President David O. McKay taught that true education produces people of noble character. The students at BYU-Hawaii are the "genuine gold" that he prophesied would come out of this university.
Each semester at the Peacebuilding graduation banquet, graduates have the opportunity to share what the program has taught them and what peacebuilding means to them.
“When I started the major I didn’t believe in peace. Now that I’m finished I can say that I believe in peace; I believe that we can find peace in our lives- even in moments when it is difficult.”
“I believe in people. I believe in the power of humanity to do so much good in a world of so much bad. This program has taught me how to find peace in my own life, and to help other people find it in theirs. There is much we can do in our families and in the world. If there’s anything I can tell you it’s that I believe peace is possible.”
“The reason I stayed in Peacebuilding is because of the love you can feel in the McKay Center and the opportunity the McKay Center gives you to be a part of at this school. The Peacebuilding program is what has made me feel good while going through business school.”
“I’m from South Korea which is a divided country. There are so many conflicts between the countries in Asia. This program has been a really good opportunity to learn how to see the world. I thought I would study music, but I chose Peacebuilding. At first I didn’t get it, but now I see that it’s really important anywhere and everywhere, even our daily lives. As I’ve learned more about Peacebuilding my understanding of humanity has grown deeper and deeper and I’ve grown closer to other people.”
“It was neat to see God’s hand in my life. I knew I was supposed to study art and then I knew I was supposed to study Peacebuilding, and it’s been neat to see how art and peacebuilding relate. I learned so much about the power of love and how you can really change the world in people.”
“I took Peacebuilding because there is a lot of conflict in my family. I thought if I take peacebuilding I’ll be able to help my family. Going into politics I hope to be able to introduce pace into that field and be a good example back home in helping people understand that peace is possible.”
“I really came here and found my tribe. On my first day of class Chad said, “We’re going to try and learn what can’t be taught,” and that resonated with me because I dropped out of high school because I couldn’t learn what was being taught. Peacebuilding has been such a great experience.”
“Coming here and studying Peacebuilding has transformed me in so many ways. I’m especially grateful that in this decade of decisions I’ve had this program to help me navigate through some of the challenges that I’ve had and help me discover myself in a way I hadn’t been able to before. I’ve always thought optimistically and ideally about the world, in a way that the world might quiet. Peacebuilding has allowed me to explore those ideas not as ideas but as possibilities.”
Congratulations to this year's graduates, who are already contributing to the fulfillment of President McKay's prophecy, that "from this school will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally."