As I compose this column, we remain unsure how long this crisis will last, or what additional preventative measures will be required. We don’t know how large the human toll will be, or what the economic impact will ultimately amount to. I am certain, however, that Punahou will stand strong. And before long, life will return to awaken this quiet campus. Our students and teachers will fill our halls once more, and music, theatre, art and athletics will flourish here again. Together, we will meet this challenge and emerge from it with a deeper understanding of our mission, a more profound recognition of our interconnectedness and greater degree of compassion for each other. I could not be prouder of our School or more grateful for the chance to work alongside you all.
Amid this breaking news coverage, the magazine deadline loomed. Fortunately, we already had our cover package on alumni returning home in place. It’s a sensitive, poignant collection of stories that I hope resonates with alumni, whether they are away or have come home. We also had shot a beautiful cover photo of ballet dancer Romi Beppu ’94 in an emotional, reflective moment. The package still felt appropriate to run, even with the current crisis.
With the Summer Olympics postponed to 2021, we had to set aside a feature on Punahou Olympians. But the bigger issue was ensuring we addressed COVID-19, and reflected the bold, inspiring response among Punahou alumni and others. That’s where our story team came in. Their efforts are displayed in the 10 pages of stories we gathered during the early weeks of the crisis. We ran these stories on our Bulletin website, as well as on our social media pages, and the response was gratifying, with an overwhelming abundance of positive engagement from our readers and followers, who rallied around fellow Puns being featured.
If we had more time, we could have filled the entire issue with #PunsUnited stories, as well as pieces about the creative ways teachers and students were accomplishing distance learning. Nevertheless, I hope that what we were able to share reflects the tremendous response of our Punahou family, not just to help their respective communities, but to bond and support each other at a time when it’s most needed.
I hope that you are safe, well and find hope and inspiration from this special edition of the Bulletin, which is a true reflection of Puns United.
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