Puna was also inducted and formally installed as USP’s 23rd Chancellor at the event, where he was acknowledged by the USP Vice-Chancellor Rajesh Chandra. With 996 students graduating, the event was also attended by the USP Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Chandra, members of the university senior management team, diplomats, government officials, staff, students, graduates and their families.
According to a USP media release, 64 per cent of all graduates were females, 47 per cent of the students graduated in undergraduate programmes, 30 per cent in post graduate programmes and about nine per cent completed their Masters and thesis work. There were 20 graduates from 11 non-member countries including Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Guyana, India, Japan, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, and the USA. The 996 students were from 23 different nationalities Meanwhile, USP will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2018. Puna is the third representative of the Cook Islands to serve as a chancellor and his term is for one year. He is now expected to be away for the next three weeks as he will travel to Hawaii for the 10th meeting of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICIL) He will also be at the Federated States of Micronesia for the 47th Pacific Islands Forum and other related meetings before returning to the Cook Islands. Puna is expected to return on September 11.