Donor Stories

Harold K. L. Castle Foundation

The Harold K. L. Castle Foundation believes that every child in Hawai'i has the potential to achieve success. That is why the foundation stepped forward in 2007 to make a three-year leadership gift to the second phase of Punahou's PUEO (Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities) program.
This summer, thanks to the foundation's support, PUEO was able to work with 160 students from 31 public schools to instill the "culture of college" through a rich combination of courses, skill-building and peer counseling.

"We are obsessed with the achievement gap," says President and CEO Mitch D'Olier. He describes how the foundation works to "leverage the assets and knowledge culture of private education to ensure that all children have opportunities to achieve and succeed regardless of circumstance."

"We want to help keep kids from falling through the cracks - great public school students who need a quantum leap at a critical time in their lives," adds Executive Director Terrence George '76. According to D'Olier, the foundation made the decision to support PUEO "because we felt it was one of the most promising efforts to bridge the strengths of private education and the public schools."

The foundation's focus on mobilizing the resources of private education on behalf of Hawai'i public schools reflects the interests and values of its visionary founder.

Harold Kainalu Long Castle (1904) was born in 1886, the only child of successful businessman James Bicknell Castle (1873), whose grandfather founded Castle & Cooke, and Julia White. In 1917, Harold K. L. Castle purchased 9,500 acres in the ahupua'a of Kailua, and he and wife Alice Hedemann (1910) dedicated themselves to building a vibrant Windward community.

In 1962, Castle established the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, bequeathing to it a sizeable share of his real estate assets. Castle was a Punahou Trustee from 1922 - 1937, and his children and grandchildren, also Punahou alumni, have, through the work of the foundation, carried forward the family commitment to community-building. Today, the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation is the largest private foundation based in Hawai'i. In addition to strengthening public education, the foundation supports the conservation of near-shore marine resources and the enhancement of Windward O'ahu.

The Harold K. L. Castle Foundation's support to Punahou over the years, and to the PUEO program, has been well-informed, timely and generous. It has also given generations of talented, young students an open pathway to success.