Punahou Alumni Association Awards 2019

By Erin Teruya ’93 Kinney

Duncan MacNaughton ’62 Honored with ‘O’ in Life

Real estate developer Duncan MacNaughton ’62 has transformed how Hawai‘i lives, plays, shops and gathers, and as a Punahou Trustee, he’s helped the School reimagine learning for the 21st century. For his contributions and his commitment to Punahou and the community, Punahou Alumni Association honored MacNaughton with its “O” in Life, the association’s most prestigious award.

MacNaughton was destined to be an impact player in the state. His father, Boyd, led C. Brewer, one of Hawai‘i’s largest sugar companies. At 23, the younger MacNaughton joined Dillingham Corporation’s property development department and later was responsible for residential development at the McCormack Corporation. Combining his early experience in commercial and residential development, he founded his own company in 1975, with a corporate vision to work with good people in businesses they enjoy.

Today, The MacNaughton Group, where he is chairman, is synonymous with developing some of Hawai‘i’s most notable properties: Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana, Park Lane Ala Moana, Kapolei Commons and Waikele Shopping Center; and introducing big brands like Costco, Target and Starbucks to the Islands.

MacNaughton’s motivation to create engaging gathering spaces has been grounded in a genuine affection for Hawai‘i. “I have always kept Hawai‘i at heart and tried to make business decisions that hopefully are true to that goal, and I have used this frequently as a compass to navigate many of our business decisions,” he said.

At Punahou, the real estate developer has been invaluable in the boardroom for his tough questions, creative thinking and long view. MacNaughton joined the School’s Board of Trustees in 1997, shortly after Jim Scott ’70 became president. “I remember Duncan getting up as the head of the Buildings and Grounds committee and he said, ‘Over the next 20 years, we are going to essentially be rebuilding the Punahou Junior School,’ and he was absolutely right,” Scott said. “Here we are, as we finish part two of the Kosasa Community, he was prophetic and he was instrumental.” 

MacNaughton has been a source of sage, wise, insightful advice and counsel to Scott and fellow Trustees throughout the years. Supportive, yet respectfully candid, Scott says McNaughton let him know when something needed improvement, but always took a “nose in, fingers out” approach. The pair worked together to advance key initiatives and envision innovative new learning environments.

Scott recalls a time when the Board was figuring out how to build and conceptualize the new Cooke Learning Commons. “Duncan said, ‘Okay, the old library is now a learning commons. We’re trying to explain it as a gathering place, as a place of high collaboration that can be flexible. It’s like a Starbucks,’” Scott said. “And there was something about that that just lit us all up, and we said, ‘You know, you’re right.’”

As a fundraiser, MacNaughton opened doors for Scott to meet prospective donors, and was generous with his own funds. Most recently, MacNaughton co-chaired the historic Ku‘u Punahou campaign, which set a goal of raising $175 million. Inspiring, renewed facilities, a fully funded Campaign, and a school positioned for the future – that is MacNaughton’s legacy at Punahou. “He’s an old-world, elegant gentleman,” Scott said. “He’s just one of a kind.”

“O” in Life recipient Duncan MacNaughton ’62 with Walter A. Dods, Jr., at a ceremony announcing the award.
“O” in Life recipient Duncan MacNaughton ’62 with Walter A. Dods, Jr., at a ceremony announcing the award.

Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award

The Samuel Chapman Armstrong Humanitarian Award is given to Punahou alumni who have made outstanding contributions to society garnering national or international recognition which are deserving of recognition by Punahou.

Patrick Quilter ’64

A passion for tinkering, a love of the steel guitar in Hawaiian music and a challenge from his younger brother’s bandmate led Patrick Quilter to start one of the world’s most successful audio companies, Quilter Sound Company, and later, QSC Audio Products.

It was the late ’60s, shortly after Quilter graduated from Punahou and relocated to Laguna Beach, California, that Quilter built his first amplifier. From his crudely built first try, Quilter grew his business into the world’s leading power amplifier company, and later, the world’s leading pro audio systems company. Quilter’s equipment has been used in many movie theatres, cruise ships, airports and stadiums throughout the world, and by musicians and celebrities such as Beyoncé, Brad Paisley and Eric Clapton.

A non traditional student who was more interested in hands-on learning than college, Quilter credits his high school physics class with giving him the fundamentals of electronic components. “Punahou, for me, was this tremendous gift,” Quilter said at the PAA Awards ceremony. “It was okay to be a nerd; it was okay to be smart; and I learned things that I eventually used to start my career. The seeds were planted at Punahou.”

In 2011, following his retirement from QSC, Quilter founded Quilter Laboratories, a fast-growing guitar amp company delivering vintage sound in a compact package.

