Aims, Mission and Vision

Our New Mission

Punahou School is embarking on an exciting exploration to refresh its mission statement. Our goal is to build upon the core values that we hold as a school while also reflecting on our purpose as a mission-driven educational institution in the 21st Century.

Why refresh the mission statement now?
The last time Punahou revised its mission statement was in 1985. The world has changed a lot in this period, and so has Punahou! While we still graduate students who are academically well-prepared for the very best colleges and universities, we are also deeply interested in a number of new areas of strategic focus – such as social, emotional and ethical learning, global sustainability, diversity and belonging, and lifelong learning. Ultimately, we want to arrive at a purpose-driven mission statement that goes beyond merely stating what Punahou does, and instead answers the question of what our purpose is in the world.  

Our Process
Throughout the fall and across our school community, we are asking faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni what Punahou means to them. Each person brings their own unique perspective to this question, and taken together, they form a rich mosaic of our school which will ultimately help to inspire our refreshed mission statement. 

Over the coming weeks, we will engage our campus community in a number of different ways – from brainstorming sessions with our faculty and staff to art and writing exercises with our students. Later this school year, we plan to reveal our refreshed school mission statement and to share the journey that got us there – through the responses, images and words from members of our special Punahou ohana. Mahalo for your support. 

For questions, please contact: communications@punahou.edu

Aims of a Punahou Education

  • To develop the full potential of each student through a broad and vigorous program of studies characterized by high expectations; and through rich opportunities and experiences for exploration, growth, and mastery
  • To foster within each Punahou student, personal and social responsibility by developing empathy and compassion, and by embracing diversity at all levels, while cultivating moral reasoning that leads to moral action, personal leadership, and engaged citizenship
  • To develop within each Punahou student the capacity for critical and creative thought, the skills for effective written and oral communication, interpersonal collaboration, quantitative reasoning, scientific inquiry, and a global perspective. To develop qualities of curiosity, resourcefulness, persistence, and resilience – ultimately becoming a confident, self-directed, lifelong learner
  • To help each Punahou student to see the interconnections between subjects; to integrate Hawaiian values and culture in ways that can extend and deepen their learning; to be able to think flexibly; to have a questioning attitude; to generate alternatives and possibilities; and to apply and adapt their learning to relevant issues and challenges


To provide an environment where students can...

  • Develop moral and spiritual values consistent with the Christian principles on which Punahou was founded, affirming the worth and dignity of each individual. 
  • Develop intellectual, academic and physical potential to the fullest degree, preparing them for college and for challenges facing them now and in the future. 
  • Develop and enhance creativity and appreciation of the arts
  • Appreciate cultural diversity and develop social responsibility.


  • Cultivate an enlightened, dynamic and attentive learning environment in which each Punahou student is given the opportunities and encouragement to reach their potential.
  • Attract, nurture and retain a knowledgeable, dedicated and inspiring faculty. Foster a schoolwide culture of innovation and renewal.
  • Ensure financial access to a Punahou education for every admitted and continuing Punahou student.
  • Improve and sustain teaching and learning environments, and campus facilities to support Punahou’s mission and vision.
  • Become a private school with a larger public purpose through a robust financial aid program and through meaningful partnerships with other schools and educators within Hawai‘i, the United States and the world.
  • Balance Punahou’s educational vision and aspirations with its future financial sustainability through continued prudent growth and stewardship of financial resources.