The Rev. Hiram Bingham led the first company of missionaries to Hawai‘i in 1819 – 1820. A graduate of Andover Theological Seminary, Bingham played a key role in building strong relationships with the ali‘i. While he did not realize Ka‘ahumanu’s power at first, he came to rely on her wisdom and influence in propagating Christianity throughout the islands.
Bingham’s relationship with Ka‘ahumanu led to the gift of the lands of Kapunahou to the mission, eventually becoming the site of Punahou School.
Bingham undertook the massive task of translating the Bible into Hawaiian. He worked with a team of translators that included John Papa ‘Ī‘ī and David Malo. He also wrote the beloved Hawaiian hymn “Ho‘onani I Ka Makua Mau,” which Punahou students today perform in Chapel and at Commencement. Bingham Hall on the Academy campus is named in his honor. Bingham and his wife, Sybil, left Hawai‘i in 1840, and he died on Nov. 11, 1869, in New Haven, Connecticut.