Ke Ali‘i Pauahi was the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, and was a woman of intelligence, compassion, and foresight who understood that her kuleana (responsibility) as a Hawaiian Ali‘i (royal) was to serve her people.
At the time of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi’s birth, the Native Hawaiian population was about 124,000, and when she passed in 1883, only 44,000 Hawaiians remained. She witnessed the rapid decline of her people, the Hawaiian language, culture, and traditions. She believed education would offer her people hope and a brighter future, and she dedicated her vast estate to found the Kamehameha Schools.
Her estate comprised some 300,000 acres, inherited from her cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani. As a result, her estate became the most prominent private landholding in the kingdom, roughly nine percent of the island chain’s total acreage.
Today, her estate has grown to include over 363,800 acres of Hawai‘i real estate and a $10.4 billion globally-diversified investment portfolio with a total value of $15.1 billion as of June 30, 2022.
We celebrate 135 years of her legacy that supports an educational system that serves over 100,000 Hawai‘i learners annually.
Birth of King Kamehameha I, who united the islands under one rule
Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was born
Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani passes, leaving over 300,000 acres of land to her cousin Bernice Pauahi Bishop making her the largest landholder in Hawaii
Princess Pauahi dies at age 53. Article 13 of her will establishes the Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha School for Boys opens with 37 students on Kaiwi‘ula campus, where the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum stands today
The Kamehameha School for Girls opens
The campus moves to Kapālama ma‘uka
Kamehameha Schools’ first investment in early education programs
Kamehameha opens its first preschool campuses on O‘ahu
KS Maui campus opens
KS Hawaiʻi campus opens
619,885 Native Hawaiians (282,447 24 years old and younger)
135 years of Pauahi’s legacy
“Kua ana nō i ka lā‘au o ke ali‘i, a no‘ono‘o aku ana nō i nā lā‘au ‘ōpiopio no ke ali‘i ‘ōpio, ‘oiai, a hala aku ho‘i kākou, a laila, ‘a‘ole ho‘i lākou e lilo i po‘e ali‘i ‘ilihune, ma muli o ko kākou ho‘omaopopo ‘ole i kēia kumu waiwai e pono ai nā ali‘i ‘ōpio no ka manawa e hiki mai ana.”
“When cutting the wood for the ali‘i, be thinking of the young trees for the young ali‘i. After we have gone, they will not be poor because we did not understand that this source of wealth will benefit the young ali‘i in the future.”
- King Kamehameha IGet in touch