McKay presided at a groundbreaking ceremony attended by more than 1,000 Church members and guests that marked the beginning of what is today Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

Past Presidents
July 06, 2020
2015 – 2020

Dr. John S. Tanner became president in July 2015 after a thirty-year career as a professor and administrator at Brigham Young University in Provo. At BYU, President Tanner served as Academic Vice President, Associate Academic Vice President, English Department Chair, and Professor of English, with an emphasis in English Renaissance and Religious Literature. President Tanner is the author of several books, including an award-winning study of Milton and Kierkegaard, and numerous articles and essays. He has also written a number of hymn texts, including one that appears in the Church’s hymnal.
Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright
Portrait of Steven C. Wheelwright
2007- 2015

Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright, the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School, succeeded President Shumway on June 23, 2007. Dr. Wheelwright is internationally recognized for his ability to solve complex managerial problems and foresee future business trends. In addition to serving as senior associate dean of the Harvard Business School MBA program, he also oversaw the business school's publication activities and on-campus building projects.
Dr. Eric B. Shumway
Portrait of President Shumway
1994-2007

Dr. Shumway was Vice President for Academics to President Wade before becoming the eighth president of BYU–Hawaii. During his presidency, the University launched the Hawaiian Studies program, the School of Computing, and the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship. The University also established formal programs dubbed "return-ability" to help students return to their home countries and make a difference in their careers, communities, the Church, and their families. President Shumway also served the Church as Area Authority Seventy for Hawaii and California. He retired after 41 years of service at BYU–Hawaii, and was called to serve as president of the Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple.
Dr. Alton L. Wade
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President Wade assumed the great challenge of reorganizing BYU–Hawaii's academic programs into the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Education. He moved the school away from specific vocational technology training to programs that would be the foundation for Computer Science and Information Systems. In addition, he supervised the renovation of many campus facilities and the construction of the 24-office McKay Faculty Office Building. During his tenure, Alton Wade raised the bar for BYU–Hawaii's academic and athletic programs. He strove to enhance community relations and emphasize the concept of "harmony amidst diversity" among students. President Wade left the BYU–Hawaii campus a better place and went on to become the Vice President of Student Life at BYU in Provo.
Dr. J. Elliot Cameron
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1980-1986

A former Vice President for Student Life at BYU in Provo, Utah, Dr. Cameron initiated several dramatic changes to BYU–Hawaii facilities with the completion of the 4,500-seat Cannon Activities Center and the Lorenzo Snow Administration Building, which were conceptualized during Dr. Dan W. Andersen's tenure.

In close cooperation with the Polynesian Cultural Center, President Cameron also extended the university's outreach to China by establishing internships and a faculty-exchange relationship with Jilin University. He left BYU–Hawaii to serve as Commissioner of Education for the Church Educational System.
Dr. Dan W. Andersen
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1974-1980

As the "first" president of BYU–Hawaii, Dr. Andersen reported to Dallin H. Oaks, President of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. President Andersen helped to refine changes instigated by President Brower, and placed strong emphasis on programs to prepare students for living and working in the Pacific and Asia. Several major buildings, including a campus library, were planned and completed under his direction.

Under President Andersen's leadership the University prepared for and, in 1976, received a full ten-year accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Dr. Stephen L. Brower
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1971-1974

Dr. Brower, a former sociology professor at Utah State University, defined the university's role as focusing on spiritual things and creating an academic experience based on a spiritual foundation. He elevated the idea of work ethic, instilling this virtue into the students working at the Polynesian Cultural Center and on campus. He also pointed out forcefully that the intercultural experience on this campus would be one of our unique characteristics, so the spiritual, academic, work and intercultural combination became an educational package for BYU–Hawaii.

The Aloha Center building was also completed under his direction.
Dr. Owen J. Cook
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1964-1971

Dr. Cook, as Executive Secretary of the Church's Pacific Board of Education, took over the leadership of Church College of Hawaii when Dr. Wootton left in 1964 and was officially named president on August 1, 1965.

President Cook oversaw the increase of enrollment to about 1,200 students who represented every major island group in the Pacific and many Asian rim countries. He also initiated a work/study sponsorship program in cooperation with the Polynesian Cultural Center that continues to help hundreds of students finance their education at BYU–Hawaii every year.
Dr. Richard T. Wootton
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1959-1964

Dr. Wootton, a member of the original faculty and acting president for the 1958-59 school year, took over the brand-new facilities of the Church College of Hawaii campus in 1959. He was instrumental in getting the school accredited as a four-year liberal arts and teacher training institution on February 23, 1961, and oversaw the school's mounting credibility.

