After 34 years of exceptional dedication and distinguished service, Michael A. Pietsch ’64 bid farewell to his post on the School’s Board of Trustees in June 2022. Pietsch is one of the longest-serving trustees, spanning three Punahou presidents including Roderick F. McPhee, James K. Scott ’70 and current president, Michael E. Latham ’86. He will continue in his role as CEO of Title Guaranty Hawaii, the oldest and largest title research and insurance company in the Islands.
Throughout his illustrious tenure at Punahou, Pietsch attained Trustee Emeritus status and wore many hats. He was Board Chair from 2001 – 2004 and also chaired the Committees for Audit and Compensation, Scholarship, and Buildings and Grounds. In addition, he served on the Executive Committee, Trustees’ Nominating and Governance Committees, and the Advancement Committee.
Pietsch and his wife, Judy Pietsch, who was a long-time college counselor in the Academy, have a long track record in advancing children’s education. The family’s support at Punahou has focused on providing life-changing experiences for students through service projects and international opportunities to expand educational horizons.
“I am grateful to Mike for his devotion to Punahou and especially for his constant attention to the student experience,” says President Latham. “Time and again, Mike reminded us to place a high priority on what would be best for students, their learning and their futures.”
In addition to their generous and strategic support at Punahou School, they have backed important causes at the University of Hawai‘i, St. Andrew’s Schools, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Children’s Discovery Center, the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation and supported Pu’uhonua O Wai’anae, a highly organized houseless community.
The Pietsch family ties to Punahou run deep, beginning with Mike’s grandfather Carlos Long, who graduated in 1896. Mike’s mother Leslie Long ’39 Pietsch and his brothers David ’62 and James ’69 also attended Punahou; as did his children Stephanie ’93, Michael ’96 and Noel ’00. Grandchildren, Aka ’25, Makayla ’27, Nalu ’28, Madeline ’29, Eliza ’31 and Jordan ’34 attend or have attended Punahou. “My Punahou is really family and ‘ohana,” Pietsch would often say.
At his final Board meeting, Board Chair Constance Hee ’70 Lau and President Latham recognized and presented Pietsch and his wife with lei of aloha, and spoke of his many qualities including his wisdom, commitment, generosity and love for Punahou.
Trustee Emeritus Pietsch thanked everyone for their expressions and reflected on his tenure on the Board. He noted that being a trustee was “very interesting, meaningful and worthwhile.” He also recalled his early years on the Board serving alongside and learning from notable trustees who have since passed away, including John Bellinger, Daniel Case, Herb Cornuelle, Richard Kelley, Frank Manaut and Thurston Twigg-Smith. He closed by noting “how wonderful Punahou was, is, and will continue to be.”
In honor of Pietsch’s tremendous contributions to Punahou, one of his classmates and friends, Rich Wilson ’64, has started the Michael ’64 and Judy Pietsch Endowed Fund for Student Advancement in his honor that will support students in perpetuity.
If you would like to know more about the fund, please call 808-944-3584.