Lt. Gov. Green Will Deliver Keynote at UHH Fall Commencement

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Lt. Gov. Josh Green will deliver the keynote address at the UH Hilo Fall Commencement ceremony.

Recently elected Lt. Gov. Joshua Green, M.D. will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at 9 a.m., in Vulcan Gym. The public is reminded that doors open at 8:15 a.m. for general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. When seating reaches capacity, guests may view the ceremony via a live stream in University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 100.

Approximately 192 students have petitioned for degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Natural and Health Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Business and Economics, Pharmacy, Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language and for various post-graduate credentials.

Green has been a Hawaiʻi State Senator since 2008, serving as chair of the Health Committee, and currently chairs the Human Services Committee. Prior to that, he served in the State House of Representatives from 2004 to 2008.


In the legislature, Green has been a leading voice for strengthening health care. Green championed the initiative to create an insurance mandate for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the legislation known as “Luke’s Law,” which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. He also led a successful effort to raise the legal age for obtaining tobacco products and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21, making Hawaiʻi the first state to do so. Other legislation he has helped pass includes new programs to reduce maternal mortality and stronger protections for victims of sexual assault. As Lieutenant Governor, he is expected to play a key role in addressing Hawaiʻi’s homeless issue.

Green is also a family and Emergency Room physician on Hawaiʻi Island. He is currently an Emergency Room physician at Kohala Hospital, a position he has held since 2004. Green was named Hawaiʻi Physician of the Year in 2009 by his peers.

Green received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, and his M.D. from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


English major Kai Anthony Gaitley will serve as student speaker. Originally from Castleford, West Yorkshire, England, Gaitley has a 3.8 grade point average and serves as a writing tutor with UH Hilo’s Kilohana: The Academic Success Center, a position he has held since fall 2016.

Gaitley’s list of awards and recognition includes 2015 Droste Award for English 100, 2016 Droste Award for English 200, and in 2018 edited and self-published (on Amazon) An Anthology for a Threatened Planet: The Tides are Changing…Ride the Wave, an e-book of short stories by UH Hilo students on climate change. He also received Dean’s List recognition for spring and fall 2016 and 2017, and spring 2018.

“I still cannot quite persuade myself that I have been given this honor,” Gaitley commented about his selection as student speaker. “The incredible English faculty all helped me to fine-tune the ability to convert incomplete thoughts into meaningful words. Whether through essays or class discussions, this is perhaps the best skill I have gained throughout my education here. Now when I write something that I want to say, I can do so with precision (and a little flare, too!).”


Gaitley plans to enroll in the Master of Education in Teaching program at UH Manoa and teach English on Hawaiʻi Island.

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