Beginning in 1962, he oversaw the addition of a fifth year to the education program, which qualified students for the State of Hawaii Professional Certificate in Education. Dr. Wootton also worked closely with the administration of the new Polynesian Cultural Center, which opened on October 12, 1963.
Dr. Reuben D. Law
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1954-1959

As the first president of the college, Dr. Law played a key role in selecting a suitable site for the campus and designing the curriculum. Under his leadership, the two-year Church College of Hawaii opened the doors of a temporary campus in August 1954 with an enrollment of 153 students.

"Always bear these two things in mind as you proceed with this college," he told the students in the first assembly on September 25, 1955,

"First, the students must be imbued with the fact and be led to feel that the most important thing in the world is the Gospel (of Jesus Christ) and that the observance of its principles in their lives brings happiness and joy in this life and further progress and exaltation in the life hereafter. And secondly, the college must be fully creditable in all its instruction and activities."

During his tenure, the first students graduated from CCH with associate's degrees, and the labor missionaries under the direction of Joseph E. Wilson completed the first phase of the permanent campus.
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BYU–Hawaii in the 1800's
BYU–Hawaii in the 1900's
BYU–Hawaii in the 2000's
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April 6, 1830

Joseph Smith Jr. and five others incorporate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York.

May 11, 1843

Joseph Smith Jr. sends four Latter-day Saint (LDS) missionaries from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands).

May 1, 1844

After almost seven months at sea and one death, the surviving missionaries arrive in Tubuai (now a part of French Polynesia) and decide to remain in that area.

September 25, 1850

LDS Church leaders send 10 missionaries from the California gold fields to the Sandwich Islands Mission.

December 12, 1850

Following a 20-day voyage from San Francisco, the missionaries arrive in Honolulu.

January 26, 1865

The LDS Church purchases the ahupua'a of Laiewai and Laiemalo'o from Thomas T. Dougherty for $14,000, as a gathering place for its members. The plantation covers over 6,000 acres, more than a thousand head of livestock, a large frame house and five Hawaiian hale.

October 1865

One of the missionary wives establishes the first two schools in Laie.

October 16, 1875

The Church organizes Brigham Young Academy at Provo, Utah. It eventually becomes Brigham Young University.
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June 1, 1915

President Joseph F. "Iosepa" Smith, who served several missions in Hawaii, dedicates the Hawaii Temple site in Laie.

November 27, 1919

President Heber J. Grant Dedicates the Hawaii LDS Temple on Thanksgiving Day.

February 7, 1921

On an around-the-world inspection tour of LDS missions, Elder's David O. McKay and Hugh J. Cannon attend a flag-raising in Laie; McKay envisions a school to make Laie the Church's spiritual and educational center in the Pacific.

April 9, 1951

David O. McKay becomes president of the LDS Church and almost immediately starts preliminary work to establish the university in Laie that he foresaw in 1921.

July 21, 1954

The First Presidency announces the establishment of a college in Hawaii.

February 12, 1955

President David O. McKay breaks ground for the University and offers a far-reaching glimpse of the school's impact: "We dedicate our actions in this service unto thee and unto thy glory and to the salvation of the children of men, that this college, and the temple, and the town of Laie may become a missionary factor, influencing not thousands, not tens of thousands, but millions of people who will come seeking to know what this town and its significance are." At the time, the annual visitor count for the entire state of Hawaii was only 110,000, but since the opening of the Polynesian Cultural Center in 1963, over 37 million people have visited Laie.

September 1, 1955

The LDS Church begins a labor missionary program throughout the Pacific Islands, building hundreds of chapels, schools, and the New Zealand Temple.

September 26, 1955

The two-year Church College of Hawaii classes begin in war surplus buildings with 153 students and 20 faculty/administrators. Dr. Reuben D. Law becomes the first president of CCH.

December 1955

LDS labor missionaries begin work on the permanent campus of CCH.

January 1956

Frank Condie coaches the men's basketball team in its first game against Waimanalo Riding Academy.

June 1, 1956

Ten students graduate with associate degrees during CCH's first commencement in the Laie Ward Chapel.

