Donor Stories

Alumni Reunion Giving Hits All-Time High in Contributions and Participation

Alumni from classes ending in 2 or 7 set a new record for reunion giving this year by raising nearly $10 million in gifts and increasing participation to 33 percent.
The previous high – $7 million and 31 percent participation – was in 2016.

Over $4 million of the $9.95 million was in planned gifts, contributions that the School receives in the future, typically by donors who name Punahou in their wills or trusts.

The giving totals surprised even class gift committee members, who early on wondered whether they could meet their fundraising goals. The 50th reunion Class of 1967 set a goal of $1 million, but raised $1.62 million dollars by June 30, with 45 percent of classmates participating.

"I think the key ingredient is truly the personal touch," said Associate Director of Reunion Giving Patti Horii '84 Oshiro. "When a classmate goes out and asks another classmate for a gift, that makes all the difference. It's that touch at a key point in your life, that makes someone say, 'yes, I can.'"

For many, the celebration of Reunion Week builds new relationships, bonds classmates in new and different ways, and causes many to reflect on their deep feelings for Punahou.

"Our reunion program is the envy of many independent schools," explained Director of Alumni Relations Doug Rigg '84. "It is so much more robust. It engages more people and raises more money than most independent schools in the nation. When I travel to conferences and talk about our reunion program, other schools can't believe it. Our community is similar to one in a small liberal arts college. It's something we all should be very proud of."

Alumni Week 2018 is ten months away, but reunion committees from classes ending in 3 or 8 are beginning to get organized. In August, alumni who are interested in volunteering on their reunion committees meet for the first time. By September, classes begin monthly meetings lasting through June.

Volunteering gives alumni a head start on Reunion Week. The work of planning and meeting bonds classmates in a shared task. Volunteers do not need to live in Hawai'i to participate on their committees.

"If you have a passion for Punahou, if you have an affinity for this place, try it," encourages Oshiro. "That's how I got here. I took a chance during my 23rd and 24th reunion, and because of that, I'm totally engaged with my class."

To learn more about volunteering on your reunion committee, you are invited to attend Reunite! Reunion Kickoff on August 10 at Twigg-Smith Pavilion at Case Middle School.