Special Projects

175th Anniversary

In 2016, Punahou celebrated the 175th anniversary of its founding.

The festivities kicked off at the start of the 2015 – 2016 school year and the entire Punahou community was invited to join in the yearlong celebration by attending an event on campus or around the world (or via webcast), sharing a memory, or contributing to the collection of 175 acts of service.

175th Year in Review

Worldwide Toast


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  • Punahou Presents

    • The 175th Anniversary Song “Punahou Stand Strong”
    • “America” from “West Side Story”
    • “Why God, Why?” from “Miss Saigon”
    • “12 Short Pieces for Violin and Piano”
    • “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from “Les Miserables”
    • “Something Wonderful” from “The King and I”
    • “The Manson Trio” from “Pippin”
    • “As Long as He Needs Me” from “Oliver!”
    • “Rhapsody in Blue”
    • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
    • “One” from “A Chorus Line”
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  • Hula

    Performed during Alumni Lu‘au on June 11, 2016, this special hula was dedicated to Punahou’s 175th anniversary year. The dance is set to "Punahou," a song that pays tribute to the life-giving waters springing forth from beneath the hala tree.

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  • Punahou Sessions

    Punahou Sessions is a set of live music videos created and produced by Allen Murabayashi ’90 in honor of Punahou’s 175th anniversary, to celebrate the extraordinary depth and diversity of talent among alumni and students who create music. Featuring a representative collection of musicians spanning the classes of 1946 – 2020, the Sessions combines musicians in a variety of musical genres, recorded live on the Punahou campus.

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  • Student Performances

    Special performances celebrated Punahou’s 175th anniversary throughout the 2015 – 2016 school year. Students learned of the School’s rich history through performing in or attending two productions about the founding and earliest days of Punahou: The Founders Play and The First Generation. The Punahou Symphony joined in the anniversary festivities with a performance of “Swell Lines,” a musical piece composed by Punahou alumnus Dr. Jon Magnussen ’86.

    Learn More ›
  • Punahou in 50 Objects

    A collective storytelling project to celebrate the School’s history. 
    There is a wealth of objects, texts, artifacts and narratives that bring the School's past to life while shedding light on its present and future. Many of these objects and the stories behind them were curated into an exhibit at Punahou's 175th Anniversary celebration in 2016, called Punahou in 50 Objects. The entire Punahou community was invited to contribute their ideas, objects and anecdotes, making this collective storytelling exercise a multi-vocal reflection of the School.

    See Punahou’s 50 Objects ›
  • Memories

    Whether it was weaving a lauhala headband for third grade luau, performing in Variety Show or reconnecting with classmates during a 50th reunion, many people helped celebrate by sharing a favorite memory for the Punahou Archives.
  • Acts of Service

    Acts of service by alumni, students and faculty serving their communities take place every day, all around the world. These stories were contributed to the collection of 175 acts of service, in honor of the School's 175th anniversary.
  • Ka Punahou Book

    This commemorative 175th anniversary hard-bound book combines thought-provoking essays, stunning photographs of the campus today and profiles of engaging alumni that provide an inside look at Punahou School.

    Purchase a Book

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  • Behind the Celebration

    Chair of the 175th Steering Committee Trustee Ethan Abbott ’72 was well-versed in Punahou’s tradition of anniversary celebrations: He was a fifth-grader during Punahou’s 125th celebration and a member of the Trustee steering committee for the 150th under the leadership of Dan Case ’42. In the five years leading up to Punahou’s 175th anniversary, Abbott brought together School administrators, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers in a coordinated effort to plan for the celebration.

    Trustee Emeritus Dan Case '42 and Trustee Ethan Abbott '72, 175th Chair.
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