December 17, 1958

President David O. McKay dedicates the first permanent buildings on CCH campus, completed at a cost of approximately $4 million and 280,000 donated hours by the labor missionaries. By this time, about 1,200 students are enrolled.

March 1959

CCH organizes the Polynesian Institute to promote the study of Polynesian culture with Jerry K. Loveland as chair.

August 21, 1959

Hawaii becomes the 50th state.

August 1959

The Board of Education appoints Dr. Richard T. Wootton as the second president of CCH.

January 1960

Labor missionaries begin work on CCH "Construction Project Number Two" to add four dormitories, tennis courts, and faculty homes, enlarge the cafeteria, and install curbing and sidewalks around campus.

March 1960

The CCH student cast of The Polynesian Panorama, a forerunner to the Polynesian Cultural Center, performs at the Kaiser Dome in Waikiki.

February 23, 1961

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges grants full four-year accreditation to CCH.

June 3, 1961

Church College of Hawaii awards its first bachelors degrees to 76 graduates.

Early 1962

Labor missionaries begin construction on the Polynesian Cultural Center.

February 19, 1963

CCH President Richard T. Wootton presents the first annual David O. McKay lecture.

October 12, 1963

With over 1,000 people in attendance, President Hugh B. Brown of the LDS Church's First Presidency dedicates the Polynesian Cultural Center.

August 2, 1964

Dr. Owen J. Cook arrives on campus as the third president of CCH.

October 1964

PCC attendance in its first year of operation reaches 175,000.

January 1968

The Los Angeles Rugby Union declares the CCH Rugby Team as the number one ranked team in the nation.

February 17, 1969

The Asia-Pacific Language Training Mission opens on campus to teach outbound missionaries Asian and Polynesian languages.

May 15, 1969

CCH awards its first Honorary Doctorate degree to Edward L. Clissold for his valuable contributions to the Church in Hawaii and Japan.

February 11, 1972

Dr. Stephen L. Brower is inaugurated as the fourth president of CCH.

January 26, 1973

Elder Marion G. Romney dedicates the Aloha Center and states that CCH is a "living laboratory" for developing appreciation, tolerance, and esteem for one another.

April 13, 1974

President Spencer W. Kimball of the LDS Church publicly announces that CCH will become Brigham Young University–Hawaii, and that Dr. Dan W. Anderson will succeed President Brower as the fifth president of the school.

June 1974

Showcase Hawaii, a university performing group, makes its first tour of Asia.

February 13, 1976

President Spencer W. Kimball breaks ground for the new Ralph E. Woolley Library at BYU–Hawaii.

October 20, 1976

BYU–Hawaii presents an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree to King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga.

January 23, 1977

Elder Marvin J. Ashton presides over the splitting of the Laie Hawaii Stake, naming Eric B. Shumway as the first president of the new BYU–Hawaii student stake.

March 19, 1980

BYU–Hawaii marks its 25th anniversary and stages the first Na Makua Mahalo Ia (The Venerable Ones) concert, chaired by Dr. Ishmael Stagner.

June 4, 1980

The Polynesian Cultural Center hosts People's Republic of China Vice-Premier Geng Biao and begins a lasting relationship with mainland China. Early discussions focus on helping develop a cultural center in China and bringing exchange personnel to train at the PCC.

August 1, 1980

Dr. J. Elliot Cameron succeeds Dr. Andersen as the university's sixth president.

September 1981

The University admits six students from the People's Republic of China.

January 7, 1984

Premier Zhao Ziyang of the People's Republic of China makes a visit to BYU–Hawaii and the PCC.

July 1, 1986

Dr. Alton L. Wade becomes the seventh president of BYU–Hawaii.

June 1988

Dr. Patrick Dalton and Wylie Swapp, the last of the original CCH faculty, retire.

June 15, 1988

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs in Laie en route to Australia and New Zealand.

September 1991

Peterson's Guide rates BYU–Hawaii among the top 10 universities in the U.S. for a low-cost, fully-accredited education.

October 5, 1992

V. Napua Baker becomes Vice President of University Advancement, the first female university vice president in the Church Educational System.

November 1994

Church President Howard W. Hunter installs Eric B. Shumway as eighth president of BYU–Hawaii.

February 12, 1998

BYU–Hawaii launches the Center for Hawaiian Language and Cultural Studies program, with William K. Wallace III as director.
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January 11, 2001

BYU–Hawaii President Eric Shumway launches the Keith and Carol Jenkins Matching Fund as part of the goal to raise $20 million in endowed scholarship funds before the university's golden anniversary in 2005.

