Hawaiʻi Pacific University: Educating Future Global Leaders with a Distinctively Intimate Educational Experience

Hawai‘i Pacific University is an international learning community set in the rich cultural context of Hawai‘i. Students from around the world join us for an American education built on a liberal arts foundation. Our innovative undergraduate and graduate programs anticipate the changing needs of the community and prepare our graduates to live, work, and learn as active members of a global society.

Empowering Students through a Deliberately Intimate Learning Environment

Hawaiʻi Pacific University (HPU) is a private, nonprofit university in Oʻahu, with urban and rural campuses in downtown Honolulu and in Kaneohe, respectively. Established in 1965, HPU is home to over 4,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the mainland, and over 70 countries around the world. Fusing the University’s unmatched cultural diversity with personal support and a deliberately intimate learning environment, students get up-close and personal with the subjects they’re most passionate about. HPU is made up of multiple colleges; these include the College of Business Administration, College of Liberal Arts, College of Health and Society, College of Natural and Computational Sciences and the College of Extended and Interdisciplinary Education. HPU offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in each of its colleges and schools. The University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and received a reaffirmation of its accreditation in 2016.

The faculty, staff, students, and overall university community of Hawai‘i Pacific embrace their institutional values which include: PONO, meaning righteous, honest and moral, and an energy of necessity; KULEANA, meaning responsibility and rights and concern for all interests, property, and people; and ALOHA meaning love, kindness and grace, unity, humility, patience. As Hawai‘i Pacific University looks towards its 62nd anniversary in 2027, they set forth a strategic plan that is inspired by their diverse community and rooted in these three enduring Hawaiian values.

Providing Hand-on Education for Students to Learn and Grow

HPU is committed to providing excellence in each of its student’s achievements. By employing innovative teaching and learning strategies and experiential approaches rooted in the tropical island community of Hawaii, HPU ensures that their students cultivate the knowledge, skills, and values that are expected of all educated citizens. All of the college students share similar goals of meeting new people and finding ways to get involved. The Office of Student Activities at HPU supports these goals by offering fun, entertaining, educational, and innovative programs and activities. HPU encourages its students to get involved in co-curricular activities, as they are an essential part of enriching the campus life. This office also provides leadership and development programs as well as accommodates close to 50 clubs and organizations on-campus. HPU aims to take learning beyond the classroom and cultivate programs that lead to student success. Their academic program review and assessment efforts promote student learning and institutional effectiveness.

About the President        

John Y. Gotanda became the President of Hawai‘i Pacific University on July 1, 2016.  Born and raised in Hawai‘i, President Gotanda is a graduate of Roosevelt High School, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (BBA, 1984) and the William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., 1987), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review. Following law school, he was a staff attorney with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then worked as an associate attorney with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and later with Goodwin, Procter & Hoar in Boston. Gotanda also served as the Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in Villanova, PA.

President Gotanda is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on damages in international law, and has been cited by courts, tribunals, and commentators, including by the U.S. Supreme Court. He has spoken widely on the subjects of damages, international arbitration, and international sales law, including at The Hague Academy of International Law.

Extensive Exposure & Career Opportunities for Students

Preparing students to become global citizens is a primary outcome of student support services, degree and co-curricular programs, mentoring relationships with faculty and staff, and the learning environment that is offered to students. Hawaiʻi Pacific University provides explicit academic environments through the ELS Language Center at Hawaiʻi Pacific University, the Oceanic Institute, and the university participation in the Army ROTC program. The university also has an extensive Distance Learning and Online based platform for many of its programs. International students reap an extensive experience through the Study Abroad and Student Exchange Program at HPU. HPU envisions realigning their campuses and revitalizing their entrepreneurial culture in a manner that demonstrates inclusiveness, promotes student success, and fosters trust and collaboration. The upcoming reformation of the Downtown Campus will address a long-standing university need for an identifiable, connected, and cohesive campus with sufficient gathering spaces for students, faculty, and staff.

Through project based learning opportunities and internships, students at HPU get up-close and personal with the subjects they’re passionate about. Students participate in activities, such as learning communities, service learning, research with faculty, internships and field experiences, study abroad, and culminating senior experiences.

Understanding the Student’s Financial Need

It’s well-known that academic and financial advisors today are busier than ever, responsible as they are for hundreds or even thousands of students. HPU conducts a ‘Preview Day’ every semester wherein students can meet and speak with faculty, current students, alumni and staff to learn more about Academic Programs, Financial Aid, Career Services, Student Life, First-Year Programs, Athletic Programs, Music Programs, Housing and Study Abroad.

Financial aid is every advisor’s concern because it is every student’s concern. In their commitment to making higher education affordable to everyone, Hawaiʻi Pacific University hosts a yearly scholarship competition in which students have the possibility to earn a full 4-year tuition scholarship. The University also provides other financial assistance based off both need and merit.

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