Kulanui (Lit., big school) – University, College; Kulanui o Hawaii Nei … University of Hawai‘i.
“An act to establish the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts of the Territory of Hawai‘i” was passed by the Hawai‘i’s Territorial Legislature and was signed into law by Governor George Carter on March 25th, 1907.
It began as a land-grant college, initiated out of the 1862 US Federal Morrill Act funding for “land grant” colleges. The Morrill Act funded educational institutions by granting federally-controlled land to the states for them to develop or sell to raise funds to establish and endow “land-grant” colleges.
Regular classes began in September 1908 with ten students (five freshmen, five preparatory students) and thirteen faculty members at a temporary Young Street facility in the William Maertens’ house near Thomas Square.
The regents chose the present campus location in lower Mānoa on June 19, 1907. In 1911, the name of the school was changed to the “College of Hawaiʻi.”
In 1912, the college moved to the present Mānoa location (the first permanent building is known today as Hawaiʻi Hall.) The first Commencement was June 3, 1912.
With the addition of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1920, the school became known as the University of Hawaiʻi. The Territorial Normal and Training School (now the College of Education) joined the University in 1931.
The University continued to grow throughout the 1930s. The Oriental Institute, predecessor of the East-West Center, was founded in 1935, bolstering the University’s mounting prominence in Asia-Pacific studies.
UH Mānoa’s School of Law opened in temporary buildings in 1973. The Center for Hawaiian Studies was established in 1977 followed by the School of Architecture in 1980.
The School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology was founded eight years later and in 2005 the John A Burns School of Medicine moved to its present location in Honolulu’s Kakaʻako district.
In the 1950s, after three years of offering UH Extension Division courses at the old Hilo Boarding School, the University of Hawai‘i, Hilo Branch, was approved; the UH Community Colleges system was established in 1964.
Today, the University of Hawai‘i System includes 3 universities (Mānoa, Hilo and West Oʻahu,) 7 community colleges (Kauaʻi, Leeward, Honolulu, Kapiʻolani, Windward, Maui and Hawaiʻi) and community-based learning centers across Hawai‘i.
But this isn’t about that University of Hawai‘i, this is about the first University of Hawai‘i Nei. It was on Maui …
“At the general meeting of the missionaries at Honolulu in June, 1831, the following resolutions were adopted.”
“Resolved, That we consider the education of the natives of these islands generally, and the preparation of some of them in particular for becoming teachers of religion, as holding a place of great importance in our missionary labors.”
“Resolved, That, though we consider the present situation of this people as requiring all our efforts in the way heretofore directed; yet we believe this subject of sufficient importance to demand the exclusive time, attention, and labors of one of our number.”
“Resolved, That, relying on the strength of the Great Head of the Church, we agree to establish a High School, for the purposes above mentioned, and on a plan hereafter to be submitted.”
“Resolved, That the school go into operation as soon as suitable accommodations for the principal and scholars shall be ready; and that we show a plan of the school to the chiefs, and invite them to co-operate with us.”
At that meeting, it was also unanimously resolved to establish a Seminary for raising up teachers and other helpers in the missionary work. The design of the Seminary is more fully expressed in the laws to he as follows:
- To aid the mission in accomplishing the great work for which they were sent hither; that is, to introduce and perpetuate the religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with all its accompanying blessings, civil, literary and religious.
- As a means of accomplishing this great end, it is the design of the Seminary to disseminate sound knowledge throughout the Islands, embracing general literature and the sciences, and whatever may tend to elevate the whole mass oi! the people from their present ignorance and degradation, and cause them to become a thinking, enlightened and virtuous people.
- A more definite object of the Seminary is to train up and qualify good school teachers for their respective duties, to teach them theoretically and practically the best method of communicating instruction to others; together with a knowledge of the arts, usages and habits of civilized life, with all their train of social blessings.
- Another object still more definite and of equal or greater importance is to educate as soon as practicable young men of piety and promising talents and fit them to become preachers of the gospel, to be fellow laborers with us in disseminating the pure religion of Jesus among their dying fellow men. (Dibble)
“Mr. Green, Mr. Richards and Mr. Tinker had gained some proficiency in the Hawaiian language, and were teaching the Hawaiians about the good things they should do in leading their lives. They were teaching in the Hawaiian language, and they got together to discuss the making of a school for the islands, where they could quickly instruct the students. These discussions had been going on for some years, as at their assemblies.”
“They determined that it would be best to build a large school in these islands, and that certain ones of their number would be chosen to teach the students about the right way of living, in both body and spirit. They were taken of the thought that they should build a large school at which they could teach selected people, and prepare them to do this good work throughout the islands. That the students would be the ones to go out and teach other Hawaiians about those things which were good for them.”
“Therefore, they chose the Island of Maui, the site called by the name of auwai o Auwaiawao (the water way-ditch of Auwaiawao), as the place to build the school, and that Andrews would be the teacher there. Andrews began the school. Afterwards each of those who had attended the conference, began to send their students to enter into the school.” (Ka Nonanona, Ianuali 30, 1839; Maly translator)
“Soon after the General Meeting, Mr. Andrews accompanied by his former associate Mr. Richards, commenced the examination of several sites in the neighborhood of Lahaina for the location of the school. They at length fixed upon the present spot, which has since been named by the scholars Lahainaluna or Upper Lahaina.” (Dibble)
On September 5, 1831, classes at the Mission Seminary at Lahainaluna (later known as Lahainaluna) began in thatched huts with 25 Hawaiian young men.
When Lahainaluna Seminary first opened, Lāhainā was the capital of the kingdom of Hawaiʻi, and it was a bustling seaport for the Pacific whaling fleet.
“By the assistance of Messrs. (Sheldon) Dibble, (Ephraim) Clark, (John) Emerson, and others, Lahainaluna has become the ‘University’ of Hawaii nei.” (Missionary Herald)
Lahainaluna Seminary was the first Kulanui of Hawai‘i Nei (University of Hawai‘i).