|The center of the seal depicts a hala tree rooted on a spring with kalo on either side. Two night-blooming cereus flowers, which border the campus, are found on the seal's outer ring.|
|1601 Punahou Street
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96822
|Type||Private Preparatory Day (Primary and Secondary)|
|President||James Kapaeʻalii Scott '70|
|Number of students||3,000+ (approx.)|
|Color(s)||Buff and Blue|
|Athletics conference||Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH)|
|Literary Magazine||Kakela (6-8)
Ka Wai Ola (9-12)
|Yearbook||Na ʻOpio (K-8)
The Oahuan (9-12)
Punahou School Campus
Old School Hall, built in 1851
|Added to NRHP:||August 7, 1972|
Punahou School, once known as Oahu College, is a private, co-educational, college preparatory school located in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu in the U.S. State of Hawaii. With about 3,760 students attending the school, in kindergarten through the twelfth grade, it is the largest independent school in the United States.
Founded in 1841, the school has a rich history, a wide variety of programs and many notable alumni. Along with academics and athletics, Punahou offers visual and performing arts programs. In 2006, Punahou School was ranked as the "greenest" school in America. The student body is diverse, with student selection based on both academic and non-academic considerations. In 2008 and 2009, Punahou's sports program was ranked best in the country by Sports Illustrated. Its most famous alumni, Barack Obama, graduated from the school in 1979.
In 1795, the land known as Ka Punahou was taken in battle by King Kamehameha I. Along with Ka Punahou, he gave a total of 225 acres (0.91 km2) of land (from the slope of Round Top down to the current Central Union Church, which included a 77-acre (310,000 m2)-tract of Kewalo Basin) to chief Kameʻeiamoku as a reward for his loyalty. After Kameʻeiamoku died, the land was passed down to his son, Ulumāheihei Hoapili, who lived there for twenty more years. When Hoapili left to become the governor of Maui, he gave the land to his daughter, Kuini Liliha.
Ka Punahou was given by Liliha and her husband, Oahu's Governor Boki, to Reverend Hiram Bingham, one of the first Christian missionaries in Hawaii. Powerful leader Queen Kaʻahumanu was a strong supporter of the mission, and built a house for herself near the Binghams. A portion of the stone wall she had built to protect the compound from roaming cattle has been preserved.
Founded in 1841, Punahou School was originally a school for the children of missionaries serving throughout the Pacific region. It was the first school with classes only in the English language west of the Rocky Mountains. The first class was held on July 11, 1842, and consisted of only fifteen students.
Punahou has educated members of the Hawaiian Royal family in its history, but it is not to be confused with the Royal School.
During World War II, much of the Punahou campus was commandeered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Castle Hall (the girls' dormitory when Punahou had boarding students) was used as a command center, buildings were connected with tunnels, athletic fields were used as parking lots, the library was cleared to become sleeping quarters and an officer's mess. The cereus hedge on the campus lava rock wall was topped with barbed wire. Punahou students volunteered in hospitals and raised enough in war bonds to purchase two bombers and a fighter (among other airplanes) which were named after alumni who had fallen in service.
In the 1970s, Punahou's upper field and gymnasium were used for the Superstars nationally televised athletic competitions.
The campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu on August 7, 1972.
Many traditional events take place on campus. On the first Friday and Saturday of each February, the junior class hosts the Punahou Carnival. Proceeds from this Carnival contribute to the Financial Aid program. The event is an entertainment highlight each year in Honolulu.
Sustainability Fair began in 2007 and includes on-campus conservation challenges, as well as off-campus coastline preservation. On Rice Field, classes set up canopies to showcase sustainable undertakings and projects, often including local produce sales and informational handouts.
To celebrate the school's homecoming, students, faculty, and teachers surround, then ignite a 20 foot letter "P" at dusk. This event is preceded by a Spirit Week, where students dress and parade creatively.
Seniors can look forward to their Variety Show, where the students of the graduating class put on a play (written by the students) during the yearly carnival. This play usually involves most of the class, over 300 students. Seniors also have Prom at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Skip Day at the Kikila Estate and Pounders Beach, Baccalaureate ceremonies at Central Union Church, Commencement with men in blue blazers and women in Hawaiian formal white dresses, a final cafeteria breakfast after graduation, and a sunrise vigil at Makapu'u Point. Graduates who started Punahou in Kindergarten are designated as members of the Thirteen Years Club.
