Graduation lessons

Class of 2015 (Spring)
Class of 2015 (Spring)
UH often is target of criticism, but the one thing it does well — really well — is graduation day.

Observations from yesterday:

Prior to each graduation ceremony, student-athletes and their families are invited to meet in the Nagatani Academic Center, where they are offered refreshments and presented with a white student-athlete stole. The UH athletic department and UH Letter Winners Club are joint sponsors. It also is one of the few times the public is allowed to tour the academic center. With the center’s resources and a staff always helpful and available, it would take great effort for a student-athlete not to succeed in school. All the counselors and advisers were at the event, many of whom were beaming with pride. They’re underpaid for the amount they care.

* * * * *

Ed Gallegos, a former UH athlete, paid the Letter Winners’ annual membership fee for 20 former student-athletes yesterday. At $25 for Ha‘aheo-level membership, Gallegos’ donation totaled $500. Nice gesture by a nice guy.

* * * * *

Don Weir
Don Weir
Don Weir, a former UH quarterback, also donates in many ways — he sponsors fund-raisers on the mainland — but on graduation day, he’s known for his baking skills. His speciality is apple-banana banana bread.

* * * * *

Generational story: Tiare’ Nakashima, who competed in cross-country, earned a degree in communications yesterday. Her brother Rico also is a UH graduate. So, too, are her father Rick (a former UH athlete and track coach) and mother Renee’ (a former Rainbow Dancer). Rick co-owns several restaurants, and Renee’ is successful in the hotel industry.

* * * * *

Football graduates:

* * * * *

Donnie King Jr., Ruben Guzman
Donnie King Jr., Ruben Guzman

At the graduation ceremony, he’s announced as Donnie Lebron King. Lebron? Oh, wait, Lebron … King. I get it.

* * * * *

Quinton Pedroza, graduate
Quinton Pedroza, graduate

Quinton Pedroza — Warrior
Quinton Pedroza — Warrior

* * * * *

Volleyball graduates:

Scott Hartley, Ryan Leung, Davis Holt, Taylor Averill
Scott Hartley, Ryan Leung, Davis Holt, Taylor Averill
Scott Hartley
Scott Hartley
Garrett Komisarek, Scott Hartley
Garrett Komisarek, Scott Hartley
Taylor Averill
Taylor Averill

* * * * *

Good things:
> Organization: There were parking attendants, special-duty officers, strict ushers (“You can’t save seats,” an usher scolded. When a woman said her friends were about to arrive, usher scolded: “Where? Where are your friends?”)
> Chancellor: During news conferences, the Manoa Chancellor acts like he is scheduled for a root canal in the afternoon. But during his commencement address, he was clear, purposeful, concise … inspiring. When he’s not hiring or firing ADs, he’s a very good speaker.
> UH AD: A month into the job, David Matlin remains humble and unheralded. He stays in the background, supportive yet allowing others to take credit. Now, if he could learn to make apple-banana banana bread …
> Anticipation: Noon at Ching Field is SPF-50 hot. UH set up a tent where they offered free iced water while lei-bearing family and friends waited for the graduates.

Bad things:
> Because the record number of graduates, Ching Field and Les Murakami Stadium were needed for lei-giving. Problem was there was a lone opening separating both areas. It was like “300” as people entering and exiting tried to cross.
> UH tried to get traffic moving. But when Dole Street narrows from two lanes to one in the diamond head direction, and there are cars exiting Upper and Lower campuses, it resembled the H-1 when the Zipper breaks. Conclusion: The traffic and parking can never support an on-campus stadium.

* * * * *

When brother Mike learned that our father died before he could earn a doctorate degree, he promised our mother he would earn one. She died in 2001. But our parents were there in spirit — a picture of them was in his cap — when Mike and his wife earned their doctorate degrees yesterday.

Tiffany Ing-Tsai, Michael Tsai
Tiffany Ing-Tsai, Michael Tsai


* * * * *

Demo, Junelle, Christopher
Demo, Junelle, Christopher
And at the other end of the country, proud father Chris “Demo” Demarest attends daughter Junelle’s graduation.


  1. st. anthony trojan May 17, 2015 7:55 am

    Many pics today…the host was a busy man..

  2. 3-Prong May 17, 2015 8:05 am

    Graduation in Hawaii…Priceless

  3. islandman May 17, 2015 8:33 am

    Where was Demo’s daughter’s graduation from ?

    What were the Tsai’s doctorates in ?

  4. tom May 17, 2015 9:50 am



  5. jm2375 May 17, 2015 10:45 am

    Good morning Tsaikos!

    You must have had a long day yesterday, ST.
    Nice to see the volleyball Warrior graduates.

  6. Stephen Tsai May 17, 2015 10:49 am

    It was interesting running around. We wanted to beat the traffic so we left for UH at 6:30 in the morning. It was a really cool little ceremony they had for student-athletes. The commencement ceremonies were well run. I was quite impressed with UH’s administration.

  7. Stephen Tsai May 17, 2015 10:50 am

    Demo’s daughter graduated from the University of Albany.

  8. Stephen Tsai May 17, 2015 10:51 am

    Demo acknowledged he perfected the untucked shirt look from his three years in Hawaii.

  9. hitman May 17, 2015 11:21 am

    aloha and good morning everyone!! CONGRATULATIONS and nice photos ST !!

  10. Andrew May 17, 2015 11:21 am

    Another thing UH excels at doing, senior nights

  11. Don Weir May 17, 2015 11:48 am

    And we had fresh baked corn bread as well.

    ST, I was a wide receiver.

