Luke Center for Public Service

The Luke Center embraces community service, service learning and social entrepreneurship for grades K – 12, contributing to the school's public service and sustainability initiatives. While community service involves traditional volunteering and philanthropy, service learning describes thoughtfully organized service that is linked to the curriculum. Social entrepreneurship teaches students to become innovative problem solvers and agents of social change.

Luke Center for Public Service is committed to communicating about service, creating meaningful service opportunities, and convening service-related conversations for students and teachers. The Luke Center develops programs with the following objectives in mind: 

  • To support and enhance student development in social responsibility;
  • To promote the connections between service, spirituality and character education;
  • To develop interdependence and a sense of community;
  • To create meaningful links between service, sustainability and social entrepreneurship and the curriculum; and
  • To meet community needs and take an active role in Punahou's vision of a private school serving a public purpose. 


For Students

Service Learning Program

The Luke Center highlights several themes throughout the course of the school year, focusing the entire campus on particular areas of need. Within these themes, students of all ages get involved in a variety of ways, including direct service projects, classroom activities, education and advocacy. The themes are also reinforced in the school'schapel program, where students have the chance to explore them with a deeper understanding. More

Luke Friends and Luke Leaders

These volunteer positions are designed to provide students with opportunities to help their community either by assisting with the schoolwide service themes or by taking additional leadership roles. More

Entrepreneurs in Residence

The Entrepreneurs in Residence Program pairs students and faculty with a select group of volunteer mentors from Hawai`i's business and nonprofit world. These mentors work with students and faculty to explore entrepreneurial thinking linked to social issues, and help launch projects directed at serving our communities. More

For Educators

Community Forums for Service Learning

The Luke Center for Public Service reaches out to educators and community members, to participate in a variety of Punahou events over the course of the school year. These events include speakers, films and workshops that provide educational opportunities and forums for discussion, touching on a wide range of topics. More


Overlooking the lily pond at the heart of campus, the Luke Center facility was built through a generous gift from the K.J. Luke Family. Since opening its doors in April 2004, it has welcomed a steady stream of students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni, community members and others interested in making a difference. Its central location near Thurston Memorial Chapel encourages links between spirituality and service.


The Luke Center would like to acknowledge gratefully, the generous support of the following organizations and foundations:

  • K.J. Luke Family
  • Omidyar Foundation
  • Starr Foundation
  • Hawai`i Community Foundation
  • Hawai`i Nature Center
  • Gift Foundation of Hawai`i
  • Shinnyo-en Foundation


The Luke Center for Public Service began operations in 2002 in two offices using a picnic table for a conference room. In 2004, the new facilities were completed, nestled in the Thurston Memorial Chapel courtyard and overlooking the Lily Pond.

The Center was named for K.J. and Beatrice Luke, by the Luke family, whose generosity supported the construction as well as the ongoing program.

K. J. and Beatrice Luke

Founder and chairman emeritus of Hawaii National Bank, K. J. Luke was involved in numerous business, military, community and civic groups. A teacher, banker, industrialist and entrepreneur, he taught his students to analyze and never be a conformist, adding that the most important ingredients for success are "imagination and a willingness to work hard."

This teaching took root in the Luke family, and is exemplified by the selfless involvements by numerous other family members who give their time and energy to improve the community in many service venues.


  • Tools for Creating Positive Change in the Community

    Rachel Breitweser ’03 and Bella Nesti ’20
    Posted November 30, 2017

    Luke Center invited Aaron Eden to spend one week as “change maker” in residence. In Cooke Learning Commons in Cooke Library, Eden guided students through a systems change framework during an Accelerator week, which provides time and support for students to explore what they are interested in. He introduced the concept of systems thinking, which is a way to address a challenge from a holistic perspective by understanding interconnectedness within a larger system.


Luke Center for Public Service
808.943.3609 Tel
Hours: M – F, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.



Kamal Kapadia
Co-director, Luke Center for Public Service
808.944.5718 Tel


Dan Kinzer
Co-director, Luke Center for Public Service
808.945.1352 Tel


Chandra Peters
Administrative Coordinator
808.943.3609 Tel