Throughout most of the school's history, elementary school children have been allowed to attend in bare feet. Aloha shirts were once restricted to Fridays, but dress codes were relaxed considerably during the late Seventies. Now, common outfits for boys include t-shirts, collared shirts, swim shorts, jeans, and shorts. Girls often wear dresses, long skirts, t-shirts, and jeans. Footwear is mandatory in the academy.
All schools in Honolulu (public or private) have an urban residential location. Nearby buildings include apartment buildings, private houses, a retirement home, a Catholic school (Maryknoll School), several small churches, and two hospitals.
The school's location provides many opportunities for off-campus learning: field trip destinations for middle school students have regularly included the Bishop Museum, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Waikiki Aquarium, Waikiki Shell, Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial, Kawaiahaʻo Church, Sea Life Park, USS Arizona Memorial, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Fort Ruger at Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Honolulu Museum of Art, Iolani Palace, Hawaii State Capitol, and the famous beaches on Oahu's North Shore.
The school in recent years
Tuition is $19,200 for the 2012–2013 school year, not including student activity fees. Punahou has long been regarded as an expensive school among locals, but comparable Harvard Westlake School and Sidwell Friends School charge well over $30,000 in tuition, with day tuition at Deerfield Academy near $35,000, Choate Rosemary Hall approaching $40,000, and Groton School above $40,000.
Tuition does not cover the entire cost of the education of a student, and this "deficit" is met by the school's endowment. Punahou reports its FY2012 endowment at $204M. The raw value of the land is considerable for a private school: land values in lower Manoa Valley routinely exceed $1M/.1 acre, making Punahou's 76 acres easily worth over half a billion dollars. Although these figures are high among mainland U.S. private schools, Honolulu also has Iolani School with a comparable endowment (twice the endowment per pupil), and Kamehameha Schools has a $5B to $9B endowment (30 times the endowment per pupil) with a larger physical plant. (Maui has Seabury Hall which has twice the endowment per pupil, but is a much smaller school.)
Summer school academic classes, training in music and dance, and sports camps are offered at all grade levels (K-12). Courses include Recycling through Art ($500, grades 3-5), Chess Tactics ($250, grades 3-12), Language of Hawaii ($200, grades 7-8), Self-Defense ($175, grades 9-12), and JROTC Leadership Camp ($75, grades 9-12). With modest fees, Punahou's summer school is able to serve a broad population of island children.
In a recent study of the class of 1979, 9 graduates had earned a total of 12 degrees from Harvard, 3 had degrees from Princeton, 1 from Yale, 14 from Stanford, 17 from UC Berkeley, and 26 (total) from Ivy League schools. 14 had a PhD, 22 had an MD, 39 had a JD, 18 had the MBA, 10 had the DDS, DMD, DVM, or ND (about one quarter of the class reaching terminal degrees). At least five had joined the armed services, four as officers. Degrees were also obtained from Tufts, Williams, Wesleyan, MIT, Caltech, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Mount Holyoke, Rice, Harvey Mudd, Georgetown, and Northwestern. Two went to the Naval Academy. Three went to the Sorbonne, and others to elite art schools like Cranbrook Academy of Art, and music schools like the San Francisco Conservatory. Many athletes were recruited into outstanding athletic programs, especially at West Coast schools like USC, UCLA, Pepperdine,and Stanford.
Schools throughout California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada are also popular among graduates, and many students choose to attend local schools like the University of Hawaii and Chaminade.
Punahou's 30 Presidential Scholars were graduates of the classes of '64, '66, '70, '71, '75, '78 (two members), '79, '82, '84 (two members), '85, '86 (two members), '91, '92 (two members), '93, '95, '96, '98, '01, '02, '04 (three members), '05, '06, '08, and '11.
The school repeatedly stresses in its publications that it emphasizes character over academics and athletics.
