Fañomnåkan 2022 Commencement Ceremony
2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, at the Calvo Field House
The University of Guam will confer degrees to 335 graduates at its Fañomnåkan 2022 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 22. Tickets to attend the commencement ceremony are limited to four tickets per graduate. The ceremony will also be streamed live on the official UOG Facebook page.
Tuesday, May 17: Baccalaureate Mass Rehersal
7 p.m. at Santa Teresita Catholic Church (Mangilao)
Wednesday, May 18: Baccalaureate Mass
6 p.m. at Santa Teresita Catholic Church (Mangilao)
Friday, May 20: Commencement Rehearsal
5:30 p.m. at the Calvo Field House
Sunday, May 22: Commencement
2 p.m. at the Calvo Field House
Speaking to the graduates for the commencement address will be Dr. John Ray Taitano, the first graduate of the University of Guam to be accepted into medical school and the first state surgeon of the Guam Air and Army National Guard.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Biology from UOG in 1968, Dr. Taitano built a successful military career and has been serving the people of Guam as an internal medicine specialist for 42 years.
He became the first CHamoru to earn a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine and later became the first CHamoru physician to graduate from the U.S. Army War College. Seeing the need for medical professionals in Guam, he returned home to serve his people and give back to the community that supported him throughout his journey.
After working at the Guam Memorial Hospital for five years, Dr. Taitano co-founded one of Guam's longest running private clinics with three of his colleagues. In 1985, they opened The Family Medical Clinic — now The Doctors' Clinic — in Tamuning. Dr. Taitano is the president and co-owner of the clinic, which has been in operation for more than 30 years.
Throughout his career, Dr. Taitano has played an active role in Guam’s medical community and has led several boards and committees. He has served as the president of the Guam Medical Society, Guam Veterans Advisory Committee, Guam Commission on Licensure, Guam Memorial Hospital Medical Staff, and the Guam Board of Medical Examiners.
He is the chairman of the Guam Memorial Hospital’s Department of Medicine and the vice president of the Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands.
Taitano retired from the military in 2006 after 26 years of service. He served in the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972 and in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Medical Corps Officer. He holds numerous military awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars.
Taitano is also a three-time winner of the UOG Distinguished Alumni Awards and one of three honorary degree recipients who will be recognized this commencement.
His greatest accomplishment, however, is his marriage to his college sweetheart, Sera Babauta Chargualaf Taitano of Santa Rita, and their four sons — John Ray Taitano II, Dr. Johnathan Ryan Taitano, Jon Robert Taitano, and Jason Raymond Taitano, who have blessed the family with their wonderful spouses and grandchildren.
Chemistry-Biology Dual Major
Class of Fañomnåkan 2022 Valedictorian Darlene Partoriza Ferrer is graduating with bachelor's degrees in both chemistry and biology.
As an undergraduate, she gained research experience and mentorship as a participant in the multi-year BUILD EXITO program through Portland State University as well as through the Summer Health Professions Education Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. Her research topics were health disparities and cardiometabolic diseases.
As a volunteer with the AmeriCorps program at Guam Memorial Hospital, she assisted at COVID-19 vaccination clinics and worked with self-pay patients to receive public health insurance.
She served as president of the UOG Society for Advancement for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter, as treasurer of the UOG American Medical Student Association premedical chapter, and as secretary of the UOG Chemistry Club. She also worked as a teaching assistant in general chemistry and mentored high school students through the Educational Talent Search program under TRIO.
Ferrer has been accepted into the Doctoral Diversity Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a two-year post-baccalaureate program designed to develop scholars from diverse backgrounds for careers in medical professions as they conduct rigorous original research for publication. The program has a 3% to 5% acceptance rate, admitting five to eight scholars per year.
Ferrer’s aim is to return to Guam to serve the island and find solutions to issues affecting the health care system.
Master of Micronesian Traditional Knowledge
Donald Benavente Mendiola is an indigenous expert who has made significant contributions to the community in traditional practices as a yo’åmte (traditional healer), master weaver, and fa’fa’nague (teacher) of CHamoru language. Since his early childhood, Mendiola was recognized by his elders as having the gift of healing and began his service in herbal remedies, massage, and spiritual healing by the age of 9.
As a counselor and guide with Pineksai Haya, a youth cultural immersion program, he has helped youth build awareness and a better understanding of who they are and to gain more self-confidence.
Mendiola has been teaching the CHamoru language for more than 49 years, including more than 33 years in the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System. He teaches cultural studies at Hopwood Middle School in Saipan, including traditional healing and weaving, and perpetuates his knowledge further by providing training and workshops for other educators.
In 2009, he wrote and published “Åmot Chamorro, a Historical Snapshot of the CNMI’s Medical Herbs and Shrubs” to promote first-hand knowledge about herbal remedies to future generations.
Doctor of Humane Letters
Dr. John Ray Taitano will also be delivering the commencement address. Read his biography here.
Doctor of Humane Letters
Patrick U. Tellei, president of Palau Community College, is the longest serving chief executive of any higher education institution in the Pacific region. Tellei has come to be known for the educational opportunities he has made possible for the people of Palau and the wider region of Micronesia and the many agreements he has brokered with universities and colleges that consistently enhance academic excellence and island progress.
Beyond research and education, Tellei has served as a delegate and secretary to the 2nd Constitutional Convention for Palau, as a catastrophic relief coordinator for Super Typhoon Bopha Recovery, as a governing board member of the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, and as a member of the negotiating team for the Compact of Free Association for Palau. He has also served as an ambassador for Pacific Island-based institutions in regional, national, and international forums.
Tellei earned his Doctor of Education from the University of San Diego in 2005, with his dissertation focused on workforce development in Palau from pre-contact to 1999.
Throughout his career, he has been a supporter of the practice and transmission of island wisdom and traditional lifeways within educational settings and beyond. As an advocate and adviser to national, regional, and international leaders, Tellei has emphasized the importance of education to addressing the critical challenges of our time.
Graduates should arrive by 12 p.m. and meet at the cafeteria inside the Student Services Center.
Guests should arrive no earlier than two hours prior to the ceremony.
Yes! The commencement will be streamed live on the UOG Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UniversityofGuam.
The ceremony will be approximately 3 hours.
Within the Field House, no refreshments will be provided, available for sale, or permitted for consumption. Attendees may bring and consume water in the Field House. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase in the Triton Store for consumption outside of the Field House. The Triton Store is located in the Student Center directly across from the Calvo Field House and will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Gifts, snacks, drinks, UOG merchandise, and general merchandise will be available for sale at the Triton Store, located in the Student Center directly across from the Calvo Field House. The Triton Store will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No. All guests should remain in their seats during the ceremony. Professional photographers will take a photo of each graduate crossing the stage as well as a posed shot of each graduate holding his/her diploma. These photos will be available for download, free of charge, on the UOG's Flickr account in the weeks following commencement.
Photos from commencement, including posed portraits of each graduate, will be available in high resolution for download, free of charge, in the weeks following commencement on UOG's Flickr account.
Graduates: Find more FAQs specific to graduates on the Graduating Students webpage.
Professional photos of each commencement ceremony as well as photos of each graduate crossing the stage and holding their diploma on stage will be available for download, free of charge, on University of Guam's Flickr album.
The commencement ceremony will be recorded and available for viewing on the University of Guam Facebook page. It will be posted to the UOG Tritons YouTube channel as well in the weeks following commencement.