Founder’s Day 2011 Marks Start of Festivities Celebrating 125th Anniversary of Kamehameha Schools

Aloha kākou!

On Nov. 4, 1887, on a dusty rocky field in Kalihi, the vision of a Hawaiian princess was born when the Kamehameha School for Boys opened its doors to a handful of Hawaiian students.

Today, Founder’s Day 2011 — the 180th anniversary of the birth of Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop — marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Kamehameha Schools.

The theme of the celebration year, “Ho‘ōla Lāhui, Ho‘oulu Pae ‘Āina — Vibrant People, Thriving Lands,” reflects Pauahi’s enduring legacy. We know that through our mission of enhancing the capability and well-being of Native Hawaiians through education, we are creating a future that is vibrant and thriving for our people.

The 125th year will be observed from Founder’s Day, Dec. 19, 2011 to Founder’s Day, Dec. 19, 2012. Here are some of the commemorative items and activities that will be undertaken by Kamehameha Schools honoring the educational legacy that Pauahi founded.

Wall Calendar: Available for $10 through Kamehameha Publishing at, this commemorative calendar features a collection of photos of Kamehameha Schools’ lands and the educational and conservation programs being supported on those lands. All proceeds will benefit the Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation.
Digital Recording: Scheduled for release in October 2012, the recording will feature a collection of new mele composed by an array of haku mele (composers) honoring Pauahi, and key people and events associated with Kamehameha Schools.
“Our Story” Commemorative Publication: Scheduled for release in December 2012, the book will celebrate Pauahi’s legacy and the efforts being undertaken to ensure a vibrant future for Native Hawaiians as well as the vitality of members of the Kamehameha family who continue to fulfill her vision.

“Ho‘ōla Lāhui, Ho‘oulu Pae ‘Āina — Vibrant People, Thriving Lands” will also be the theme for the Pre-Show and Hō‘ike at Song Contest 2012, where the choral song selections will feature new mele composed in honor of Pauahi. Kamehameha’s participation in both the Kamehameha Day Lei Draping ceremony in June 2012 and Founder’s Day 2012 will also revolve around this theme.

For the latest information on the festivities, Kamehameha parents and alumni may visit

Additionally, this anniversary year provides the opportunity for us to share some of the good stories about Kamehameha’s current educational and stewardship efforts. Told through an external communications campaign, the stories will underscore the theme for our celebration — “Vibrant People, Thriving Lands” — and hopefully move people to support Kamehameha Schools’ commitment to achieve its mission.

Be on the lookout for television and radio messages to begin airing in late January and continue throughout 2012.

From that handful of boys who comprised the first class in 1887, Kamehameha Schools 125 years later has grown into an educational system with three K-12 campuses on three islands, 31 preschool sites located across the state, a strong extension education program, and millions of dollars awarded each year in scholarships and financial aid and going toward supporting Hawaiian students in the public school system.

I’m sure that Pauahi and her husband Charles Reed Bishop would be more than proud of Kamehameha Schools today.

I Mua Kamehameha!

Dee Jay Mailer

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