Retired Major General and State of Hawai‘i Adjutant General Darryll D.M. Wong ’68 has had an illustrious career, in which he has overseen soldiers and airmen of the Hawai‘i National Guard and Hawai‘i Air National Guard, and served as Director of State Civil Defense.
Wong credits his successful career to lessons he learned from teachers, coaches and peers during his formative years at Maryknoll School.
“The biggest thing I learned from Maryknoll and that I continue to nurture in every organization that I’ve become associated with is giving people self confidence,” Wong says. “Maryknoll gave me a lot of self confidence. Self confidence that I could do anything – whether it was in sports, academics or student government.”
Wong thrived as a student, an athlete and a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadet at Maryknoll. He played basketball under coaching legend Tony Sellitto whom he says, despite Wong’s height and build, saw potential in him. Maryknoll’s CAP program was to become the early foundation for his career as a military officer.
“Through Civil Air Patrol I understood aviation, I understood aeronautics,” Wong says. “What that teaches you is that you can learn science, you can learn math, you can learn electronics, you can learn pneumatics, but when you learn aviation, it’s all put together and you understand why it’s put together.”
The CAP program exposed Wong to real-world situations and problem solving, much like the school’s innovative Mx STEM & Aerospace Program does today.
“I think Maryknoll (through its Mx Scholar Program for STEM & Aerospace) is taking a big leap forward to expand the way learning will be done in the future,” Wong says. “I think other schools will follow suit.”
When thinking about the best school for his own son, Wong remembered the life-changing confidence and opportunities he had received. He enrolled his son at Maryknoll, where he also thrived and went on to become an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry.
“To me Maryknoll was the right school,” Wong says. “I sent my son here. My brothers and sisters went to Maryknoll. My wife’s family went to Maryknoll. So we are truly a Maryknoll family.”