Why We Give: Tom Farrell ’74

Tom Farrell ’74

Tom Farrell ’74 is a Honolulu family law attorney, the Gift Chair for his 50th Reunion in 2024, a Punahou donor – and a newly minted member of Ka Punahou Society. He shares insights on what Punahou means to him and why he supports the School’s important mission:

“I came to Punahou in the middle of my freshman year in 1971, when my dad had just retired from the Air Force. Other than their love and guidance throughout my childhood, sending me to Punahou turned out to be the best gift my parents ever gave me.

I made lifetime friends at Punahou, including my wife Barbara. I got a fabulous education and learned the art of critical thinking. I discovered what I was good at (public speaking, history, the military) and where my talents have yet to be discovered (geometry and gymnastics are two sad examples). Punahou set me on my life’s path.

I’m very grateful for my time there, and I’m lucky my parents had the resources to make it happen. I also think that every child that can be admitted should be able to attend regardless of their parent’s ability to pay. When former President Jim Scott announced that goal early in his tenure, I embraced it. Eventually, I volunteered to be lead for our Class Gift Committee at our 40th, 45th and now 50th reunions. My personal goal is to raise enough for the Class of 1974 Endowed Scholarship Fund to keep one student at Punahou on a full scholarship in perpetuity.

One interesting thing I’ve learned is how estate plans can be used to make a gift to Punahou, while still making provisions for surviving family members. So, in addition to making a regular gift, I’ve taken the plunge and made Punahou a part of my estate plan.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with all my classmates in our 50th Reunion year, and getting our scholarship over the top.”

What is Ka Punahou Society?

Ka Punahou Society is a donor recognition group to thank individuals who have made a gift to Punahou through an estate plan or other forms of deferred giving. Currently, there are 339 KPS members who have confirmed a revocable planned gift that reflects their values and gratitude to Punahou. They enjoy special invitations and recognition throughout the year. Planned gifts make an incredible impact on the future of Punahou, contributing significant and transformational support each year. In the 2023 fiscal year, the School benefitted from 18 estate gifts that totaled nearly $5 million. These gifts will provide financial aid, support faculty professional development and programs such as athletics, and the Kamaola voyaging program, as well as unrestricted support available to underwrite the new Academy Learning Commons. If Punahou is already in your estate plan or if you are interested in learning more about KPS, please contact Carrie Ogami at 808-944-5845 or cogami@punahou.edu.

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