Hawaii Pacific University

Hawaiʻi Pacific University (HPU) is a private university in downtown Honolulu, Makapuʻu and Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi. Oceanic Institute of HPU, an aquaculture research facility, is located at Makapuʻu Point. HPU is also present on military installations on the island of Oʻahu.

Hawaiʻi Pacific University
Former names
Hawaiʻi Pacific College (1965)
Hawaiʻi Pacific University (1990)
MottoHolomua Me Ka ʻOiaʻiʻo (Hawaiian)
Motto in English
Forward With Truth
TypePrivate university
Established1965; 59 years ago (1965)
Academic affiliation
Endowment$44.4 million (2017)[1]
PresidentJohn Y. Gotanda
Location, ,
United States

21°18′40″N 157°51′32″W / 21.311°N 157.859°W / 21.311; -157.859
CampusUrban and Rural
ColorsBlue and gray[2]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIPacWest
MascotSharky the Shark



HPU was founded in 1965 as Hawaiʻi Pacific College by Paul C.T. Loo, Eureka Forbes, Elizabeth W. Kellerman, and Reverend Edmond Walker. Wanting a private liberal arts college in Honolulu, the four prominent and public-spirited citizens applied for a charter of incorporation for a not-for-profit corporation to be called Hawaiʻi Pacific College. The state of Hawaiʻi granted a charter of incorporation to Hawaiʻi Pacific on September 17, 1965.[3]

In September 1966, Honolulu Christian College established in 1949 merged into Hawaiʻi Pacific College, and a new charter was granted by the state of Hawaiʻi. In 1967, James L. Meader became Hawaiʻi Pacific College's first president. Meader, in consultation with community leaders, developed a comprehensive educational program.

When President Meader retired on June 30, 1968, the board of trustees elected George A. Warmer as Hawaiʻi Pacific's second president. Under Warmer's leadership, the college implemented academic programs in the liberal arts and cooperative education.

In 1972, Hawaiʻi Pacific College graduated seven students in its first commencement class and in the same year established a School of Business Administration. Chatt G. Wright became the founding dean of Hawaiʻi Pacific's new School of Business Administration.

In 1973, the college received full accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The following years saw the creation of the English Foundations Program, offering instruction to non-native speakers of English, and the Division of Special Programs, administering off-campus instruction on various military installations on Oʻahu.

Warmer retired in 1976, and Chatt G. Wright became Hawaiʻi Pacific's third president. Under his leadership, Hawaiʻi Pacific continued to expand and develop through the 1980s. Augmenting its undergraduate program of baccalaureate and associate degrees, Hawaiʻi Pacific launched a Master of Business Administration program in 1986, a Master of Science in Information Systems program in 1989, and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management in 1991.

Hawaiʻi Pacific became Hawaiʻi Pacific University (HPU) in 1990.

In 1992, Hawaiʻi Loa College, a small, independent, liberal arts college on the windward side of Oʻahu, merged into Hawaiʻi Pacific University.

In 2004, the HPU International Vocal Ensemble made their Carnegie Hall debut where they performed Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna and O Magnum Mysterium.

In 2011, President Chatt G. Wright retired and Geoffrey Bannister became HPU's fourth president.

In January 2013, the Aloha Tower Development Corporation (ATDC) consented to the university's ownership and management of the Aloha Tower Marketplace. The approvals passed by ATDC were essential to Hawaiʻi Pacific's plan to move forward in redeveloping the marketplace into a mixed-use property featuring outstanding student housing, retail and dining businesses, and community gathering spaces.

HPU completed a merger to bring Oceanic Institute formally into the university in January 2014.

In June 2014, HPU held a ceremonial groundbreaking and traditional Hawaiian blessing at Aloha Tower Marketplace, marking the official start of revitalizing this iconic waterfront destination.

The $50 million Aloha Tower Marketplace revitalization project was completed in August 2015, opening to students and the community. Aloha Tower Marketplace serves as an anchor for the university's core downtown Honolulu campus, including a center for higher education and university housing integrated within a community gathering and retail space.

On July 1, 2016, John Yukio Gotanda, took office as Hawaiʻi Pacific University's fifth president.[4] Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, President Gotanda returned to lead HPU.


Aloha Tower Marketplace is home to HPUʻs main campus.

Aloha Tower Marketplace and Downtown Honolulu Campus

Model Progress building, Honolulu Campus

HPU's Aloha Tower Marketplace serves as an anchor for HPU in the downtown area. Aloha Tower Marketplace is a mixed-use facility that includes student housing, HPU's Welcome Center, Learning Commons, Lounge, Student Café, Student Fitness Center, ESports Arena, and a variety of restaurants, businesses, classrooms, and meeting rooms for university and community use. HPU's athletic department is centrally located in Honolulu's business district, and it is a few blocks' walk to the state capitol. HPU's College of Business, which is headquartered in Pioneer Plaza, includes computer based classrooms along with meeting spaces. In 2016, HPU opened its downtown INBRE (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) research labs, providing students with biomedical instrumentation and laboratory facilities.

Former Hawaii Loa College main building

Hawaii Loa Campus

In summer 2024, HPU closed the Hawaii Loa campus, commonly referred to as HLC. The former campus is located eight miles away from the downtown campus, near Castle Junction in Kāneʻohe, on the windward side of the Koʻolau Range. HLC was originally built by Hawaiʻi Loa College, a liberal arts school that was merged into Hawaiʻi Pacific University in 1992. This campus housed the natural sciences, nursing, public health, and social work programs. The name "Hawaii Loa" refers to the Polynesian navigator, Hawaiʻiloa, who is credited in folklore with the discovery of the islands.[5] In 2017, HPU sold the property to Castle Medical Center, but continued to lease the space until 2024.[6][7]

Oceanic Institute


The Oceanic Institute (OI) of HPU is a research facility focused on the advancement of sustainable aquaculture technologies. OI of HPU is located on a 56-acre site at Makapuʻu Point on the windward coast of Oʻahu. OI conducts research, education, and training that focuses on marine aquaculture, aquatic feeds and nutrition, and coastal resource management. In 2013, OI of HPU commissioned a teaching laboratory to complement classroom and conference space at OI of HPU's Ocean Learning Center (OLC). The OLC annex supports biotechnology research and education with two research labs, a teaching lab, and a distance learning center

Military programs


HPU's Military Campus Programs (MCP) operates full-service campuses on Oʻahu's US military bases, including Pearl Harbor, Hickam Air Force Base, Tripler Army Medical Center, Camp H. M. Smith, Schofield Barracks, and Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii.[8][9][10]



Hawaiʻi Pacific University is made up of the following colleges: the College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, Graduate College of Health Sciences, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies. HPU offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in each of its colleges and schools.

The university also has an extensive distance learning and online-based platform for many of its programs.[11] HPU also has an extensive Study Abroad and Student Exchange Program.[12]

The student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1.[13]

Hawaiʻi Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and received a reaffirmation of its accreditation in 2016, extending to 2022. The School of Education has received accreditation for its B.Ed. and M.Ed. degree programs by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The Nursing Program's BSN and MSN degrees are approved by the Hawaiʻi Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Social Work Program's BSW and MSW degrees are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.[14]

Notable faculty




The university's athletic teams are called the Sharks. They compete in the Pacific West Conference as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II.[15] Hawaiʻi Pacific University's first venture into intercollegiate athletics came with the formation of the men's basketball team. The university previously competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics before joining the NCAA in the mid-1990s.

Notable alumni



  1. ^ "Hawaii Pacific University". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  2. ^ Hawaii Pacific University Visual Language. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "HPU History". Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "John Y. Gotanda Assumes Role As President of HPU". Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Hawaii Loa College catalog 1977-78, p. 6
  6. ^ https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34247451/castle-medical-center-finalizes-purchase-of-the-hawaii-pacific-university-windward-campus-for-future-expansion-and-services/
  7. ^ https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2024/04/10/state-eyes-vacant-windward-oahu-campus-new-health-department-offices-crisis-center/
  8. ^ "Military Campus Program Locations". Hawaii Pacific University. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Hawaii Pacific University - HPU". The College Board. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "Is Hawaii Pacific University A Military Friendly School?". Military Friendly. April 4, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "Hawaii Pacific University". hpu.edu. Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  12. ^ "Hawaii Pacific University". hpu.edu. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "HPU by the Numbers". hpu.edu. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Accreditations and Memberships". hpu.edu. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  15. ^ [1] Archived September 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Hawaii Pacific University". hpu.edu. Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "Tulsi Gabbard wins seat in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District". Pacific Business News. November 7, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  18. ^ "RMI". rmigovernment.org. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  19. ^ Honolulu Advertiser (August 29, 2008), McCain's VP pick attended Hawaii Pacific College, also available on Google Cache as of November 1, 2008.
  20. ^ "Vivian Wu Biography (1966-)". Filmreference.