Punahou was founded in 1841 on lands given to Christian missionaries by Hawaiian ali’i (chiefs). The opening of the School enabled missionary children to stay in Hawai‘i with their families for their education, and Punahou soon opened its doors to all the children of Hawai’i. Punahou’s legacy of two gifts, the gift of land and of the missionary’s educational vision, endures in a unique blend that shapes the School to this day.
At the center of campus is the spring which gave the lands and the School its name: Ka Punahou, the New Spring. It is symbolic of the spirit of renewal, reminding the School community of its past, while challenging each individual to strive for personal growth and discovery.