Why We Give: Carter Pruyn ’66 Reynolds

Carter Pruyn ’66 Reynolds met her husband, Jim Reynolds, as college students in Boston, and they settled in his home state of New Jersey to raise their four children. But Hawai’i and Punahou were never far from Carter’s mind and heart, and their home is decorated with remembrances of her roots.

Following her recent retirement from the investment firm Neuberger Berman, Carter spent more than a month back in the Islands in May and June 2021, in conjunction with Punahou Reunion events. Serendipitously, she was able to rent the house where her parents met, which was two doors from the house she grew up in, to host a revolving parade of family and friends.

The daughter of an architect, Carter loves the way Punahou’s newer K – 8 buildings and the School’s
historic structures complement each other. Visiting the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community brought her back to her first year at Punahou in fourth grade, and she was pleased that the banyan tree and Barwick Field remain a part of the Junior School experience.

Carter began swimming competitively in the fourth grade, and she has fond memories of being part of the Punahou swim team. She treasured the camaraderie of the team and believes swimming taught her the importance of working both within a group and individually. She also reminisces about hours spent at the Lily Pond, dancing hula, playing music, attending assemblies, Chapel, canteens and pep rallies, and even eating rice and gravy for lunch.

“My dad came to Hawai‘i in 1939. My mom arrived in 1944, and they met here.” Carter and her two siblings all attended Punahou. “I’m grateful that my parents had the means to send me to Punahou, and I have wanted to do what I could so that others could benefit from the Punahou experience,” she said.

In honor of their parents, Carter established the William and Helen Pruyn Memorial Financial Aid Fund. “I always want to contribute to financial aid – that’s No. 1. But at the same time, I also want to ask Punahou what is really important to the School at the moment,” she said.

As a result, Carter and Jim have also supported the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5 and are looking ahead with a pledge to the renovation of the Academy Learning Commons. “I have so many memories – academics, nature, athletics, so many activities and opportunities, and a culture of inclusiveness,” Carter said, “And I feel thankful to have had these experiences.”

Yet, what she most appreciates are the underlying Punahou values she learned. She is impressed with today’s admission policies and the School’s focus on diversity and inclusion, which she remembers in her own experience. She believes these values ground her and shaped her life in college and throughout her career. “Life throws you curve balls all the time, but Punahou really prepared me for life.”

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