Governor commends ASCC grads for resilience in the face of pandemic
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — American Samoa Community College held its 74th commencement ceremony on May 21, 2021, on the lawn outside of the Multipurpose Center where ASCC faculty and staff also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first graduating class in 1971.
A press release from the Governor’s Office says Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga spoke to the graduates commending them for their resilience in completing their studies despite the many challenges caused by the pandemic.
"This is a morning filled with joy and blessings," Gov Lemanu began his address to the graduates saying, "I once sat in the same chairs as a graduate, and I have always remembered the phrase, Once a Chief, Always a Chief." He stressed the importance of never being afraid to challenge yourself and to keep moving forward. "When you arrive at your destination, you will need to remember how you got there and who helped you along the way. Do not forget everyone who's helped you. Never forget your peers. Never forget your parents. Never forget your country. Never forget your Faith. Take with you the advice and the lifelong lessons that have helped you so far."
The governor concluded that his administration is raising the pay threshold and applying an accurate pay scale for government jobs based on degrees. "The summer work program will begin shortly, and do not be worried that your pay will be an entry-level wage, but that your degree will determine your pay. So please take advantage of this opportunity as you prepare to leave our shores and further your education off-island. Go out and enjoy today, and know that tomorrow, your island will be here awaiting your return to help make an impact in the future."
Recently, the administration shared with the public that it is currently working on raising the pay for educators and looking forward to applying raises across the board to other government positions.
Gov Lemanu is a proud graduate of ASCC. Introducing the governor, Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato, President of the American Samoa Community College, stated, "He is an Alumni of ASCC. He has spoken many times at ASCC. But today is a day of many firsts. Today is the first time he will speak as the Governor of American Samoa."