Lt. Gov. Lemanu to give keynote speech at 68th ASCC commencement
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) will hold its 68th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 18, beginning at 10 a.m. in the College’s new Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) Auditorium.
While the final number will depend on examination results, an initial count of 135 prospective ASCC graduates will receive their degrees and certificates, along with an additional five ASCC alumni who will be conferred with their advanced degrees from off-island universities.
Invitations for the ceremony have gone out to dignitaries including Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and members of the Board of Higher Education. The presiding pastor for the ceremony will be Rev. Iasepi Ulu of the Fagatogo CCCAS.
The College has a tradition of distinguished guest speakers, and for this historical occasion High Chief Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga will give the keynote speech for the first-ever graduation ceremony held in the MPC Auditorium.
Currently serving a second term as Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa, Lemanu was elected twice on the same gubernatorial ticket with Governor Lolo, first in November 2012 and again in November 2016.
Prior to being elected, Lemanu served as Senator for Sua County #2 in the American Samoa Legislature or Fono. He has held many other leadership positions in both the American Samoa Government and the United States Armed Forces.
Born as Peleti Mauga in the village of Nu’uuli, he later was bestowed the traditional High Chief title “Lemanu” by his family in Sa’ilele of Sua County. His parents are the late Sialega Palepoi Mauga of Nu’uuli, Pago Pago, and Sa’ilele, and Iva Pedro of Swains Island. He was married to the late Pohakalani Dawn Bailey, and they have three sons — Peleti Jr., Palepoi, and Punalehua.
Lemanu is an ordained “deacon” with the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa (CCCAS) in Sa’ilele.
He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from San Diego State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and Associate of Arts from ASCC. He graduated from Waianae High School in Hawai’i after attending Samoana High School here at home. He also attended Matafao Elementary School in Faga’alu.
A retired officer of the U.S. Army (Major: O-4), Lemanu first joined the military in 1978 and served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He re-enlisted through the U.S. Army and served 17 more years in the U.S. Armed Services.
During his 23 years of military service, he held many leadership positions and served his country in two separate wars — first the Persian Gulf War (Desert Shield and Storm) as an Infantry Platoon Leader, and then in the War on Terrorism (Operation Iraqi Freedom) when he was recalled back from retirement to Active Duty as an Operations Officer.
Upon retiring from the military, Lemanu served the American Samoa Government in a variety of leadership positions.
“With his long record of service to both the people of American Samoa as well as the United States of America, we at ASCC are honored that Lt. Gov. Lemanu will speak to our first graduates to have their commencement ceremony take place in our new MPC,” said ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i. “He is also a graduate of ASCC, and therefore a shining example to our students of what they can achieve through their efforts."
For more information on the 68th ASCC Commencement Ceremony, call the College at 699-9155.