Students and faculty from grades 2 – 12 gathered on Alexander Field Wednesday morning to celebrate Convocation, ushering in a new school year with eager anticipation.
The morning’s opening remarks started with a blessing from Chaplain Josh Hayashi and a prayer for those on Maui. Addressing the student body, President Mike Latham ’86 set the stage for the year ahead, encouraging students to dive in with their best selves, take full advantage of what’s available at Punahou, and make the most of the incredible opportunity. “It’s going to be a truly wonderful and thrilling year,” he said.
During a poignant speech, Board Chair Wendy Crabb emphasized the importance of discovering one’s sense of belonging. Junior School Principal Todd Chow-Hoy, Academy Principal Gustavo Carrera and Senior Class President Jade McGuinn ’24 sparked inspiration with speeches that highlighted self discovery, the values we each bring the Punahou community, and hope in times of challenges.
Speakers also touched on the Chapel theme this year: “Weaving a Mat that Seats Many.” The theme was inspired by a line from Punahou’s new mission statement, “From under the hala tree, we weave a mat that seats many,” that embodies Punahou’s commitment to inclusivity and unity. Related to the theme is the ‘Olelo No’eau, “Ulana i ka piko,” which translates to “When weaving, begin with the center.”
Carrera, for one, invited the Punahou community to approach this year with creativity and the courage of exploration as we weave an elaborate tapestry together, celebrating both individual successes and a shared creation.
The celebration continued in the afternoon with a joyous Keiki Convocation for first graders at the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood.
Here’s to an exciting new academic year – where our journey of weaving outward begins!
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