Punahou School was built on the lands of Ka Punahou, named for the fabled natural spring discovered centuries ago under a hala tree. The spring still flows today, at the heart of Punahou's campus under the Thurston Memorial Chapel, and its waters not only form the iconic Lily Pond, but also are used to irrigate portions of the campus.
Founded in 1841, Punahou School was originally designed to provide a quality education for the children of Congregational missionaries, allowing them to stay in Hawai`i with their families, instead of being sent away to school. The first class had 15 students.
Today, this coeducational college preparatory day school, which is non-sectarian and retains a Christian heritage, enrolls over 3,750 students.