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William Brewster Oleson

On April 1, 1886, Reverend William Brewster Oleson (born in Portland, Maine) was hired from Hilo Boarding School to become the first principal of the Kamehameha School for Boys. Oleson brought nine of his most prized pupils with him to Kamehameha to create the school’s inaugural class. On October 3, 1887, Kamehameha Schools for Boys opened for students and holds classes.

During a visit to see General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, Hampton’s founder, Oleson picked up the idea of including military training in Kamehameha’s curriculum (1888.) He was disciplinarian, nurse, mother and father to each boy. Oleson wrote the Kamehameha Schools alma mater, “Sons of Hawaiʻi” together with Theodore Richards, who adapted the tune from Yale’s “Wake, Freshman, Wake” and chose the school colors based on Yale school colors (‘Yale Blue’ and white.)

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Early Days at Kamehameha Schools

October 3, 1887 Kamehameha Schools for Boys opens for students and holds classes. By October 12, 37 boys over the age of twelve are enrolled; there were 4 teachers. On November 4 1887, opening day ceremonies take place with much pomp and circumstance.

A year later the Preparatory Department, for boys 6 to 12 years of age, opened in adjacent facilities. In 1894 the Kamehameha School for Girls opened on its own campus nearby.

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Kokokahi

Dr Theodore Richards’ first position in Hawaiʻi was teacher of the first class to graduate from the Kamehameha Schools and also as an instructor of

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Kamehameha Schools

Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani inherited all of the substantial landholdings of the Kamehameha dynasty from her brother, Lot Kapuāiwa; she became the largest landowner in the

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