February 8, 2001

With the arrival of seven huge hardwood logs from Fiji, master carvers Tuione Pulotu and Kawika Eskaran begin to shape BYU–Hawaii's 57-foot traditional double-hulled Hawaiian sailing canoe that will eventually be used as a floating classroom in the university's Hawaiian Studies program.

November 3, 2001

Several thousand people throng Hukilau Beach for the Polynesian ceremonial protocol, blessing and launching of BYU–Hawaii's voyaging canoe, Iosepa. Elder M. Russell Ballard of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a descendant of Joseph F. Smith, delivers the blessing.

November 15, 2002

BYU–Hawaii launches its first Asia-Pacific Basketball Tournament with teams from Japan, China and the Fiji national team.

April 25, 2003

The Polynesian Cultural Center, celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout the year, welcomes its 30-millionth visitor.

May 12, 2003

The BYU–Hawaii men's and women's tennis teams, under coach Dr. David Porter, become the first university joint teams to win two consecutive NCAA Division II national tennis titles.

May 16, 2003

Elder Henry B. Eyring informs the BYU–Hawaii administration that the university now reports directly to the Board of Trustees, instead of to BYU in Provo.

October 25, 2003

President Hinckley joins HRI President & CEO R. Eric Beaver in the groundbreaking for the $5 million-plus project that will beautify Hale La'a Boulevard. The project also includes a new front entrance for Brigham Young University–Hawaii, funded by a private donor.

May 21, 2004

The BYU-Hawaii Concert Choir, starting its tour in Japan and South Korea, becomes the first Christian group ever permitted to perform in Tokyo's Meiji Shrine. The performance continues to build on the longstanding, positive relationship between the Shinto religion and the Church.

June 19, 2004

BYU–Hawaii honors its largest and most international graduating class, with 400 students representing 37 countries.

December 2, 2004

The College of Arts and Sciences hosts BYU-Hawaii's first annual Undergraduate Research Conference and Journal of Undergraduate Research.

January 2005

BYU–Hawaii begins a year-long Golden Jubilee celebration of its 50th anniversary.

February 24, 2005

In conjunction with BYU–Hawaii's Golden Jubilee Anniversary, the City and County of Honolulu, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, and the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives all honor BYU–Hawaii with ceremonial certificates, recognition, and congratulations.

April 12, 2005

Alberto Hotus, 75, president of the hereditary council of elders and former mayor of Rapa Nui, visits BYU–Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

May 23, 2005

BYU–Hawaii women's tennis team head coach Dr. David Porter is named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.

August 19, 2005

The 2006 U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" Brigham Young University–Hawaii is listed as the fourth "best comprehensive college-bachelor's" in the Western United States. This latest ranking is the highest yet for the university.

September 20, 2005

His Excellency Nambar Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia, visits with the 54 Mongolian students at BYU–Hawaii. President Enkhbayar answers their questions, listens to their accomplishments, and encourages them to help provide similar educational opportunities for others by creating jobs when they return home.

October 16-23 , 2005

Thousands of visitors and alumni help BYU–Hawaii celebrate its first 50 years through a week-long series of conferences, concerts, special programs, performances, pageants, a ball, a community parade, speeches, food festivals, and devotional and regional conference addresses by President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

June 5, 2007

Latter-day Saint President Gordon B. Hinckley names Harvard Business School professor emeritus Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright as the ninth president of BYU–Hawaii. Dr. Wheelwright succeeds President Eric B. Shumway, who was called as temple president in Tonga.

August 24, 2007

President Steven C. Wheelwright makes an announcement clarifying BYU–Hawaii's two-fold, student-centered mission: "To integrate both spiritual and secular learning, and to prepare students with character and integrity who can provide leadership in their families, their communities,their chosen fields, and in building the kingdom of God." This mission further translates into two immediate imperatives: to continue to improve the quality of students' educational experience, and to significantly lower the cost of that education to the Church.

November 7, 2007

President Henry B, Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, installs Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright as the ninth president of BYU–Hawaii and charges him to "lead the university to new heights of service, achievement and recognition as a unique institution."

April 10, 2008

The BYU–Hawaii Organization Design Team proposes that the President's Council (the university's top administrative body) be reorganized from six members to four, effective in June.

