Commencement Address given at
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
December 17, 2010
'Yoko' Hiu Wai Tsui
Elder Perry, President Wheelwright, professors, guests, family, friends, and fellow graduates, Aloha!
I feel very honored and humbled to be standing among you, my fellow graduates, today. It has been a magnificent week. Students have made many trips between the library and the Testing Center. Right now, we are all here getting ready for the next stage of our life.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents for all the many lessons they have taught me. They have taught me the principles of honesty, integrity, and hard work through their living examples. Even though I have not seen them for years, I miss and love them. I know all of the students are grateful for their parents who supported them spiritually, physically, and in love.
Professors, I am grateful for your examples, your willingness to teach and guide us. Because of you, we grow in knowledge and skills. As a representative of the graduating class, I would like to thank each of you for helping us to accomplish one of our milestones in life.
My fellow graduates, eight months ago, I was standing right outside this building, helping my friends to take pictures while all the graduates were marching toward the opening of the commencement. A little girl standing next to me asked her mother, "Look at those people. Why do they dress up like penguins, walking in the same direction?" I found it funny, but at the same time, my friends, it is so true that we are all heading in the same direction. We came here to learn. Most importantly we came here to learn how to express our willingness to be taught and to be corrected. I look up to so many of you. You are a joy for your parents and an example to many students here at BYU-Hawaii.
President David O. McKay declared that this institution will produce "men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally." Within the past few weeks, I kept pondering what we have learned as graduates from BYU-Hawaii. A theme from the book of Alma popped into my mind. We are taught that in this special institution, we learn how to be a friend, a servant, a good example and a leader.
BYU-Hawaii provides us many international outreach opportunities. Within our campus, through different campus and club activities, service projects, church callings, and work, we come to know people from different cultural backgrounds. We learn to appreciate who people really are, how to be a friend, and how to serve one another. At the same time, we learn how to be a leader. Outside campus, our students from different major departments travel across the ocean to share their talents, skills, and knowledge in different areas of the world: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Boston, Chicago, India, Tonga, the Philippines, California, and New Zealand.
Each of us has talents. As we take our first steps out into the world as alumni of this prestigious institution, we will be faced with challenges. For many of us, the next stage of life will be filled with uncertainty. President Harold B. Lee once said "[Don't] try to see the end from the beginning...you must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you."
The world we live in can be a difficult place. It is important for us to always choose the right and follow the promptings of the Spirit. No matter where we go, let's make the best out of it. With the education, skills we have received here; and the testimonies that we have developed in our time at BYU-Hawaii, I know that we can be a light, an example, a friend, and a leader to the world.
I have come to understand the beauty and the amazement of the Atonement in a deeper level through your living examples. And I thank you for that. I pray that we each will continue to let our light so shine that we may glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).
I know that Heavenly Father lives and Jesus is the Christ. His atoning power gives us joy and hope in life. The Gospel is not just true but real. I love it with all my heart. I share these thoughts with you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Photo by Monique Saenz.