Alumni Rediscover Punahou at Festival of Ideas 2022

Punahou’s second annual Festival of Ideas took place on June 7 as part of the 2022 Alumni Week celebrations. With the theme “Explore Home,” the Festival honored our ‘ohana’s journey home after two years away from the Reunion tradition. Led by talented Punahou faculty and staff, the Festival events showcased what Punahou is all about today.

Mahalo nui, alumni – we’re so glad you made the journey back to Punahou to explore together! Here’s an overview of what unfolded.

The Kamaola Voyaging Experience
Alumni and friends joined a crew of students and faculty from Punahou’s new voyaging program for a full morning of activities, including a glassy-water sail on Kamaola, the School’s voyaging wa’a (canoe). Guests were treated to a demonstration of a new virtual reality platform, co-developed with the University of Hawai’i, which helps teach students navigation of the stars in the night sky. Alumni also learned how to tie traditional knots used at sea, and try tasty “canoe foods.”

Kapunahou: Campus tour through the lens of ‘Ike Hawai‘i and Outdoor Education
Kumu from Punahou’s Kuaihelani Center for Hawaiian Studies led an in-depth campus tour focusing on campus history and culture as well as aspects of outdoor education at Punahou. Visiting alumni had the opportunity to learn from Kuaihelani Director Ke’alohi Reppun ‘99, Outdoor Education Coordinator Andy Nelson, Outdoor Education Coordinator Shelby Ho ’01, Junior School and Academy Faculty John Chock ’01, and Chef and Punahou Food Curriculum Specialist Mark Noguchi ’93. Tour participants learned the history behind the campus walls, met the campus ducks and sheep, helped gather ingredients from the campus gardens, and ended the tour by sharing an island-style meal made from local ingredients on top of Rocky Hill.

Mele and Hula Workshop
More than two dozen alumni spent an afternoon in the Kuaihelani Center for Hawaiian Studies on campus learning from Kumu Hula and ʻIke Hawaiʻi Faculty Kimo Keaulana and ʻIke Hawaiʻi Faculty Emma McGuire ’93. Together, they explored the history and legends of Mānoa and Punahou School through the moʻolelo, mele and hula that are being taught to students as a part of the ʻIke Hawaiʻi curriculum. The visiting alumni had the opportunity to hear stories, chant and sing, play ʻukulele and dance together.

Learning in the 21st Century: Tour of Punahou’s K – 12 Learning Commons
Alumni and their guests were invited to an open-house tour of the new Junior School Learning Commons in the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community. They toured the School’s beautiful new neighborhood that serves grades K – 8 with state-of-the-art facilities for music, art, performing arts, design, Outdoor Education and a library with more than 60,000 books. In addition, the visitors explored a new exhibit in the current Cooke Library called “The Future of Punahou,” which showcases the plans for the new Academy Learning Commons, which has an expected completion in 2025. 

Student Showcase: Centers Distinctions at Punahou
Some of Punahou’s most impressive Academy students shared their insights and experiences as part of  the School’s new Distinction program, where students can identify and specialize in an area of passion and be mentored by faculty. The showcase was moderated by Mark Loughridge, director of the Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship and Taryn Loveman, director of Design Technology and Engineering. Alumni, students and faculty engaged in supportive and enlightening conversations.

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