November 6, 2008

The Church Educational System Board of Trustees approves Brigham Young University–Hawaii President's Council's recommendation to reorganize the school's previous academic divisions into the College of Language, Culture & Arts, the College of Math & Sciences, the College of Business, Computing & Government, and the College of Human Development.

December 17, 2008

BYU–Hawaii campus celebrates the 50 year anniversary of President David O. McKay's dedication of the core facilities of the Church College of Hawaii.

January 25, 2009

The Brigham Young University–Hawaii men's basketball team achieves its highest ranking in Division II play, climbing to number four in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

March 11, 2009

The first annual International Institute for Professional Protocol is held at BYU–Hawaii. Sponsored by the Hal and Barbara Jones Foundation, long time university supporters, IIPP educates participants about the professional code of behavior, job-seeking skills, and other qualities that help participants stand out in the interview process and the work place.

April 4, 2009

BYU–Hawaii alumnus Elder Yoon Hwan Choi (1988, Business Information Management) is sustained to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy during the 179th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Choi previously served in the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy in the Asia North Area.

April 28, 2009

Community-wide Envision Laie workshops are held at the Cannon Activities Center. Envision Laie is a proposed development plan for improving quality of life conditions in Laie.

May 12, 2009

BYU–Hawaii's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) finishes top 12 in the annual SIFE National Exposition.

July 27, 2009

BYU–Hawaii's new international student financial aid program, International Work Opportunity Return-ability Kuleana (I-WORK), is launched. All current BYU–Hawaii international students and new international applicants can apply. The program now includes a 50 percent grant and a 50 percent forgivable loan and helps cover housing and insurance for married students.

July 27, 2009

The inaugural First Term begins at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, introducing the first full school year under the new academic calendar. Benefits of the new calendar include year-round facility usage, an increase of parents in attendance at orientation, and more credits offered per year.

September 17, 2009

The BYU–Hawaii Online program is launched. The program aims to significantly reduce the cost of education for students who can now take initial course work in their native countries without the expense of travel, housing, etc.

October 2009

New academic advisory centers are created to better serve students.

November 5, 2009

The Great Ideas Exchange, planned by students in cooperation with the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship, is held on campus. The conference gives students the opportunity to share innovative ideas and receive feedback from peers and mentors.

November 22, 2009

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles comes to BYU-Hawaii to preside over the Hawaii Regional Conference held at the Cannon Activities Center. President Thomas S. Monson speaks via satellite. Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Scott D. Whiting of the North America West Area Seventy, Brother David M. McConkie of the Sunday School General Presidency and his wife, Sister JoAnne McConkie, also speak.

January 6, 2010

The newly redesigned BYU–Hawaii website is launched.

May 2, 2010

BYU–Hawaii hosts its first CES Fireside. The speaker is Bishop H. David Burton, presiding Bishop of the Church.

May 2010

The BYU–Hawaii Concert Choir visits Hong Kong and Taiwan, giving five major performances and participating in dozens of cultural exchanges during the two-week tour.

July 26, 2010

The Eco Friendly award is presented to BYU–Hawaii by InterfaceFLOR because of the university's efforts to become more sustainable.

November 21, 2010

The Laie Hawaii Temple is rededicated by President Thomas S. Monson. BYU–Hawaii students volunteer countless hours in preparing for celebrations and performances. The temple had been closed for renovation for nearly two years.

March 19, 2011

The Malaekahana Bike and Pedestrian Path is dedicated after six months of construction by volunteers, including many BYU–Hawaii students and community members. The path connects the two communities of Laie and Kahuku and provides a safe route for runners and bikers to commute.

March 2011

The university’s new Framework for Student Learning is unveiled. The framework involves six principles to help students prepare, engage, and improve in their learning experiences.

March 26, 2011

BYU–Hawaii men’s basketball team plays in the NCAA Division II National Championship game against Bellarmine College from Louisville, Kentucky. The Seasiders come up short with a final score of 71-68 in the nationally televised game.

April 2011

The first Give and Take takes place in the Aloha Center, allowing students to donate items for other students free of charge. A permanent facility is established at the back of campus.

April 26, 2011

A Graphic Design track is added to the university curriculum offerings.

June 2, 2011

Alumni Relations and Career Services launches the Professional Mentorship Program to help students become leaders in their communities and countries.

