Ku‘u Punahou

March 22, 2016

My Punahou is a place unlike any other in the world, with a rich history deeply rooted in Hawai‘i. It is the beautiful lands of the New Spring and the learning environments they have nourished for 175 years. It is a place that has nurtured generations of children as they grow into young adults ready to enter the world with confidence, passion and purpose.

My Punahou is the attentiveness and care that teachers show their students – so that each child has the opportunity to realize his or her highest promise and calling.

My Punahou is our incredibly talented and dedicated faculty and instructional leadership who continually examine, improve and renew the art of teaching so that their learning benefits not only their own students but also lifts the broader educational community in Hawai‘i and beyond.

My Punahou is a conviction that education is the foundation upon which a resilient and humane society is built. It is our responsibility as an educational thought leader to strengthen that foundation within and beyond the lava rock walls that surround our school.

While the transformative power of learning is timeless, we know that education and the role of a K – 12 school today is changing. The role of a teacher is changing. The definition of knowledge is changing to meet the demands of a global economy and global culture in which success is no longer determined by how much you know but how effectively you can create, collaborate and adapt to a world that is rapidly reinventing itself.

This year, Punahou is celebrating its 175th birthday, and many of you have been a part of that celebration. But it is not enough to rest on our laurels. In fact, it isn’t in Punahou’s nature to stand still. Like the New Spring that continually renews itself, Punahou is a community of learners that continually seeks to renew itself. This impulse provides a timeless connection to our past and creates inventive pathways to our future.

Ultimately, my Punahou is a school that is emboldened to embrace today’s challenges as an opportunity to reimagine education. This is Punahou’s moment to lead. To be bold. To take risks. To be courageous. We must seek innovative ways for children to realize their capacity to create change; to seek answers to questions we have yet to articulate; to prepare for jobs that don’t yet exist; and to discover ways to make another life better.

It is for these reasons, with the leadership of the faculty and administration, and the generous stewardship of the Punahou Trustees, that we are launching a comprehensive campaign for Punahou School focused on three key areas: People, Place and Purpose. The Ku‘u Punahou campaign will support the institutional priorities that will build the Punahou of the 21st century:

  • The Art of Teaching represents our investment in the professional growth, renewal and educational thought leadership of the Punahou faculty.
  • A Diverse Learning Community calls for a commitment to need-based financial aid so that our students will reflect the breadth of perspectives and experiences that will prepare them for the complexities of a diverse global century.
  • Reimagining Learning Environments will transform Punahou’s campus facilities to become as creative, innovative and collaborative as the teaching that takes place within them.
  • Inspiring Purpose will build an educational program that develops not only academic excellence but also prepares empathetic, globally aware, socially responsible and passionate individuals who will live productive and fulfilled lives of purpose.

This campaign will be unlike previous campaigns in Punahou’s history because it is national and global, and it embraces a comprehensive approach to creating the Punahou we want future students to inherit. It is the vehicle that will translate Punahou’s timeless mission into innovative ideas and actions.

On February 13, the Trustees and I announced a fundraising goal of $175 million. I am thrilled and also humbled to share that we have already raised over $94 million toward that goal. Ku‘u Punahou calls on each of us to connect with what we cherish most about Punahou – I hope you will join me in fulfilling the promise of our School.

James K. Scott ’70