President John S.K. Kauwe III, following approval from the Board of Trustees, has appointed Jonathan Kalaonalani Kau as Vice President of Student Life at BYU–Hawaii. Kau will replace Debbie Hippolite Wright, who is retiring after 30 years of service in the Church Educational System.
Kau’s appointment is effective September 7, 2020. He is currently the Director of Student Wellness and of Facility Services at BYU in Provo, where his vision has been to “empower students in the active pursuit of their best self.” Kau also taught Student Development classes and has also chaired the Honor Code Advisory Council and Campus Life Assessment and Evaluation Committee.
“Jon has dedicated his professional life to supporting student wellness and success,” Kauwe said. “I am excited to have him join us and look forward to the creativity and leadership that he will bring to this position.”
In expressing his gratitude to Hippolite Wright, Kauwe said, “Her understanding of and love for the students is obvious. She has demonstrated a deep desire and ability to help students thrive at BYU–Hawaii. I appreciate the dedicated service that Debbie has given as she has blessed the lives of so many during her time here.”
Before serving as the Director of Student Wellness in 2017, Kau served as the Associate Dean of Students, Director of the Center for Service and Learning, and various other roles in Student Leadership and the division of Student Life.
Kau earned a master’s degree in student development administration from Seattle University and bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Asian studies at BYU. Kau served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong. He and his wife, Jazzeth, are the parents of a blended family of eight children and seven grandchildren.