Kenneth Richardson ’48

Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Awardee

Department: Alumni Profiles


Each year, the Punahou Alumni Association recognizes a group of individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of others through service and contribution to the communities of Punahou, Hawai‘i and beyond. The individual stories of this year’s awardees feature diverse vocations, a variety of passions and an unwavering commitment to the School. Their achievements are an inspiration to the entire Punahou community.

Read additional stories in this feature by Myron Arakawa ’66, Richard Cox ’38, Kaui Hart Hemmings ’94, Lynne Johnson ’62, Eric Kusunoki, Allen Murabayashi ’90, Kahi Pacarro ’97, and Loretta Luke ’64 Yajima.

Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award

The Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award is given to Punahou alumni who have made outstanding contributions to society, in the fields of public service, humanitarian or charitable efforts, arts, letters or sciences, garnering national or international recognition.

By Erin Teruya ’93 Kinney

The Class of ’48 recognized their distinguished classmate, Ken Richardson ’48, in the description of the Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award. Twenty-two classmates on a nominating committee met in September 2015 and voted unanimously to nominate Richardson for the award.

Over his 40-year career, Richardson rose from radar design engineer to president and chief operating officer at Hughes Aircraft Company, which at its peak employed 85,000 people. The company became the leading military electronic company in the world, developing technology that would be used by the military as well as civilians in lasers, cellphones and satellite television.

Richardson documented his tenure at Hughes in the book “Hughes After Howard: The Story of the Hughes Aircraft Company,” which was published in 2011, 10 years after Richardson’s retirement.

“His interest in inspiring leadership growth in technology advancement inspired him to give not only the Ken Richardson Learning Lab to Punahou School, but also to many scholarships throughout the country, such as Tufts University and University of Southern California,” wrote the committee. “His desire is to motivate and inspire young minds to explore, implement and create.”


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