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Mahalo for 80 Years of Community Support


photo of rachelAs we head into the holiday season, I want to say mahalo for all the community support for Hawai‘i Community College, not only for the past year, but for the past 80 years. 

That’s right, this year we are celebrating our 80th anniversary. That’s 80 years of being a place where students can bring their hopes and dreams, work hard, and use the knowledge they gain to build a meaningful life and contribute to their community.

As I reflect on our 80th anniversary, I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for everyone who has come before and made Hawai‘i Community College what it is. After all, though we are an institution with buildings and organizational structures, we only exist because of the people in this community who value education, who value community, and who aspire to create better lives for themselves, their ʻohana and their neighbors. This includes faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, elected officials, business leaders, and members of the public. It includes JCCIH. It includes you. 

JCCIH’s support for Hawai‘i CC is longstanding and well-documented. The recent adaptation of The Taste of Hilo activities that supported local food businesses and the college are just the latest example of JCCIH’s dedication to Hawai‘i CC and the broader community. 

Like in 1941 when Hawai‘i CC was founded (the year of the Pearl Harbor bombing and the United States’ entry into World War II) we are again living in challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in so many ways. At Hawai‘i CC, classes have moved mostly online and we face budget shortfalls. 

Still, Hawai‘i Community College will be part of the rebound. Our growth since 1941 has been intertwined with the growth of our Island community. As our economy evolves, we have adapted by working closely with the community. The determination, the talent and the aloha that is present here gives us what we need to come together and bounce back.  

We won’t be able to celebrate our anniversary like we normally would. But we are coming up with creative ways to celebrate, so stay tuned for announcements in the next couple months. 

Enjoy the holidays!

With gratitude, 

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas