Director of the Department of Human and Social Services Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona
Director of the Department of Human and Social Services Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona will be the Keynote Speaker at the 60th ASCC Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 16th. (Courtesy Photo)

Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona Keynote Speaker for 60th ASCC Commencement

May 6, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Director of the Department of Human and Social Services Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona has been confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the 60th American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Commencement Ceremony, to take place on Friday, May 16th, beginning at 10 a.m. in the College’s Gymnasium. Also confirmed to join the Commencement is Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who will speak on behalf of Governor Lolo Moliga.

ASCC has a longstanding tradition of inviting distinguished guest speakers to make each commencement a memorable one, and Student Services Division Director Dr. Emilia Le’i said the College looks forward to welcoming Taeaoafua to share from the wealth of insights gathered during his many years of civic service. “Taeaoafua has long been recognized for his contributions to the community,” said Dr. Le’i, “and we take great honor in his joining us for this very special occasion.”

Taeaoafua ‘s education began at Fagatogo Elementary and Fiailoa Jr. High School in Utulei, before he traveled stateside to receive his diploma from Carson High School in Carson, California. His college career began with him earning a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Law from the University of California at Riverside. Both his Masters and Doctorate degrees were earned at the Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah.

On his return to American Samoa, he entered the field of education as first a classroom teacher, then Vice Principal and finally Principal of Samoana High School. He went on to serve in various capacities within the Department of Education, then continued his government service as Director of the Department of Commerce during the administration of the late Governor Uifa’atali Coleman and Lt. Governor Galea’i Poumele. Taeaoafua’s career path next led into the private sector with him taking several management positions with StarKist Samoa Company, but he returned to government service when in February 2013, he was appointed by Governor Lolo Moliga and Lt. Governor Lemanu Mauga to serve as Director of the Department of Human and Social Services.

The son of the late Reverend Si’ulagi Solomona and Fuarosa To’alepai, Taeaoafua is married to Vaofu’aomalo Soliai of Nuuuli, and has a daughter, Katerina Keli’iaione, who is pursuing a Bachelor in Education degree at ASCC. He serves as a matai with the Taeaoafua title from his Fa’ivae and Taeleifi families in Leone, and as Fofoga-o-Aiga of his Soliai family in Nuuuli. Taeaoafua is an active member of the community, frequently volunteering his time and talent in government programs, most notably as the “Voice of the Samoa Bowl.” He is also an active member of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Leone, where he serves as the Secretary for the congregation.

“On behalf of the Board of Higher Education, our President Dr. Seth Galea’i, and of the ASCC faculty and staff, we greatly look forward to Taeaoafua sharing his insights with our spring 2014 graduating class,” said Dr. Le’i. For more information on the 60th ASCC Commencement Ceremony, call the Student Services Division at 699-9155, ext. 376.