Punahou’s Oahuan Immortalizes Historic Year

Rachel Breitweser ’03

May 25, 2016

As the school year draws to a close, students eagerly await a cherished school tradition. Starting May 26, students will receive copies of the 2016 Oahuan, Punahou’s yearbook, which incorporates the celebration of Punahou’s 175th anniversary.


Responsible for the pages of the publication is the Oahuan Club, which calls room P-005 home base. “It’s a completely student-run room,” said Club Advisor Alex Selarque.

Awards decorating an entire wall pay tribute to students’ past efforts and inspire others to continue striving for high standards. Based on journalism, photography, layout and design, critiques from national judges also provides valuable feedback.

Some of the awards the Oahuan has received, like the Certificate of Recognition from the Printing Industries of America, were the result of the publisher entering their premier work into contests open to both high school and college yearbooks. “In 2013, the Oahuan was second only to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and missed getting the top prize called the Ben Franklin Award,” Selarque said.

Students work closely with the publisher throughout the year. Even though the publisher is located in Canada, students are in constant contact, especially with the help of Marv. “It’s a robot the students named,” Selarque shared.

The Beam+ robot from Suitable Technologies is part of an experimental program that remotely puts the publishing staff in the same room as students. “It wheels around and helps students troubleshoot,” Selarque explained.

Every other year, Selarque, the current editor-in-chief and next year’s editor-in-chief travel to Canada for a press check to inspect color balance and other print quality controls. “It’s a great opportunity for the current editor to train the new one,” said Selarque.

The press check is just one of the editor-in-chief’s roles. It’s the editor-in-chief who runs the show, overseeing the entire operation from start to finish.

“I manage people and keep everyone on track,” said Sam ’16, current editor-in-chief. Sam applied for the position because she had new ideas to bring to the table.

“It’s been a big commitment and challenging – sometimes we work eight-hour days on weekends – but it’s rewarding and I’ve learned a lot about the School,” she commented.

The spirit of the year is captured in each yearbook’s theme. Selarque prompts students by asking, “What makes this year special?”

Punahou’s historic anniversary has been front and center in 2016. “The theme is top secret,” said Selarque, “but I can say that it integrates the 175th theme, while having its own identity.”

A yearbook may mean different things to different people, but for all, it’s a way of sharing and preserving memories. “When people look back, the only thing they might have to reference is a yearbook,” said John ’17, one of the editors. “It’s cool to make part of history.”


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