September 2011

BYU–Hawaii’s Career Connect expands to the international target area by taking students to 14 different companies in the Philippines.

September 22, 2011

His Highness, Tui Atua Tamasese Tupua Efi, Head of State of Samoa, visits campus and expresses respect and admiration for those of the LDS faith and the generous contributions of service and humanitarianism they have administered to the Samoan community.

November 10, 2011

Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, visits campus. His presents a forum focusing on the importance of education.

November 14, 2011

Lord Tu’ivakano, Prime Minister of Tonga, visits campus and challenges students to keep working hard and join the efforts of change and innovation that he believes will strengthen Tonga.

December 9, 2011

The Pre-campus Online Orientation video series is launched to serve the needs of incoming students. There are 21 videos from different departments on campus.

December 17, 2011

Elder Jeffery R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, presides over the groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of construction at BYU–Hawaii. The groundbreaking is held where the 41,000-square-foot Heber J. Grant building will stand.

December 2011

McKay Foyer is closed for renovations. Offices and a classroom will be added to the wings of the foyer, with the main area still used as a visitors’ center for guests.

January 2012

BYU–Hawaii makes U.S. News lists for best colleges and least expensive private colleges and universities.

March 8-11, 2012

BYU–Hawaii’s Shaka Steel and Brass Ensemble travel to Kauai to spread joy and the spirit of Aloha through the authentic sounds of steel drums and the contemporary arrangements of the Brass Ensemble.

March 9, 2012

Nine Semesters in Residence program and policies are outlined with information sessions and a new website [academics.byuh.edu/9SIR]. This change addresses Board-directed imperatives to continue to improve quality, lower costs to students and the university, and serve more students.

April 16, 2012

Mustapha El-Akkari becomes the first non-LDS student elected as Student Body President of BYU–Hawaii.

April 23, 2012

The first Summer semester begins, replacing the Spring, Summer and First Terms. This change supports Nine Semesters in Residence.

May 18, 2012

BYU–Hawaii Food Services wins the 2012 Loyal E. Horton Dining Gold Award for the third time. Their winning entry is their February 2, 2012, “Dragon Year” themed dinner, inspired by the Chinese New Year.

May 19, 2012

The top-ranked Brigham Young University–Hawaii’s women’s tennis team takes second place in the national championship against Armstrong Atlantic State.

May 24, 2012

BYU–Hawaii's Students In Free Enterprise was recognized as the second runner up at the SIFE 2012 National Expo held in Kansas City, Missouri.

September 17, 2012

Members of the Executive Committee visit campus. They participate in student presentations, tour campus expansion projects, review the university’s ten-year (2008-2018) accreditation, and discuss current and upcoming innovations in online education.

September 26, 2012

BYU–Hawaii Tennis Coach David Porter receives the United States Professional Tennis Association’s (USPTA) Alex Gordon Award for the Professional of the Year. Porter has been head tennis coach at BYU–Hawaii for 20 years.

October 4, 2012

The BYU–Hawaii Student Chapter of the BYU Management Society receives the Dean’s Gold Chapter of Excellence Award for the second year in a row. The Society has 92 chapters around the world.

October 18, 2012

The newly renovated McKay Foyer reopens and becomes home to the newly-established David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, BYU-Hawaii's peacebuilding program.

November 29-December 1, 2012

Fifth-ranked BYU–Hawaii women’s volleyball hosts seven other contenders in the West Regional of the 2012 NCAA Division II National Tournament.

January 2013

The Fine Arts Department splits into two separate departments, Visual Arts and Music and Theatre.

May 2013

BYU–Hawaii Food Services wins the Loyal E. Horton Gold Award for the fourth time with their entry “Matariki Festival of Aotearoa.”

May 22, 2013

BYU–Hawaii Enactus (formerly SIFE) team earns first runner up at the National Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri.

June 10-24, 2013

The BYU–Hawaii Concert Choir tours through New Zealand and Queensland, Australia, performing to energetic audiences during a two-week excursion titled “Music of the Islands.”

June-August 2013

Seven students from BYU–Hawaii studying Psychology and Social Work help the Fiji Ministry of Education to develop reading and mathematic standardized tests to be used for diagnostic purposes in Fijian schools.

September 8, 2013

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicates BYU–Hawaii’s new Heber J. Grant Building, which serves as the home of the College of Business, Computing, and Government, and hosts the Laie Hawaii Young Single Adult Second Stake. On the same visit to campus, Elder Nelson originates the worldwide CES Devotional from the Cannon Activities Center, counseling young adults to remember that as youth of the noble birthright, their choices have eternal consequences.

