Traditional Hawaiian ceremony welcomes UH President David Lassner

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii President David Lassner was welcomed with a traditional Hawaiian ceremony on Friday as he was officially presented with the responsibility of leading UH as an indigenous serving institution.

"It's a hard job and it's a daunting task. And the hopes and expectations of so many people were laid on me but also the commitment of support and assistance in moving forward," said Lassner. "That's absolutely essential and makes me feel a lot better."

He was greeted at the Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge by UH Manoa dignitaries including Chancellor Tom Apple and many of the college representatives.

Participants exchanged traditional oli, and an awa ceremony where they offered Lassner their support and advice.

The UH president performed his own oli, and even took the stage for an impromptu hula.

The Dean of Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Maenette Benham was moved by Lassner's oli.

"That brought tears to many peoples' eyes," she said. "Just because we knew that when he oli'd there, he was honoring everything that we are -- our spirit and this place."

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