Atop Rocky Hill sits the Alumni House, serving as a place for alumni to gather and as home of the Office of Alumni Relations. The private residence was a gift to Punahou School from the Lewis Williamson family, and in 1983 alumni activity moved from the Sullivan Administration Building to the Alumni House.
On February 15, 2011, alumni gathered on the lanai of the Alumni House for friendly conversation and to talk history. Punahou Alumni Association President Douglas Kwock '83 welcomed alumni and stressed the importance of staying connected with each other. As part of the PAA mission to reach, engage and connect, Kwock happily introduced the Punahou team dedicated to preserving, documenting and teaching the rich history of the school.
Kylee Mar, archivist and assistant director of the PUEO Program, is responsible for the Punahou Archives, housed in Cooke Library. Mar's focus is on the preservation and conservation of history. Mar, a self-proclaimed "kid in a candy store," is constantly amazed by new bits of Punahou history. Explaining her role as "the needle that weaves the story," Mar works with students, faculty and alumni, helping them access information and photos that allow them to make important connections in their research. Partnering with the School's Visual Production Department, Mar is paving the way for archiving in the 21st century. One of her priorities is transferring footage, visual and audio documents to modern data storage. Constantly looking to the future, Mar thoughtfully approaches processes in preparation for new technologies. The recent election of President Barack Obama '79 was a crash course in archives preparedness. Punahou received hundreds of requests from media around the globe looking for photos and information.
In a project that began as a contribution to the School's celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial, Volume I of the "Punahou Alumni Association Oral History Project" was published during the 1975 – 1976 school year. Since then, the PAA has published three more volumes. PAA Oral History Project Chair Charla Murakami '88 Ota explained that their focus is on interviewing individuals and preserving their remembrances of Punahou in writing. The PAA looks forward to publishing its next volume in conjunction with the School's 175th anniversary.
Highlighting the exquisite tradition of oral history, Mary Stacey '47 Judd, former Punahou archivist and a revered storyteller, spent the last minutes of the event sharing stories about campus sites. She explained the history of Rocky Hill, which is now home to an Academy Science garden, a sod farm, a green-waste recycling facility and the White Elephant storage facility known as The Tank. And she left alumni with chicken skin as she wrapped up with a story about night marchers and flickering lights at Castle Hall, then a dormitory.
If you are interested in volunteering as an Oral History Project interviewer, contact Alumni Relations at email@example.com or call 808.944.5740. Volunteers will be trained; no prior experience is necessary.