The campus map lists:
FOR GRADES 9-12:
- Alexander Hall
- Bingham Hall
- Cooke Hall
- Cooke Library
- Griffiths Hall
- Old School Hall
- Pauahi Hall
FOR GRADES 6-8:
- Yamane Hall
- Gates Learning Center
- Higgins Hall
- Kuaihelani Learning Center
- Leong Hall
- Miyawaki Family Hall
- Twigg-Smith Pavilion
- Weinberg Hall
- Wodehouse Hall
FOR GRADES K-5:
- Castle Hall
- Ing Learning Center
- Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood
- Wilcox Hall
- Winnie Elementary Units
FOR MIXED USE:
- Band Building
- Bishop Hall
- Castle Art Center
- Dillingham Hall (theatre)
- Dole Hall (cafeteria)
- Flanders Dance Pavilion
- Forrest Hall
- Hemmeter Fieldhouse/Waterhouse Pool
- Luke Center for Public Service
- Mamiya Science Center
- Mau Band Building
- Montague Hall (music)
- Thurston Memorial Chapel
- Thurston P.E. Center
- Wo International Center
- Alumni House
- President's Home
- Sullivan Administration Building
- The Tank (donations)
With about 5000 faculty, students, and staff in 44 buildings on 76 acres, Punahou is a densely populated school.
Case Middle School
Before plans were made for a new middle school complex, America Online founder and alumnus Steve Case ('76) donated ten million dollars. This led to construction of a new middle school for grades six through eight. The Case Middle School was actually named in honor of the donor's parents.
Sensors shut off air conditioners if windows are opened to let in the breeze; the buildings are designed to take full use of the tradewinds, with the help of the Venturi effect. There are also sensors in place that turn the lights on or off depending on whether motion is detected, and dim the lights on sunny days or brighten them on overcast or cloudy ones.
Air conditioning for the buildings is provided by three ice-making plants, one for each grade level's section. The units freeze and accumulate ice at night when electricity is cheaper, and allow the ice to melt during the day to cool the air.
Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood
In late 2010 a new five-building indoor/outdoor section of campus opened for Punahou's youngest students. It was constructed and operated with sustainable living as a principal goal, and the curriculum has a focus on sustainability. With solar energy, efficient landscaping, rain catchment and eco-friendly materials, the complex received a platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Teachers are encouraged to personalize their classroom spaces, and each of the 12 rooms has its own outdoor area that is one-third the size of the interior space to which it is attached.
The total cost was $26 million. Individual buildings are named the Mountain House, Forest House, and City House, and historic Wilcox Hall retains its traditional name. Board of Trustee member and ebay founder Pierre Omidyar ('84*) donated six million dollars to the project.
The Punahou athletics program is the most successful in the state. It has won more state championships than any other high school in the nation.
Athletic facilities include the olympic-size Waterhouse Pool, a football field, a baseball diamond, two softball diamonds, and an eight-lane track. The school also has a fieldhouse for competitive athletics, an open-air weightlifting facility, a gymnasium for physical education and intramural sports, and a tennis center with eight hard surface courts. Rocky Hill has been used as a live firing range for JROTC and competitive target sports. Air riflery uses an indoor firing range.
Students need two athletic credits to graduate, which is a total of four semesters. They can earn these credits through P.E. and ILH sports.
Students compete in 22 sports, including air riflery, baseball, basketball. bowling, canoe paddling, cross country, cheerleading, football, golf, gymnastics, judo, kayaking, riflery, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. Punahou has approximately 120 sports teams. The school is a member of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
Punahou teams earned sixteen state championships in the 2007–2008 school year. The school awarded 82 Scholar Athlete Awards, and over 100 Senior Plaques to the Class of 2008. Nineteen was a record number of state championships for the school in 2008–2009.
