Iotua B. Tune

Iotua B. Tune

Iotua Tune

1986, Biological Science
Kiribati CES Director

As a young man, after spending two years in the hospital and being told he was going to die, Iotua Tune recalls promising the Lord that he would be a "missionary all of my life."

Later, he attended Liahona High School in Tonga, where he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was one of the first Kiribati to go through the temple, and served a mission in his home islands before attending BYU-Hawaii.

"My wife and I had two children while in school. There was a time I had to go on a $2 paycheck. I had to do a lot of fishing, except Sundays, to get food. I had a great bishop and he would help," he recalls.

The day Tune returned to Kiribati in 1988, he was called as district president, then as a bishop and stake president. Professionally, he became a member of the Kiribati Ministry of Education advisory board and the first director of the other seven religious mission schools. "The president of Kiribati asked me to be on the national awards commission, which selects people to be honored and recognized. I'm also involved with educational websites," he adds.

"I now understood why I had that experience in the hospital and how I benefited from BYU-Hawaii," he says. "I feel my mission is to build a good relationship between the government and the Church. I don't think there is another place where I could have made such a difference."

There is a great spirit of unification at BYU-Hawaii. President David O. McKay had that vision, and I believe students are selected to be at BYU-Hawaii for a purpose.