  12. el burro sabio May 17, 2015 12:19 pm

    ST promoted you Mr. Weir

  13. SteveM May 17, 2015 12:25 pm

    Congratulations to Mike and Tiffany Tsai!
    Receiving a Doctorate is impressive–and BOTH receiving their PH.D’s on the same day is very special!

  14. 1 May 17, 2015 12:27 pm

    This is the best WB post for the year!

  15. Da Punchbowl Kid May 17, 2015 12:41 pm

    Great pics Stephen. Best wishes and congrats to all those earning a degree!

    Mahalo for all you do, Don Weir.

  16. Don Weir May 17, 2015 2:47 pm

    el burro sabio,
    Coach Price never promoted me past WR.
    Eric Hannum and I went down to the Perry and Price Show several years ago. We wanted to encourage the radio and live audiences to support a fund raiser for the FB program.
    I said something on the air about teammates showing up and helping out. Coach Price looked over and said “We-ah, you were a pretty boy. You evah get da uniform dirty?”

    I came home and rubbed dirt on my UH Alum Football shirt and felt better!!

  17. Stephen Tsai May 17, 2015 3:27 pm

    Don Weir:
    My apologies. No wonder all your fingers still work

  18. Don Weir May 17, 2015 5:09 pm

    Fingers still work but Cooke Field (Monsanto outdoor carpet laid over asphalt) wreaked havoc on shoulders, knees, and ankles later in life.
    I still wouldn’t change a moment of my UH athletic/academic experience.

  19. Ipu Man May 17, 2015 6:18 pm

    Mmmmmmm….banana apple (real apples or apple banana?) bread…
    Sounds like a way to raise dough for UH athletics.

  20. Derek May 17, 2015 7:35 pm

    I watched Don Weir play at UH. He was very good. Another wide receiver that I liked during those days was Roger Parkman. Wonder what happened to him.

  21. boya_jr May 17, 2015 7:52 pm

    Congrats graduates!

  22. Tiki808 May 17, 2015 11:04 pm

    I saw it on KITV4 news. UH baseball. Ha! Not bad. OK!

  23. Tiki808 May 17, 2015 11:57 pm

    Who was the greatest UH baseball player? I just picked Glenn Braggs. 1983, MLB Milwauke Brewers, Cincinnati Reds

  24. rage777 May 18, 2015 4:26 am

    Glenn Braggs over Derek Tatsuno?

  25. Akamai Okole May 18, 2015 6:08 am

    Great Morning All!

    Nice recap of Graduation Day in Da Quarry. Always Da Bes’ Day Addah Yee-ah!

  26. Akamai Okole May 18, 2015 6:10 am


  27. Tanman May 18, 2015 6:52 am

    Congratulations to all graduates!!

    Congratulations to your brother Mike and his wife!! Both getting PhD on the same day!!

  28. NorthShoreFan May 18, 2015 8:13 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    Congratulations and Mahalos to the student athletes!
    Congratulations to the Dr. Tsai’s!
    wow, no mo stuff fo watch now. baseball pau, softball pau, volleyball pau, tme fo go hibernate..zzzzzzzzz

  29. mo808 May 18, 2015 8:13 am

    Good Monday morning, folks! Congratulations to all UH graduates!

  30. mo808 May 18, 2015 8:16 am

    Hui…DPK & D1?! Mahalo, for da cattle call invite! I must decline do to work responsibilties (shucks). Enjoy!

  31. mo808 May 18, 2015 8:17 am


    (still no get edit button for us spell check deficient peeps)

  32. H-man May 18, 2015 8:43 am

    Don Wier, that’s a funny story!!! Did the radio show raise a lot of contributions?

  33. Da Punchbowl Kid May 18, 2015 8:44 am


    We’ll miss you at the Moo meeting Miss Mo.

  34. mo808 May 18, 2015 8:52 am

    DPK: Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!

    Aiyah, how come dis ting still no remembah cookies? daswhyhard

  35. boolakanaka May 18, 2015 9:02 am

    Tats hands down. He was an athletic epiphany, wrapped in a sleek, compact of slider efficiency that basically carved out a new inflection point of college baseball performance.

    Consider he was first NCAA pitcher to obtain 20 wins in a season–which by the way still stands. Even more amazing is that they played only about 50-60 games a season, including post-season back in the day. His 234 strikeouts in a season, over about 170 plus innings, for all of us that passed algebra in Halawa, comes out to about 1.3, per inning–utterly amazing–that also still stands.

    Glenn Braggs was a beast of an athlete, and for a time went out with Dietre Collins, (3 time all american in women’s Vball), they could have had super-babies!!! And no doubt a better major league–but in regards to their respective college career–Tats had an almost statistically Haley’s Comet type of college career that pushed the boundary of both the sport and belief of many sport’s fan. I would tell folks about him, and that he often would pitch practice for my senior little league bball team, and folks would outright scoff. When they saw him in person, they were literally stunned and without breath–he was beautiful to watch–and I did so, since I was in elementary school.

    Tats, placed UH baseball on the map, and can be argued, also did the same thing for ole Les…..Tats all the way—there is only a competition for runner-up in this category.

  36. (Jesse)James May 18, 2015 9:17 am

    Good morning Tsaikos…Been a while…but work has slowed a bit soooo…..

    Woot Woot….Congrats to all the graduates…both athletes and non-athletes….Now the journey of life begins…live it wisely 🙂

    Count me in for the Moo Call…. 🙂

  37. Stephen Tsai May 18, 2015 9:19 am

    New post:

Comments are closed.