Hilo and the Big Island

Aloha mai kakou. My name is Gail Makuakane-Lundin. I was born and raised on the island of Hawai’i , also known as the Big Island. I’m a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and I’d like to share with you a lot about our campus and our community.

The Big island is divided into two sections, what’s known as the east and west side. The University of Hawai’i is located on the east side of the island. What’s unique about our island is that we have the one of the tallest mountains in the world, Mauna Kea. We have both black sand and white sand beaches that are quite unique. And we also have tropical rain forest where we have many of our indigenous birds and plants that you can have an opportunity to learn and study about.

We provide students hands-on learning on our campus. Students can major is marine science, geology, Hawaiian language, Hawaiian studies, and in these areas they get to actually not only learn about the subjects in the classroom, but they get to go out into the community, and into our forest and into the beaches to learn about these subject matters.

Students also get to learn and meet other people from around the world because we have a very diverse campus. At least 8% of our students come from abroad, from over 30 international countries, from the US mainland, as well as every island in the state of Hawai’i. So our students get to learn about a unique culture of Hawai’i, as well as the unique cultures of the world. We pride ourselves in being a very Native Hawaiian community, as well as a Native Hawaiian university. So students will get to learn about the Hawaiian culture, language and music here on campus.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities such as student clubs and organizations that are both cultural as well as academic. So if you’re interested in business, if you’re interested in marine science, if you’re interested in the arts, you can probably join one of the clubs that exist on our campus. There are 40 clubs students can choose from. You can also get leadership opportunities through our chartered student organizations and clubs.

I think what you’ll find here at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo is an environment where students get to know their professors, they get to know other students and they get to know the community very well. So I think your opportunity here at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo will be very unique and special and we look forward to welcoming you here.

2: Hilo and the Big Island