Quilter still enjoys the Hawaiian music of his youth. He often plays alongside classmate Pal Eldredge ’64 at Punahou alumni events in California and Hawai‘i, most recently at Alumni Lū‘au. Quilter is also a supporter of the arts at Punahou, and has donated equipment and made the lead gift to fund the Patrick H. Quilter Lab for Creative Arts in the Kosasa Community, which will provide cutting-edge music and visual arts space for Junior School students.

Charles S. Judd ’38 Humanitarian Award

The Charles S. Judd ’38 Humanitarian Award is given to Punahou alumni who have made outstanding contributions to Hawai‘i which are deserving of recognition by Punahou. Awardees are to have made outstanding contributions in the fields of public service, humanitarian or charitable efforts, arts, letter or sciences, which have gained the awardee significant recognition in Hawai‘i.

Trisha Kajimura ’89

Trisha Kajimura has been serving Hawai‘i’s most vulnerable populations for more than 20 years. In her roles with Life Foundation, Catholic Charities, Parents and Children Together and now Mental Health America of Hawai‘i, Kajimura has promoted and serviced the public health needs of children, kūpuna, those with mental health issues and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.

“We all know that mental health is getting a lot of attention locally, nationally, even internationally, and I think we all know our youth are really showing surprising rates of mental health issues,” Kajimura said in remarks at the PAA Awards ceremony. “I know that is something Punahou has paid a lot of attention to and is doing great work in, and I look forward to seeing the amazing things that Punahou continues to do.”

Kajimura has been recognized as a Weinberg Fellow and has been awarded the Daniel K. Inouye Award by the Hawai‘i Psychological Association and the Emerging Leader of the Year Award by the Hawai‘i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations. She has also published several articles about the current state of public and mental health in Hawai‘i, and has served as a volunteer and advisor on a number of local boards. Kajimura is also a passionate volunteer hula kahiko instructor with Punahou’s Holokū program.

Old School Award

Created in 1976, this award is presented to individuals who exemplify the spirit of Punahou through outstanding service to the School.

Ray Hironaka ’80

Alumni from the Class of ’80 roared and stood for Ray Hironaka as he accepted the Old School Award for his dedication and service to Punahou School. Hironaka, known as “Mr. Aloha,” is credited with keeping classmates connected to each other and the School.

For years, Hironaka has served as Class correspondent for the Punahou Bulletin. He and wife, Patty Yamashiro-Hironaka ’84, have hosted numerous gatherings and turned their home into an unofficial headquarters for Class parties. Hironaka has also served on his Class Reunion committee and headed their Carnival shift. His constant reinforcement of common bonds and shared experience have led to many new, mid-life friendships. “Ray is all-inclusive,” wrote Jeffrey Yeoh ’80, in a letter of a support to PAA’s nominating committee. “Through Ray, I have reunited with many old classmates that I probably would never have without his influence. What better service to Punahou than to make other alumni appreciate their experience at Punahou.” 

Lynne Gartley ’74 Meyer

Lynne Meyer volunteers at Punahou so often, she is sometimes mistaken for staff. Meyer has spent every Friday for the last 10 years on campus, most often in the Cooke Library Archives, researching School history and conducting oral history interviews with retired faculty and kūpuna alumni. Devoted to her volunteer work, Meyer has rearranged her work schedule, so Fridays could be spent at Punahou.

Meyer is also the webmaster and main contributor to a 1974 Class blog that she started more than six years ago. Her website analytics are enviable. Since the blog began, Meyer has published more than 550 stories, had a quarter of a million visits and signed on 150 classmate subscribers. The site is rich with fresh content, photos from 1974’s recent 45th Reunion and stories of classmates. She also set up her Class Facebook page and is branching out into other social media channels. She is the classmate present at every Reunion committee meeting and Carnival malasada shift – the glue that keeps the Class of 1974 connected. 

Kevin Velasco ’75

Known as Coach Kevin to hundreds of Punahou student-athletes, Velasco has been in the huddle for more than 30 years. His coaching career spans three sports – football, and boys and girls basketball – and all levels. Even as his teams won championships, Velasco’s coaching philosophy focused on personal development over winning. He encouraged participation and used athletics to teach transferable skills like grit and perseverance. “The greatest thing I’ve learned is that coaching is just the tool that we use to get our student-athletes to become better people and show what Punahou is all about,” Velasco told the crowd gathered at the PAA Awards ceremony.

Off-season, Velasco’s love for the School extended into Holokū and Carnival. He and wife, Jeri, were longtime coordinators of the Holokū Pageant and May Day T-shirts. For years, an annual tower of T-shirt boxes filled the family home, as Velasco recruited daughters Kristin ’01 and Nicole ’04 to sort, count and package T-shirts. The Velascos also served as 2003 Carnival parent co-chairs, the first husband-wife co-chair duo, along with daughter, Nicole, as student chair.

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