Donor Stories

Joan C. Pratt '47

For the Pratt family, giving to Punahou is a tradition that reaches back generations. Family patriarch Dr. Gerritt P. Judd was a missionary, physician, and advisor to the Hawaiian Government who served on the founding Board of Trustees of Punahou School. He was also a generous donor: in early March, 1842, Judd noted in his journal that a $50 gift to Punahou left him with $36 for the month.
That spirit of philanthropy lives on today in Judd's great-great-granddaughter Joan Pratt '47. For more than 60 years, she has been a loyal and generous donor to the Annual Fund. "My father C. Dudley Pratt '18 and my aunt Laura Pratt '21 Bowers founded the Living Endowment," Joan says, recalling the origins of the Annual Fund. "My dad started contributing for each of us kids when we were still young, and I've continued every single year since then."

Joan's generosity also extends to Class Gifts, Na Wahine Pa'ani 'o Punahou, and her parents' endowed fund. This year, in celebration of her Class's upcoming 60th Reunion, Joan decided to expand her support by creating a special endowed scholarship to assist talented scholar athletes of Hawaiian ancestry. "As a school teacher, I haven't been in a position to give bundles of money," she says, "but now I can afford to do this."

Athletics has played a defining role in Joan's life. At a time when girls were excluded from competitive sports, the exuberant young athlete participated in all the intramural sports sponsored by the Punahou Girls Athletic Association (PGAA) and later taught physical education. Over the course of 30 years of teaching and coaching at Punahou, Joan became an important champion of Title IX legislation, which sparked the rise of girls' competitive sports.

Joan's decision to create an endowed scholarship springs not only from a lifelong passion for athletics, but from a deep-seated belief in creating access for the underprivileged. "I want to make sure that kids who can't afford Punahou's tuition still have a chance to come here," she says. "The school needs what these kids bring – their athletic drive, their deep love of Hawai'i and its culture. We need to always reach out to them." Thanks to the passionate philanthropy of Joan Pratt and her family, this tradition will be carried on.