Event Celebrates 20 Years of Service at the Luke Center

President Mike Latham ’86 and Luke Center for Public Service Director Dani Goddard recently hosted an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Luke Center for Public Service. Held on Tuesday evening at Thurston Memorial Chapel, the event included a program featuring speeches, student service exhibits, music and refreshments in the Chapel courtyard.

The event also supported a donation drive for Family Promise of Hawai‘i, with guests contributing essential items for the organization’s “Welcome Home” kits. These kits are crucial for assisting recently-housed families in need, helping them with household and personal supplies.

During the celebration, Latham highlighted the impact of the Luke Center on both the School and the wider community. “The Luke Center enables Punahou to make a contribution to the wider society of which we are a part, and it enables our students to learn and to grow and to be transformed through that experience,” Latham noted, addressing the audience gathered in the Chapel. “This is work that we can all be truly proud of, and it’s work that the Luke family has supported and was at the creation of through their vision and generosity establishing this center 20 years ago.”

Warren Luke ’62, Trustee Emeritus who was instrumental in the establishment of the Center, spoke to the Center’s origins and its evolution over the years. “When we started this thing 20 years ago, most people thought public service was running for office or raising money for a nonprofit or volunteering. We wanted to make sure that our students could look at the community and what was needed and come up with creative ideas to help the community develop, and by doing that, we’d also help the individuals,” he explained. Luke added, “We wanted to create an atmosphere where students could learn and be creative and push the envelope to see what they could do in contributing to the community. We thank the School, the teachers and everyone here for their contributions.”

Alumnus Ryan Catalani ’11, executive director of Family Promise of Hawaiʻi, expressed gratitude towards the Luke family and the School for their lasting influence. “I know I speak for countless students and alumni when I say thank you to the Luke family for this incredible gift, and to the Luke Center and Punahou for putting this gift into action, changing lives not only at our school but in our broader communities for years to come,” he said. The Center inspired Catalani and his classmates to leverage their education for the benefit of the community. “It gave me and many of my fellow alumni a tangible and important way to think about how we could pay forward this gift through a life of service to the community,” he said. “It inspired me to take this incredible education and network that Punahou provides and use it as a force for positive social change to solve some of the toughest problems in our community.”

The celebration underscored the Luke Center’s vital role in fostering a culture of service at Punahou and honored its two decades of contributions to public service and community development.

Photos by Kathleen Connelly

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