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Home Pueo People Making history as UH West Oʻahu Alumni awardee

Making history as UH West Oʻahu Alumni awardee

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Dr. Glenn Medeiros, UH West Oʻahu alum and Saint Louis School President, was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Fall Commencement Ceremony at UH West Oʻahu. Image courtesy of UHWO Staff

Taking a lesson from one of his favorite educators, Dr. Glenn Medeiros knows that making history is dependent upon having a good grasp of it.

“Success should be gauged by how we improve the lives of others utilizing the knowledge and skills we’ve attained over time,” said Medeiros, now the President at Saint Louis School. He received that advice from his “favorite professor,” Dr. Dan Boylan, who “passionately taught us history because he knew we could make history ourselves by having a strong understanding of it.”

Medeiros is the recipient of the 2021 Nā Lehua ʻUla Alumni Award, presented at the Spring 2021 Virtual Ceremony at the University of Hawai’i–West Oʻahu. Nā Lehua ʻUla is awarded to graduates of UH West Oʻahu who have, like the red lehua once common in the ʻEwa district, blossomed forth and become a source of both sustenance and beauty. These individuals have contributed to and made an impact in their community with the knowledge and skills gained through their education at UH West Oʻahu. They have taken the best of scholarship and practice and added the values they earned from family to make a stronger and more vibrant future for future generations, they lead into the future. It is only the second time the award has been given out; the first was for the first seven graduates of UH West Oʻahu, in 2018.

“We honor Dr. Medeiros for his exemplary work as an educational leader and teacher, his outstanding community service on school boards and community boards, and his volunteerism, which reflects his deep commitment to kaiāulu—community and unity,” Chancellor Maenette Benham said.

UH West O’ahu “laid the foundation for me and many of my classmates to make an impact in our respective communities by providing the educational foundation we needed,” said Medeiros, who graduated from UH West Oʻahu with a degree in Humanities/History in 1998. Medeiros reflected upon UH West Oʻahu’s past, reminiscing about his time in the late ’90s at the institution (then known as West Oʻahu College), which was located in portable facilities on the Leeward Community College campus, an area equivalent in size to a football field.

“I do remember that the portables were newly built and we were excited to be in them,” Medeiros said. “They were shaped in a rectangular fashion, thus allowing the middle area to be a gathering place where we ate lunch on wooden picnic tables. I can still remember the smell of paint in the air with it being so new.”

The lessons learned while taking courses in those portable, temporary facilities helped to fuel a career in education. Medeiros also earned a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education at the University of Phoenix-Hawaiʻi and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. In 2015, Dr. Medeiros became Head of School at Saint Louis School and a year later President.

While experiencing a successful career in education, it was not Medeiros’ first career. He enjoyed a professional career as a singer/songwriter, traveling to almost 40 countries, selling over seven million records, recording eight albums, twenty music videos, and writing over 200 songs.

Medeiros found himself at a crossroads in the mid-90s, faced with a choice between moving to Los Angeles or going to school. He was offered an opportunity to partner with comedian Frank DeLima to do a show in Waikīkī.

“I took that as a sign that I should begin my second career as an educator by attending school during the day and performing by night,” Medeiros said.

Medeiros said he chose to attend UH West Oʻahu for many of the same reasons why students today love UH West Oʻahu.

“I love the professors there and the cost was more affordable,” he said. “At the time, I just began living in Mililani, so the drive was closer.”

Dr. Glenn Medeiros, UH West Oʻahu alum and Saint Louis School President, was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Fall Commencement Ceremony at UH West Oʻahu. Image courtesy of UHWO Staff