Convocation Connects the Campus Community

Rachel Breitweser ’03

A sunny Convocation kicked off the 2018 – 2019 school year as students in grades 2 – 12, teachers and staff gathered on Alexander Field. Punahou’s leadership uplifted the audience with reflections on this this year’s theme.

“It is my honor to welcome each of you to the opening of the 2018 ­­– 2019 school year: Punahou’s 178th year and my 25th opening convocation as School President,” said Jim Scott ’70, who is retiring at the end of the school year. “E Pili Mai is the Chapel and school theme for this year: seeing connections and building bridges as we forge new friendships and renew and deepen older relationships.”

“At the heart of this theme is the pili grass that grows in tight clumps – the seeds that grow at the ends of the pili grass stalks are barbed, making them mat together. This stickiness is an emblem of the closeness we can establish together – the tightness of our community,” remarked Junior School Principal Paris Priore-Kim ’76.

“E pili mai calls us together just as much as it invites us to stretch. Together we will forge connections and community. Together we will extend our learning,” echoed Academy Principal Emily McCarren.

“The theme for the year is very fitting as we celebrate the concluding year of Dr. Scott’s 25 years of dedicated leadership,” said Punahou Trustee Kitty Sullivan ’75 Wo. “He is also in the process of making a new connection with Dr. Latham, who will join us in June as our 17th president. It will be the first time in our School’s history where our outgoing and incoming presidents are both alumni. It is a remarkable story of connection and bridge-building.”

The ceremony concluded with a chorus of “Oahu a,” led by the Buff ’n Blue cheerleaders, followed by Scott’s much awaited words: “The 2018 – 2019 school year at Punahou is officially open!”

Later in the afternoon, Punahou’s youngest students had their own “Keiki Convocation” in the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood.