Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

'Iolani School Archives: Did You Know?

The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.


The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.

The Youngest Bunch

Kindergarten was introduced with the class of 1960 in school year 1947/48 (Ala Wai Campus).


Beginning in 1917, school colors were blue and white.
This changed to red, black, and white when we joined the Interscholastic League in 1936.

A Fond Farwell

The Class of 1953 was the last to graduate from Nu'uanu Campus.

A New Beginning

The Lower School opened at Ala Wai Campus in November 1946.


The Archives has school newspapers as far back as the 1920s, but no issues from the 1930s.

Stamp of Approval

Elements of the school seal:

  • The Bishop hat, also known as a miter.
  • The keys in school seal are a stylized version of St. Peter's Keys.
  • The cross is a stylized Canterbury Cross representing the Bishop's office of the Anglican Church.

A version of the coat-of-arms design was adopted by the first Anglican Bishop of Hawai'i, Thomas Nettleship Staley.


An Episcopal school from its founding, 'Iolani became an independent school in 1942.

(Click to enlarge clip.)


'Iolani School traces it's beginnings to 1863; but, there were no graduating classes before 1917.

Living At School

'Iolani School had boarders through the 1959/60 school year.
Was exclusively a day school for school years 1960/61 - 2017/18.
The boarding program relaunched in school year 2018/19.

Special Delivery!

In former years, teachers were shipped to O'ahu on Matson liners.


'Iolani was founded as an all boys school. The implementation to coeducation was gradual.

  • Coeducation began in Fall 1979 (school year 1979/80).
  • Grade 7 (class of 1985) is the youngest coeducational grade at onset in SY 1979/80.
  • 1982- two girls appear in the class graduation photograph.
  • 1983- First large group of girls appearing in class graduation photograph.
  • Fall 1985 (SY 1985/86) girls began entering kindergarten.
  • First Daughters of ‘Iolani = class of 1998

Let's play!

The One Team Fieldhouse was completed Summer 2005.
The purpose was to have a covered play area for students.

Inquiring Minds

The Archives' collection of the 'Iolani School Bulletin begins in April 1960.

"Maybe we should save that..."

The school's Archives program was started in the late 1970s by a school librarian.

For More Information

The trivia appearing on this page were taken from various sources in the 'Iolani School Archives. For more information, schedule an appointment to conduct your research. Please note the Archives' open hours on the Welcome tab of this guide.

© The researcher assumes all responsibility for complying with libel, privacy, and copyright laws.