Red and black shirts filled the Kunuiakea Stadium at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama on Sept. 17 in Honolulu.
A majority of the stadium was filled with Boxer fans as the Pacific University football team took the win against Occidental College. But this was not an ordinary away game, it was much more.
While this was the first NCAA Division III football game played in Hawaii, it was also home to many other events starting the Thursday prior to the game.
“[There were] three major events, but a lot of things going on behind the scenes that brought together what Pacific University weekend was all about,” Gary Pacarro, alumnus and director at the Pacific Hawaii office said. “It was truly an amazing weekend, I think everybody enjoyed it. It was great exposure for Pacific.”
Along with the football team and people who helped out with the game, the cheer team, the pep band, the president’s cabinet, several administrators, people from University Advancement and the Board of Trustees were some of the many people who helped out as well and attended the trip to Hawaii for many events that would take place.
Along with the football game, there were many other firsts that weekend.
Jerry Yoshida, also an alumnus, became the first Chair of the Board of Trustees from Hawaii in the history of the university.
While in Hawaii, there was a ceremonial passing of a Poi, a Hawaiian gavel, between Yoshida and Mindy Cameron, the previous chair of the committee, during the Annual Boxer Ohana Reception on Friday that had over 450 attendees.
“That’s a pretty good milestone,” Joe Lang, director of media relations said. “As far as the number of people there and at other events, it exceeded our expectations.”
Along with this event, there were two other major events. The Second Annual Boxer Ohana Golf Tournament filled the field with 150 participants. The special thing about this event was that it was also a fundraiser to help fund scholarships tailored to Hawaii students. The funds also helped offset Pacific’s athletic teams travel, not just the football team, but other teams as well.
“We have the most number of home games this year for football and that’s not an accident,” Lang said. “I think the success of this could spur other future trips, but there has got to be care to be taken in terms of making sure it could be done the right way, logistically making sure it’s a good experience for everybody.”
This was also a good time for recruitment of prospective Hawaii students, both athletic and non-athletic. Aside from football recruiting, there was softball, College of Education, College of Pharmacy and the College of Optometry recruiting.
“[It was] not just another road game, it was an opportunity to showcase Pacific,” Pacarro, who was proud of all university representatives said. “This office is here to be an extension of the community.”
But one thing that really resonated within the Hawaii and Pacific communities was the fact that the Hawaii Governor and the Honolulu Mayor came to the reception to proclaim that week Pacific University Week in Hawaii 2016.
“It really became a week long celebration,” Lang said. “I think it was really about this university recognizing how important our Boxer Ohana in Hawaii is to this university. Overall, it was a huge success.”