October 2013

PCC celebrates its 50th anniversary with a year-long celebration to commemorate its October 12, 1963, dedication. Over 3,000 alumni from all over the world come to participate in the festivities from September 1-8, 2013.

October 11, 2013

Emmy-award winning television host and producer, successful entrepreneur, fashion icon, and bestselling author (and BYU­–Hawaii alumnus) Yue Sai Kan visits campus and encourages students to actively pursue their goals.

October 11, 2013

The Hōkūleʻa, Hawaii’s most famous double-hulled voyaging canoe, visits Laie at Hukilau Beach as part of the preparation for the canoe’s 2013-2017 tour around the world. After a welcoming ceremony at the beach, the crew is received at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

December 13, 2013

Seasider Women’s Volleyball team reaches the NCAA Division II National Championship match against Concordia-St. Paul and ends the season with a 29-2 record.

February 9, 2014

Elder Aley K. Auna Jr. of the Seventy dedicates BYU–Hawaii’s new residential buildings: Hales 7, 8, 9, 10, and TVA buildings X and Z.

March 12-16, 2014

The BYU–Hawaii Salsa Band and Brass Ensemble travel to the islands of Lanai, Maui and Molokai for a five-day tour packed with five major performances, firesides, workshops, and service.

March 28, 2014

BYU–Hawaii announces that it will transition out of all intercollegiate athletics following the 2016-2017 seasons. The decision is made after many years of deliberation and with a goal of providing educational opportunities to a greater numbers of students.

May 20, 2014

Norman S. Black replaces Michael B. Bliss as Vice President of Administration.

September 2014

BYU­–Hawaii moves up to #16 in US News and World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges rankings (west region). Institutions in this category focus on undergraduate education and grant fewer than half of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

September 2014

Pacific Studies, an academic journal published through the Jonathan Napela Center for Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Studies at BYU–Hawaii, receives 1,063,382 page views through BYU’s (Provo) electronic ScholarsArchive. The journal becomes the first in BYU’s collection to pass one million views in a three-month period of time.

September 2014

BYU–Hawaii announces a new academic calendar based on three 14-week semesters: Fall, Winter, and Spring. The new calendar replaces the previous schedule of two semesters and two summer sessions.

February 6-12, 2015

Spirit Week 2015 marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of 60 years since BYU–Hawaii started in 1955, counting from the February 12, 1955, groundbreaking.

March 11, 2015

Seasider Men’s Basketball team wins the PacWest conference in Portland, Oregon, and earns an invitation to the NCAA tournament.

April 16, 2015

The BYU–Hawaii student Enactus team is named the 2015 Enactus United States National Champion at the annual competition in St. Louis, Missouri. The team’s winning projects seek to empower residents of the Ivory Coast through micro-financing, working on improved agricultural techniques using beekeeping, and engaging women entrepreneurs.

May 12, 2015

The CES Executive Committee tours BYU–Hawaii as part of their regular on-site visit schedule. At a special campus Devotional, Elder Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announces that John S. Tanner will succeed Steven C. Wheelwright as president of BYU–Hawaii, effective in July 2015. Later the same week, the Wheelwrights were announced as president and matron of the Boston Massachusetts temple, effective in November 2015.

May 2015

John D. Bell replaces Max L. Checketts as Vice President of Academics. The change becomes necessary following Checketts’ call to serve as mission president of the Australia Sydney North Mission.

October 24, 2015

A historical marker to commemorate the 1955 groundbreaking of Brigham Young University–Hawaii by President David O. McKay was unveiled. The marker is placed next to the campus stake center so that those who stop to read the plaque will be overlooking the actual site of the February 12, 1955, groundbreaking.

October, 2015

BYU–Hawaii’s chapter of the BYU Management Society receives the Dean’s Gold Chapter of Excellence Award, the highest honor a chapter of the BYU Management Society can receive.

November 10, 2015

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, officially installs President John S. Tanner as the tenth president of BYU–Hawaii. Inauguration activities include a Family Night for family and special guests, an Inaugural Breakfast, and Inauguration Ceremony (attended by approximately 3,000 people in the Cannon Activities Center). President Tanner begins his tenure with the theme of "A House of Learning. A House of Light."
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