|Season||Sport||Number of Championships||Year|
|Fall||Football||1||2009 *State championship bowl instituted in 1973. Prior to 1973, Punahou had 19 ILH championships. As the OIA was founded in 1940, the ILH championships of 1909-1917, 1919-1920, and 1924 can be considered "state" or "island" championships. Punahou is 1-2 in the state bowl against OIA opponents.|
|Volleyball, Girls||7||1973, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011, 2012|
|Cross Country, Boys||11||1965, 1978, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996|
|Cross Country, Girls||24||1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Air Riflery, Boys||6||2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012|
|Air Riflery, Girls||5||2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2012|
|Winter||Wrestling, Boys||8||1967, 1968, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Wrestling, Girls||3||2009, 2010, 2011|
|Basketball, Boys||11||1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1999, 2008, 2012|
|Basketball, Girls||10||1979, 1980, 1981, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008|
|Soccer, Boys||18||1976, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011|
|Soccer, Girls||11||1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Swimming, Boys||42||1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010|
|Swimming, Girls||47||1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012|
|Canoe Paddling, Boys||2||2002, 2012|
|Canoe Paddling, Girls||3||2006, 2008, 2009|
|Canoe Paddling, Mixed||1||2009|
|Spring||Golf, Boys||9||1965, 1970, 1986, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2008, 2010, 2011|
|Golf, Girls||5||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Volleyball, Boys||30||1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Water Polo, Girls||7||2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Tennis, Boys||45||1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Tennis, Girls||39||1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Judo, Boys||3||2006, 2008, 2009|
|Judo, Girls||3||2009, 2010, 2011|
|Track and Field, Boys||33||1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011|
|Track and Field, Grils||34||1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Baseball||13||1961, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1972, 1989, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010|
Other programs and honors
Punahou requires all students (K - 12) to attend chapel once a week, where each homeroom is assigned its own seating and attendance is taken. In addition, academy students attend a mandatory, weekly assembly to listen to announcements or watch student performances.
Intermediate school students are taught Hawaiian History, Christian Ethics, and Oceanography. Academy students have coursework in Asian History between their years of European History and US History. Punahou offers French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Latin as languages in middle school. In high school, Latin is replaced by Hawaiian.
Students have access to a jewelry studio, a pottery studio, glass-blowing facilities, technology departments, a new dance pavilion, and a dedicated music building. The campus has spaces for school-wide initiatives, e.g., for public service and international studies.
The high school yearbook, The Oahuan, has won awards from the American Scholastic Press Association. Na O Pio is the yearbook for K-8. Ka Wai Ola is the school's long-running student literary publication. Ka Punahou is a biweekly student newspaper, and Punahou Bulletin is the alumni magazine.
Punahou has a strong history of academic competition with its math team and debate team, and at times has had organizations for computing, chess, and gaming. Punahou's JROTC program has been known for its award-winning close order drill team with multi-person aerials using M1 Garand rifles.
Enrichment activities have included cultural clubs, dance and theater, funding and service committees, outdoor, environmental, and hiking clubs, pep clubs, and clubs based on sports such as martial arts and synchronized swimming. There are men's, women's and mixed choruses, a concert orchestra, and various band groups. Hui Le'a Nani (literally, "heavenly singers") is the name of the elite choral group.
The Punahou marching band travels periodically, most recently participating in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, the 2012 London New Year's Day Parade, 2009 Presidential Inauguration, and the 2007 New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Notable students and faculty
In public leadership
Barack Obama ('79) is the 44th President of the United States. He attended Punahou from 5th grade until graduation.
Punahou has produced many leaders in the government of Hawaii. Sanford Dole (1864) was President of the brief Republic of Hawaii, then Governor of Hawaii. Walter Frear (1881) and Lawrence M. Judd (1905) were also Governors.
Lt. Governor Brian Schatz ('90) was appointed U.S. Senator D-Hawaii to complete Daniel Inouye's final term. U.S. Senator R-Connecticut Hiram Bingham III (1892) was also elected Governor of Connecticut. Otis Pike ('39*), Democratic Congressman from New York, chaired the Pike Committee investigating Richard Nixon. Republican Charles Djou ('88) recently finished Neil Abercrombie's term as Democratic Congressman from Hawaii. After serving in Congress, Djou was deployed as an Army Reserve Major to Afghanistan. At least three other graduates from Punahou have represented Hawaii in the U.S. House.
Judge Elbert Tuttle (1914) was appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower to lead the federal court that desegregated the South (the Fifth Circuit Four). HEW Secretary John W. Gardner ('29*) was President Lyndon Johnson's architect of the Great Society. Tuttle and Gardner were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sun Yat-Sen, the Founding Father of the Republic of China (esteemed by Taiwan as well as pre- and post-communist mainland China), attended Punahou (Oahu College) for a semester of study after graduating from Iolani School.
