Maui News

Maui’s Souki Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award

November 19, 2014, 10:34 AM HST
* Updated November 19, 1:00 PM
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Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo presents Speaker Joseph M. Souki with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Courtesy photo.

Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo presents Speaker Joseph M. Souki with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

House Speaker Joe Souki of Maui was honored this past weekend with a distinguished alumni award from his alma mater Woodbury University, located in Southern California.

Souki graduated from what was then called Woodbury College in 1954 with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration.

During his undergraduate studies, Souki was working three jobs to pay for his tuition and living expenses.  He also served as president of the school’s Hawaiian Club.

The distinguished alumni award was issued to Souki for his accomplishments and years of public service on Maui and in the state.

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“Speaker Joe Souki is the embodiment of the Woodbury alumnus that we seek,” said Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo in a press release statement.

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“He has demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills in his profession as a realtor. He has demonstrated design thinking when he initiated the Maui Economic Opportunity wheelchair accessible bus service, the senior citizen discount card program, Meals on Wheels, and Youth Transportation Services that help young people today to have fun and be productive. His civic engagement is best evident in his advocacy for the women and children who are victims of domestic violence,” said Calingo.

Speaker Joseph M. Souki with Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo and Unversity Relations Executive Director Michael Seymour.

Speaker Joseph M. Souki with Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo and University Relations Vice President Gregory S. Krikorian.

Calingo presented the award to Souki duing a dinner honoring him in Honolulu.

He said Rep. Souki “transcended disciplinary boundaries” by applying his organizational and management skills to political leadership as Speaker of the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives.

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“Entrepreneurship, design thinking, civic engagement, and transdisciplinarity – these are the Four Pillars of Woodbury Education, all epitomized in the Honorable Speaker Joseph M. Souki,” said Calingo.

Speaker Souki responded to the award saying he is honored to be recognized, “Never did I imagine when I first traveled to Los Angeles to pursue my education, that such a recognition would be possible for me. Back then I wasn’t sure that I would even make it through,” he said jokingly.

“Every phase in a person’s life begins with a significant moment and decision. For me, one of those moments began with the decision to attend Woodbury, and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to further my education at such a fine institution,” said Souki in a statement.

Woodbury University was founded in 1884, and currently offers bachelor’s degrees from its School of Architecture, School of Business, and School of Media, Culture and Design.

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