Why We Give: Todd Iacovelli ’02

Inspired by Making a Difference

Todd Iacovelli is vice president of Wealth Management at UBS in Honolulu and coaches Punahou’s track and cross country teams, along with serving on several nonprofit boards. He is considered one of the best runners to ever come out of Punahou, and was inducted into the Punahou Hall of Fame in 2019. He shares what inspired his gift to the School.

Participating in my 20th Reunion last year was a wonderful experience. So many classmates are now doing inspiring things, and the reunion gave us the chance to learn about those exciting changes. The Alumni House makes it so easy for us to stay in touch, and I love the opportunity to see classmates in the planning process. One benefit of each reunion is the ability to become closer to classmates whom I was not as close with as a student.

As part of my Reunion celebration, I made a five-year pledge to the Punahou Fund. As a donor, my biggest motivator is my mother, Carole Iacovelli. She has retired from Punahou, but served as the head of the Art department as well as director of Luke Center for Public Service. She is the main reason I want to make a difference in the community. My mom wears a bracelet that says, “Do good until the heavens come down to you.” That is the perfect way to consider giving back. The second motivator is the young people I coach at Punahou. I feel inspired by their energy, intelligence and bravery to tackle life as a teenager. 

I chose to give to the Punahou Fund, specifically, as a direct result of Punahou’s pandemic response. Seeing how the School was able to step in with resources for the community made me want to be sure that whatever the School needed, the resources were there to help. I feel lucky to still be a part of campus most of the year as a coach. My experience is much different than someone who only gets to come to campus once every few years. By coaching, I get to see the changes happening regularly. 

One of the biggest changes is the amount of information students can access. Many of the students from my generation had a small number of teachers or coaches who influenced them in a big way. These teachers and coaches truly changed my life. Now, the young people have access and connectivity to so many different people through digital information, and they need to balance these connections and responsibilities. It is amazing, and continually inspires me to see how current students juggle it all!

My Punahou education was my childhood. As the child of a faculty member, I spent more time on campus than the average student. This community has shaped who I am. When life gets busy, I remind myself that my goal is not an easy life, but one that makes a positive impact. That helps when there are not enough hours in the day. The most important part is to have a tribe of family, friends and colleagues who understand and support me. 

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