With Presidents of the Republic of China, the Republic of Hawaii, and the United States of America, Punahou can claim three heads of state.
Alexander Cartwright III (1869) and his classmates were some of the earliest players of baseball (Alexander Cartwright, Jr., the official inventor of the game, spent the end of his life in Honolulu).
At least three alumni have been surfing world champions, including the 2011 women's world tour winner Carissa Moore ('10).
Punahou has also produced seven NFL linemen and three running backs, including Mark Tuinei ('78) who played 195 games over 15 years (team record) for the Dallas Cowboys, winning three Super Bowls and playing in two Pro Bowls. Ray Schoenke ('59*) played 145 games for the Cowboys and Redskins over twelve years. Charley Ane ('49) was a Pro Bowler and twice-NFL champion team captain, whose son, Kale Ane ('71), is current Punahou football coach, after a career in the NFL. The elder Ane's brothers, Herman Clark ('48) and Jim Clark ('48), also played professionally. The four combined for a total of 260 NFL games over 20 seasons for the Packers, Chiefs, Lions, Redskins, and Bears.
Among Punahou's non-professional athletes, high school All-Americans have played football for Stanford, Michigan State (twice), Santa Clara, and Notre Dame (twice); All-American college football players have played at Harvard (twice), Navy, Stanford, Northwestern, and Notre Dame.
The school also claims a former pitcher and former first baseman in major league baseball.
Punahou has a tradition of sending athletes to the Olympic Games, with alumni contributing seven gold, seven silver, and three bronze medals, competing in many of the modern games ('20, '24, '28, '32, '52, '68, '72, '76, '84, '88, '92, '96, '00, '04, '08, '12), and on every U.S. team since 1968 (Moscow '80 would have been the second of four Olympics for Henry Marsh ('72) if not for the U.S. boycott). Warren Kealoha ('25*) was the youngest gold medalist in swimming when he won the first of two gold medals. Lindsey Berg ('98) was the U.S. Women's Volleyball team's starting setter at the London games, winning her second silver medal. Punahou teachers and trustees have also won medals at the Olympic Games (see Punahou School alumni).
Punahou can point to endowed professors at Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Duke, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Boston University. There are research professors of medicine at UCSF, UCLA, UCSD, USC, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Indiana, Texas, Maryland, Pitt, Walter Reed, and Baylor. John Lie ('78) wrote six books on Asian cultures, Patrick Vinton Kirch ('68) wrote nine books on Polynesian cultures, and Fred Hoxie ('65) wrote twenty books on Native American peoples. Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, SJ ('70) was the president of Gonzaga University. General George Forsythe ('66*), formerly the Academic Dean at West Point, is the new president of Westminster College (Missouri). Marie Mookini ('74) has been admissions director for Stanford and its business school for over two decades. William Richards Castle, Jr. (1896) was a Harvard Overseer. Elizabeth Bennett Johns ('55) has been a Guggenheim Fellow. Mount Rex is named for atmospheric science pioneer, Lt. Cdr. Dan Rex ('33*).
William Ouchi ('61) wrote a book on Japanese business that is one of the top-100 most widely held books in U.S. libraries. Other prominent main works by alumni (over 1000 citations for a single work, at scholar.google.com) are on the topics of plasma deformation (Killeen '42*), stability of silicates (Holdaway '54*), neuralgia vaccine (Gerson '56), coronary disease (3x, Labarthe '57), communicative acts (Harnish '59*), dynamic choice (Porteus '60), markets and bureaucracies (4x, Ouchi '61), heart physiology (3x, Lederer '65), marital conflict (Cummings '68), gender equality (Roos '68), pediatric respiration (Umetsu '69), equal employment law (Krieger '72), AIDS vaccination (Michael '75), autophagy assays (Terada '75), virus expression (R. Chung '78), stem cells (Mankani '79), tumor pathogenesis (D. Chung '80), and the legal construction of race (Haney-Lopez '82).
Punahou has a connection to Mills College through Punahou's former president, Cyrus Mills, who helped found the college with his wife, Punahou teacher Susan Tolman Mills. Queenie B. Mills was a Kindergarten director who helped design the Head Start program.
