Punahou School – Buff ‘n Blue

Punahou School

Charles Reed Bishop was a very prominent business figure on Oahu in the 1800′s. So much so that one evening Charles Reed Bishop returned home following work and announced to his wife, Princess Pauahi, that he was to be one of the new Board of Directors for the new Oahu College. This new college was to be built at the site of the springs at Ka Punahou (the New Spring). He further informed the Princess that this school was to be an all white school. Following their conversation the Princess thought, “wouldn’t it be great to have a school for Hawaiians.”

The Oahu College has since become the Punahou School. That is why the school insignia is represented with the O with the wings on the side, which refers back to its history as the Oahu College. At present the Punahou School is one of the top college prep schools in the Western United States. It is also the alma mater of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Punahou Carnival 2007 mosaic
The Punahou Carnival is one of many ongoing traditional
events that take place on campus annually.

Photo Credit: c_chan808

This Hawaiian History Moment Brought To You By:
Ohana Walking Tours with special thanks to Richard Wong

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2 Responses to “ Punahou School – Buff ‘n Blue ”

  1. Thanks for that info about Punahou. What particularly interested me was the meaning of Ka Punahou.

    We use Hawaiian words everyday (often mispronouncing them) and we don’t know what many of the words mean.

  2. I appreciate literary license, but some of the facts, for sake of a friendly marital conversation, may be stretched a bit too far…

    Punahou was founded in 1841 by resolution in a general meeting of the Sandwich Island Mission to educate children of members of the mission; it was never for whites only. Nor was it a project of businessmen. The founding trustees were Armstrong, Chamberlain, Dole, Emerson & Judd, all missionaries. Bishop served as trustee to 1867-1894 when he moved to California, and possibly longer as he lived until 1915. In 1891, he wrote a letter to mark the jubilee reunion stating how proud he is that among those educated at Punahou included a number of “sons and daughters of Hawai`i…including a number of aboriginal blood…” and then in 1901 donates money to fund scholarships for 6 Hawaiians to attend. Pauahi Hall at Punahou is named for the princess and built with his (their?) money after her passing.

    In fact, having joined other ali`i in nursing ill Hawaiians during various epidemics in the 1850s, the Princess took an interest in the health needs of Hawaiians, so much so that she and her husband contributed to the establishment of Queen’s hospital. Since these needs were being addressed by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, Pauahi and her husband, who was already an instrumental force with Punahou, turned their attention to the education of Hawaiians.

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