HONOLULU (KHON2) — From time to time, we all get asked, eh, what school you went?”
That may be an easy question to answer, but how great of a response would it be if you were to add a little history to the name of your school?
On this week’s segment of Aloha Authentic, we bring the spotlight on one of the most independent schools in America.
In the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which lies in the moku of Kona here on Oʻahu, stands the home of the Raiders.
We are speaking of ʻIolani School.
Once repping the colors of blue and white, ʻIolani School is now adorned with red, black, and white after joining the interscholastic league.
Founded in 1863 as St. Alban’s College, the once missionary all-boys school has evolved over time, from its name to its location.
After expanding to Lāhainā on Maui with a school known as Lāhainālalo or Luaʻehu College, both schools merged back on Oʻahu.
From Pauoa Valley, the school moved to Nuʻuanu and changed their name to ʻIolani College.
The nameʻIolani means “Heavenly hawk,” but is also attributed to King Kamehameha IV who born as Alexander Liholiho ʻIolani and who was husband to Queen Emma.
Alexander Liholiho ascended the throne to the Hawaiian Kingdom as king following the passing of his predecessor, King Kamehameha III.
Between the King and Queen Emma, their legacies expand beyond ʻIolani School.
Together with his Queen, the royal couple is also credited for raising the money needed to create the now-Queen’s Medical Center while Queen Emma founded St. Andrew’s Priory for Girls, which is now known as St. Andrew’s School.
Along with their son Prince Albert, the king and queen would retreat to their summer home in Nuʻuanu.
It’s now a museum known as Queen Emma’s Summer Palace.
But for ʻIolani School, it was by 1953 when the entire school had moved to its new Ala Wai location.
And with coeducation, beginning in 1979, ʻIolani School has remained there ever since continuing the legacy of Hawaiʻi’s royalty.
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