In the arts
Kaui Hart Hemmings ('94) was author of The Descendants.
IMDB.com lists 75 credits for Carrie Ann Inaba ('86) (In Living Color, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Dancing with the Stars) and 120 for Kelly Preston ('80) (Jerry Maguire, For Love of the Game, Only You, Twins). Sarah Wayne Callies ('95), has starred in Prison Break and The Walking Dead.
Joan Blondell ('25*) has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star after 52 years in films and was a nominee for best supporting actress in 1951. Buster Crabbe ('27), who had won a gold medal in the 1932 Olympics, portrayed Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers in film. Gerry Lopez ('66) is well known for surfing, but is also known as Subotai in Conan the Barbarian. Teri Ann Linn ('79) provided the beauty in The Bold and The Beautiful for over eight years. Amanda Schull ('96) had the lead role as an aspiring ballerina in Center Stage. Three alumni danced for the early Martha Graham. Leilani Jones ('75) won a Tony Award on Broadway and was on the original casts of Grind and Little Shop of Horrors.
Drew Matich '(82) has produced TV shows such as Fairly Legal, In Plain Sight, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Beautiful People, Joan of Arcadia, and Dawson's Creek. Rod Lurie ('80) has directed and produced a dozen films (Straw Dogs, The Contender) and two major TV series (Line of Fire, Commander in Chief). Kevin McCollum ('80*) directs a Broadway production company that claims eleven Tony Awards (plus five awarded personally) and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Allan Burns ('53) was a 6-time Emmy Award-winning writer and creator, known for such shows as The Munsters, Get Smart, Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Rocky and Bullwinkle. Ken Peterson ('26) animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Sleeping Beauty. John Kneubuhl ('38), a Samoan royal, was a writer on Wild, Wild, West, Star Trek, Hawaii Five O, Gunsmoke, Mannix, and 40 other shows. Bruce Broughton ('62) is a film composer (Silverado, Tombstone, The Rescuers Down Under) and a 10-time Emmy-winner for TV themes (JAG, Tiny Toon Adventures). Iris Yamashita '(83*) was nominated for best original screenplay with Letters from Iwo Jima.
The Kingston Trio had two Punahou founders, Dave Guard ('52*) and Bob Shane ('52), producing ten top-40 hits and a #1 Grammy-winning single. Robin Luke ('59) was a Rockabilly Hall of Fame act. Hawaiian slack-key guitar is well represented by the popular music of Henry Kapono Kaaihue ('67) of Cecilio & Kapono. Melody Ishikawa ('00) had three top-ten albums in Japan, and Teri Ann Linn's ('79) debut CD went gold on the European charts.
In the military
Colonel Farrant Turner ('13), Major Alex McKenzie ('29), and Major John Johnson ('31) commanded the Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion, a.k.a. the "Purple Heart Battalion." Johnson was Killed in Action at Cassino. The destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is named after Punahou football star, Admiral Gordon Chung-Hoon ('29*), who survived the attack on the USS Arizona (BB-39).
Many of the students were children of high level commanders, e.g., a Marine Commandant Wallace M. Greene, Jr., stationed in the Pacific, and many had their family reassigned before graduation. This includes General Edward W. Timberlake ('14*) (see Patrick W. Timberlake; all three brothers were Generals), Colonel Red Reeder ('20*), General Donald Prentice Booth ('22*), and General Walter M. Johnson '(22*), all of whom graduated from West Point, and all of whom had important World War II commands.
The school can claim at least thirteen Army Generals, four Admirals, a Marine Major General, and six Air Force Generals. Three-Star General Stanley Larsen ('33) was the first commander of the Field Force, Vietnam and commander of the Sixth United States Army. Marine Major General Ross T. Dwyer ('37) was commander of the 1st Marine Division and Army Three-Star General George Cantlay ('38) was commander of the 2nd Armored Division. Donald Booth was commander of the Fourth United States Army. Brigadier General C. B. Stewart ('30) was a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. Admiral Alma Lau (Grocki) ('77), a member of the 2nd Naval Academy class to admit women, is the most recent to join this list.
