UH class of 2009 facing uncertain future - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH class of 2009 facing uncertain future

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - Swine flu concerns change the spring University of Hawaii graduation ceremony. But that is not the only concern on the minds of graduates.

Saturday's UH graduation ceremony is filled with the usual pomp and pageantry. But along with getting handed their diplomas, students were also given hand wipes to help prevent the spread of germs, a concern on campus after a student tested positive for swine flu.

Some made sure to disinfect before shaking hands, while others came up with creative ways to get their point across.

After the ceremony, the threat of flu didn't stop many happy graduates from celebrating together.

"A hand shake traditionally been a sign of congratulations, it is important to me to have a handshake and that's what I did today," said new graduate, Michael Teruel.

1500 UH students earned undergraduate degrees, then nearly 800 more received masters and doctorate degrees later in the day. Many are relieved to have the important piece of paper, not to mention the happy moms and dads who have waited years for this!

But the recession has put a damper on this joyous occasion.

"I don't have a job, hopefully I'm going to get one!" said new graduate, Erin Shimabukuro.

Students are finding that even with a degree, there are few opportunities.

"Nobody's hiring, people are being let go. Its not a good time to be graduating," added Shimabukuro.

For some, if they can't find a job, even after years of schooling, they may be back on campus.

"I'm keeping my spirits up that I will find a job or I might get into a masters program, either way," said new graduate, Todd Thomas.

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