Donor Stories

PFA Invests in Lifelong Learning for the Punahou Community

Capping off a year celebrating its 100th anniversary and Punahou's 175th anniversary, the Parent Faculty Association (PFA) made a significant contribution to the School and its future.
On May 13, at the final PFA monthly meeting of the year, the volunteer organization presented a check for $100,000 to Punahou President Jim Scott '70 to establish an endowed fund to bring inspirational and educational speakers to the School.

Julie Buto, chairperson for the PFA's 100th Anniversary Committee, explained that discussions for the endowed fund began in 2012 when the School and the PFA started planning for their milestone birthdays in the 2015 – 2016 academic year. "Both of these anniversaries gave us an opportunity not only to look back and celebrate the past, but also to look forward and give shape to our vision for the future."

Buto noted that the PFA's parent education fairs and talks by guest speakers at the cutting edge of their field (recent examples include Madeline Levine and Catherine Steiner-Adair) have consistently been among the most well-attended PFA-sponsored events.

"We recognized that not only were our children receiving the gift of a world-class education, but we as parents were also benefitting from learning opportunities provided for us by the School and the PFA. So the committee felt that any gift to the school should benefit parents, faculty, students and the larger community. The purpose of the PFA Creative Speakers for Lifelong Education Endowed Fund is to provide support for creative thinkers to engage the larger Punahou community with lifelong learning opportunities."

Founded in 1915 as the Association of the Mothers of Punahou, the PFA has been one of the School's most vital partner organizations over the past 100 years. Its strong tradition of service and volunteerism is visible at iconic annual events like Carnival and Commencement, as well as in its commitment to welcoming and educating Punahou families about educational issues and trends. In 1916, the organization invited its first guest speaker from Vassar College.

Over the years, the PFA has made many significant philanthropic contributions to the School. With the 2016 launch of Punahou's ambitious comprehensive campaign Ku'u Punahou – The Power of Promise, the PFA's gift is a renewed affirmation of the parent community's support of Punahou's future vision.