Nancy Thropp ’57 Jackson Skelsey and her older brother, James (Jim) Thropp Jr. ’52 began their Punahou journey in 1943, during the tumultuous years of World War II; when the campus was occupied by the Army and classes were held off-site. This unorthodox beginning did not diminish their School experience though, as the siblings’ loyalty to the Buff ’n Blue was demonstrated throughout the rest of their lives, overshadowed only by their love and care for one another.
Nancy was a member of the Ka Punahou student newspaper staff while in school and, after attending the Pratt Institute, she was a Honolulu artist and supporter of local arts. She made her first philanthropic contribution to Punahou as a high school senior, and continued to donate to the School faithfully for her entire life.
Jim was a member of the rifle team and band while at Punahou, and was an extremely loyal donor, giving back to Punahou nearly every year after graduation. After attending undergraduate school in California and graduate school at UH Hilo, Jim spent his career as an agronomist on local sugar plantations, as well as investing in the stock market as a hobby.
Before Jim passed away in 2018, he made a decision to create a trust that would care for both his cherished sister as well as his beloved School. The parameters of the trust he created meant he was able to provide money for Nancy each year that she outlived him. Additionally, upon Nancy’s passing, Jim specified that the remaining trust assets would be donated to Punahou School to support an endowed fund named the James P. D. Thropp Jr. ’52 Legacy Fund. When Nancy passed away in 2022, she left an additional sum of money above and beyond Jim’s original trust that was specifically dedicated to support financial aid for families with siblings at Punahou, named the Nancy Thropp ’57 Skelsey Endowed Financial Aid Fund.
Combined, these beautiful gifts from Nancy and Jim add up to more than $5 million that will be invested in perpetuity to benefit the students of Punahou School, creating a lasting family legacy for the Thropp siblings.
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