The Luke Center for Chinese Studies was established in 1993 by K.J. Luke and family to support innovative programs between Punahou School and China.
Thanks in part to funding by the Luke Center for Chinese Studies, and supported by the Wo International Center, the study of China, its history, civilization, values and language are integrated throughout the school's K-12 curriculum and outreach programs for students, faculty and the community.
Punahou School boasts one of the largest Chinese language programs in the country, and has been supporting immersion experiences in China since 1982.
For students, the Center supports curricular focus on China's culture, language and way of life, beginning in first grade and expanding in later grades, across various disciplines. It also supports immersion experiences through summer and yearlong opportunities in various parts of China, with a focus on study and work in community service projects.
To enhance faculty understanding of China, the Center supports travel groups to China visiting schools and engaging in professional dialogue with local teachers, to collect resources for the classroom and establish contacts for collaborative telecommunication projects. Post-trip grants are also available for teachers to integrate their learning into the curriculum.
The Center supports presentations by distinguished Chinese speakers, artistic performances and cultural displays, which are open to the community.
Projects in China supported by the Center include teaching English in Baojing (a rural village of ethnic minorities in Hunan) and ongoing projects with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation and the Beijing Normal University school system.
The endowment, with its overall themes of technology and international study, supports creative ideas from inspired faculty and other school leaders:
- Changing technology needs of language study and global communication
- International cultural resource programs including music, art, drama, folklore
- "Morita Scholars" program for student exchange program development or scholarships
- "Morita Fellows" program for faculty development or exchange programs
The Freeman Foundation has provided program and scholarship funding since 2002, supporting Wo International Center initiatives focusing on alliances with Asia – student and teacher programs that promote growth, leadership, and a deeper understanding between the United States and Asia.
Funding from these two organizations supports theStudent Global Leadership Institute, a two-week program that develops a community of international student leaders to work collaboratively on initiatives for social change.