Alumni Relations is Out and About: Greetings from the Golden State …

The Punahou Alumni Association Southern California (PAASC) concluded 2023 by bringing some warm Aloha to California in December. Alumni, ranging from the Classes of 1958 – 2023, gathered for good company and inspiring ocean views at the Annenberg Community Center in Santa Monica. Attendees welcomed President Mike Latham ’86 to the area, as well as Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Noelehua Lyons ’91 Archambault.

The Community Center was a perfect setting for alumni and friends to enjoy pūpū and cocktails as a beautiful Saturday came to a close and the sun set into the Pacific Ocean. “Everyone was in such great spirits,” says Archambault. “You feel the connection and the love that our alumni have for the School, which is palpable after all of these years.” 

PAASC co-chairs Tammy Funasaki ’00 Hoffman and Devi Ohira ’09 Ndrejaj were on hand to greet guests and provide updates on what the chapter has been up to since coming out of the pandemic, encouraging alumni to get involved and attend future events coming up in 2024. President Latham spoke about the new Punahou School mission statement, which had not been revised since the 1980s. The statement pays homage to Hawaiian scholar, author and Punahou educator, Mary Kawena Pukui, and will serve as a guide for the School community with its message of kuleana and inclusion. 

Guests were in for another special treat with Hawaiian music filling the community center and especially when USC freshman and 2023 Holokū Pageant queen Mehana Paul ’23 rose to hula to the song “Waikaloa.” Paul’s hula surely rekindled fond memories of May Days and Holokū Pageants of the past. All who attended left with a true sense of the buff ’n blue spirit to finish out 2023!

– By Doug Rigg ’84

… And from the Lone Star State

Trendy downtown Austin was the ideal backdrop for an evening of fun and camaraderie among Punahou alumni in the Texas area. Senior members of the Punahou Advancement team, including Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Noelehua Lyons ’91 Archambault, and Director of Alumni Relations Doug Rigg ’84, traveled for the event which drew more than 50 guests.

Alumni were treated to an evening of good-old Southern food (grits included!) and some amazing views from the party room on the 55th floor of The Austonian, a prestigious residential building in the city. Rigg and the team welcomed the crowd and made sure everyone felt at home. “It was a great event, the buff ’n blue joy was in full force.” he says. “It was also a good opportunity to provide current information about the School and to connect alumni to a place that has meant so much to them.” 

Archambault imparted updates about the new Academy Learning Commons which began construction at the start of 2024. She also unveiled the first viewing of a brand new video for the project, which inspired the group and sparked conversations about how fortunate our faculty and students are to be able to teach and learn in a new state-of-the-art facility reinvigorating the former Cooke Library. The alumni classes represented at the event ranged from 1965 to two current students from the Classes of 2024 and 2030! Many were talking about starting an informal alumni regional group in the area, so stay tuned! 

– By Erin Teruya ’93 Kinney

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