Honolulu – In the early 1950’s Joseph M. Souki left the island of Maui for Southern California to attend, what was then called, Woodbury College. He worked three jobs to pay for his tuition and living expenses and, in what might be considered his first venture into the leadership arena, also was President of Woodbury’s Hawaiian Club. In 1954 he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Woodbury and returned to Maui.
For his many accomplishments and service to the people of Maui and the State, Woodbury University presented Speaker Souki with its Distinguished Alumni Award at a dinner honoring him earlier this past weekend in Honolulu.
“Speaker Joe Souki is the embodiment of the Woodbury alumnus that we seek. 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 Woodbury President Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo.
“Representative Souki has transcended disciplinary boundaries by applying his organizational and management skills to political leadership as Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives. 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 President Calingo.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award from my Alma Mater Woodbury University. 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,” joked Speaker Souki.
“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.
Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Founded in 1884, Woodbury offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, the School of Business, and the School of Media, Culture and Design.