“The object of the Harvard Club of Hawaiʻi as stated in its constitution is ‘to extend the influence of Harvard University in Hawaiʻi and to foster closer relations between the Harvard men in Hawaiʻi and other Harvard Alumni.’”
“Toward carrying out the program involved, the question of assisting worthy young men financially in going to Harvard was brought up …”
“… and after a full discussion it was ‘Voted that it be the policy of the Club to help boys to go to Harvard; that one boy be helped each year by a loan of an amount not to exceed $200 per year’”.
“AK Hanchett, a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, now a senior in Oʻahu College, was chosen as the first recipient.” (Harvard Graduates’ Magazine, 1907)
Born in Lihuʻe, Kauai, November 16, 1885, Alsoberry Kaumualiʻi Hanchett was the son of Salem Panole Hanchett and Julia Malaea (Palaile) Hanchett.
His grandfather, Salem Hanchett of Massachusetts, went to sea as a teenager aboard a Pacific whaler, and settled on Kauai during the reign of King Kaumualiʻi; he married Aluhua Aka, a descendent of Kaumualiʻi.
In 1848, he was granted citizenship in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, and seven years afterward, he obtained a license to operate a Wailua River ferry at a time when no bridges spanned the river. (Soboleski)
AK Hanchett received his early education in Honolulu at the Kamehameha. Following his graduation from Kamehameha, he went on to excel at Oʻahu College. President Arthur F Griffiths noted:
“Hanchett is a part Hawaiian of the best type. He is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and of Oahu College. He is steady, reliable and conscientious. As a student, he has good ability which compares with the best”.
Hanchett applied for Harvard in the spring of 1907 with strong letters of support from President Arthur F Griffiths of Oʻahu College and President Perley Horne of the Kamehameha Schools. (Aki; OHA)
He received an AB degree at Harvard University in 1911, and, continuing his studies in the medical college of the same institution, earned his MD degree in 1914.
“This Hawaiian boy will graduate in this coming June, and will intern for two years at one of the Famous Hospitals of America to advance his abilities in the medical field, and at the completion of his stay at the Hospital, then he will select where he will practice his calling.”
“We hope that he will come back to Hawaiʻi nei to practice this greatest of occupations in which he trained, and be the first Hawaiian to practice medicine in here in Hawaiʻi.” (Ka Hoku o Hawaii, June 21, 1914)
“(I)n an examination of the medical students in Boston, in order to enter one of the Hospitals of the City, and from amongst a 100 students, the Hawaiian boy ranked 3rd …”
“… and because this Hawaiian Boy wanted to once again test his competence, his Medical abilities were tested once again at a big Hospital in Providence in the State of Rhode Island, and what was revealed in that examination was that amongst 50 students who took the test, to the Hawaii boy went ‘Number One.’” (Ka Hoku o Hawaii, June 21, 1914)
Dr Hanchett abbreviated his name to A Kaumu, discovering that Alsoberry Kaumualiʻi was altogether too long for a doctor’s shingle. (Episcopal Church)
During World War I, Major Hanchett served in the Medical Corps at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter, and later entered private practice with Dr Pekelo in an office on the corner of Beretania and Punchbowl.
Hanchett and Mary Hazel McGuire – a nurse at Queens Hospital – were married in Honolulu in 1917 and had eight children. (Soboleski)
Alsoberry Kaumualiʻi Hanchett, was the first person of Hawaiian ancestry to graduate from Harvard Medical College; the first doctor of Hawaiian descent to practice in the Islands; first City-County physician in Honolulu and first doctor at the Shingle Memorial Hospital, Molokai. (Episcopal Church)