Many Punahou teachers in its history have been military reservists or ex-military. Former computer and math teacher Henry Wells Lawrence was one of the first pilots to respond to the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Elbert Tuttle was an Unlikely Hero to one biographer, was Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution to another, and was the Quiet Civil Rights Revolutionary on NPR. PBS's Uncommon American was John Gardner. Samuel Armstrong has been called The Educator of the Disenfranchised. Armstrong was included in a 1927 collection called Reminiscences of Present-Day Saints and his biographies span 100 years. Booker T. Washington's autobiography asserts that Armstrong was "Christ-like" and "a perfect specimen of man, physically, intellectually, and morally."
Robert Alexander Anderson's ('12) story is told in The Dawn Patrol. Ted Withington ('40) had his letters published as Flight to Black Hammer. Charlie Wedemeyer's ('65) story is told in the Emmy-award winning film Quiet Victory. John Kneubuhl's story was a documentary film. Pierre Omidyar had biographies in 2006 and 2007. Joan Blondell has a 2007 biography. Buster Crabbe has a 2008 biography. James Michener's Hawaii (novel) and Hawaii (film) portray the historical acts of Lorrin A. Thurston (1875), Sanford Dole, Hiram Bingham I, Henry Baldwin (1891), and Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (1889) in the transition from monarchy to US territory.
Amazon.com lists several hundred biographies related to Barack Obama written in the past decade.
In 2007, Cox Enterprises passed to two former Punahou students who are highly philanthropic like their mother Barbara Cox Anthony, who twice married Punahou alumni; daughter, Blair Kennedy ('68*), a former schoolteacher, is now the second wealthiest woman in Australia; son, James C. Kennedy ('65*), was Atlanta's philanthropist of the year 2007, and 61st on the Forbes 400 list 2012. Charles Gates, Jr. ('39) has donated $147M through his Gates Family Foundation (Gates last appeared on the Forbes 400 list in 2006). As mentioned above, the philanthropic founders of AOL and eBay were Punahou students, with both still listed on the 2012 Forbes 400. The USA Today recently reported that Pierre Omidyar's ('84*) total charitable contributions have topped one billion U.S. dollars.
Charles L. Veach ('62) was an astronaut on two shuttle missions.
Punahou students appear across the political spectrum, from Ronald Reagan's "favorite economist" and former ENRON board member Wendy Lee Gramm ('62); Ryan Henry ('68) and Robert Silberman ('75), Deputy Under Secretary of Defense and Assistant Secretary of the Army, respectively, for George H. W. Bush; to centrist Ray Schoenke ('59*), a former Democratic candidate for Maryland Governor who founded the American Hunters and Shooters Association (an alternative to the National Rifle Association); to Jerry Berman ('58), chief counsel of the ACLU.
Ellery Chun ('27) invented the Aloha Shirt.
* indicates the class year of an attendee who did not graduate with the class.
Punahou, our Punahou;
Mau o' Mau, O mau o' mau,
Punahou, our Punahou.
Through all the years we've shown our light,
We glory in Oahu's might;
The Buff and Blue's a glorious sight,
Punahou, our Punahou.
Ready? Hit it!
Strawberry Shortcake, Huckleberry Pie
V — I — C — T — O — R — Y
Are We In It? Well I Guess!
Punahou, Punahou, Yes, Yes, Yes!
This cheer is typically shouted by the cheerleaders at Punahou, at events such as football games and other sports activities and gatherings.
Punahou doesn't have an official mascot. The symbol that perhaps most closely qualifies as a school mascot is the hala tree, whose image is used in the school's seal. Fans often refer to athletic teams as the "Buff & Blue", or "Sons' of Oahu".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Punahou School|
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- Punahou Class of 1957, Na Halia Aloha o Punahou Class of 1957, June 2007 http://www2.punahou.edu/pdf/Bulletin/Classof57BookWeb.pdf includes many historical photos and legend of founding.
- M. Tate, "The Sandwich Island Missionaries Lay The Foundation for a System of Public Instruction in Hawaii", The Journal of Negro Education, 1961.
- Kirby Wright, Punahou Blues, Lemon Shark Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9741067-1-2.
- Punahou School
- Campus Map
- The Oahu College at the Sandwich Islands at Project Gutenberg (Transcription of 1857 text about early history of the school)