335 students to graduate from UOG on Sunday

335 students to graduate from UOG on Sunday

335 students to graduate from UOG on Sunday


Photo of graduate
A graduate receives her diploma from UOG President Thomas W. Krise while crossing the stage at the University of Guam Fañomnåkan Commencement Ceremony on May 23, 2021.

The University of Guam will confer degrees to approximately 335 graduates at its Fañomnåkan 2022 Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Calvo Field House. Attendance will be limited to graduates and four guests per graduate.

Among the degree recipients will be the university’s second group of civil engineering graduates as well as seven graduates earning a Master of Social Work through UOG’s partnership program with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 

Photo of Dr. John Ray Taitano
Dr. John Ray Taitano

Dr. John Ray Taitano to deliver commencement address

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's in biology from UOG in 1968, 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 and later co-founded one of Guam’s longest running private clinics — The Doctors’ Clinic. 

“Dr. Taitano has achieved many firsts in his field and is an excellent role model of service to the community,” said UOG President Thomas W. Krise. “As more students trend toward medical professions in the wake of the pandemic, we hope Dr. Taitano’s story will inspire them and Tritons of all majors to similarly forge their own paths for the common good.” 

Throughout his career, Taitano has played an active role in Guam’s medical community and has led several boards and committees. 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 is a three-time winner of the UOG Distinguished Alumni Awards and will also be awarded an honorary degree at the ceremony on Sunday. 

Three to earn honorary degrees

During the ceremony, the Board of Regents will recognize three honorary degree recipients: 

  • Dr. John Ray Taitano, an internal medicine specialist and the first UOG graduate to be accepted into medical school
  • Donald Mendiola, an indigenous expert, traditional healer, master weaver, and teacher of CHamoru language
  • Patrick U. Tellei, the longest serving chief executive of any higher education institution in the Pacific region 

Honorary degrees are given to individuals who have become experts in their fields, earned the respect of the community, and made long-lasting contributions to society. 

Attending commencement

Tickets to attend the commencement ceremony must be acquired through the graduates. Graduates are limited to four guests each. Pandemic safety protocols will be in place for the ceremony, including COVID-safety signage and instructions for guests. Face masks are not required but are highly encouraged. 

The ceremony will also be streamed live on the UOG Facebook page. 

For complete details, visit the official Fañomnåkan 2022 Commencement webpage.