Eric Kusunoki

Old School 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, Allen Murabayashi ’90, Kahi Pacarro ’97, Kenneth Richardson ’48 and Loretta Luke ’64 Yajima.

Old School Award

The Old School Award is given to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of Punahou through outstanding service to the School.

By Erin Teruya ’93 Kinney

When Eric Kusunoki earned his professional diploma and teaching certificate from University of Hawai‘i – Mānoa in 1973, he applied for a job at every public and many private schools in the state. None had openings, and his only job offer came from Punahou.

It was a fortuitous selection that would change countless lives over the 41 years Kusunoki would serve at Punahou.

“As a Punahou teacher, coach, advisor and musician, he has given countless hours beyond the normal school day to all areas of the Punahou community,” wrote Rocky Higgins ’68.

In his retirement, Kusunoki volunteers by serving lunch twice per cycle to kindergartners and first-graders at the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood. His Thursday afternoons are spent with third-grade kumu in Winne, and he also participates as a mentor in the Academy Bridge program.

He continues to coach football and baseball and has been a member of the Punahou O-Men for 42 years.

Kusunoki is also a regular donor at the Blood Bank of Hawaii (186 pints so far), but Higgins can attest, “For a nonalumnus, I do not know of anyone who bleeds Buff ’n Blue more than Eric Kusunoki.”


  • Submitted by Beverly O'Sullivan

    8/4/2016 7:28:57 PM

    You sure passed me with the Pints Count at the Blood Bank, Eric! Much aloha always.

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