Recognizing the need for an independent, nonsectarian liberal arts college in Honolulu, four prominent and public-spirited citizens -- Eureka Forbes, Paul C.T. Loo, Elizabeth W. Kellerman, and The Reverend Edmond Walker -- applied for a charter of incorporation for a not-for-profit corporation to be called Hawai'i Pacific College. The state of Hawai'i granted a charter of incorporation to Hawai'i Pacific on September 17, 1965.
One year later, in September 1966, Honolulu Christian College merged with Hawai'i Pacific College, and a new charter was granted by the state of Hawai'i.
In 1967, Dr. James L. Meader became Hawai'i Pacific College's first president. President Meader, in consultation with community leaders, developed a comprehensive educational program to meet various higher education needs for the state of Hawai'i.
When Dr. Meader retired on June 30, 1968, the Board of Trustees elected The Reverend George A. Warmer as Hawai'i Pacific's second President. Under President Warmer's leadership, the College implemented academic programs in the liberal arts and cooperative education.
In 1972, Hawai'i 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 Hawai'i 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 Satellite Programs, administering off-campus instruction on various military installations on O'ahu.
President Warmer retired in 1976, and Chatt G. Wright became Hawai'i Pacific's third president. Under President Wright's leadership, Hawai'i Pacific continued to expand and develop throughout the 1980s, and in 1990 became Hawai'i Pacific University (HPU). This achievement of university status was made possible by the successful launch of graduate degree programs: a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program in 1986, a Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.) program in 1989, and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management in 1991.
In 1978, HPU first ventured into intercollegiate athletics with the formation of the men’s basketball team. Now competing in the Pacific West Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Sea Warrior athletic teams are recognized as some of the finest in the nation.
In 1992, Hawai'i Loa College, a small, independent liberal arts college located on the windward side of O'ahu, merged with Hawai'i Pacific University. This historic merger brought together the strength of two academically strong institutions, and helped to expand Hawai'i Pacific University's role as a leader in higher education for the state of Hawai'i and the Pacific Basin.
In 1993, HPU captured Hawai‘i’s first and only NAIA national championship in men’s basketball.
In 2003, the Oceanic Institute became an affiliate of Hawai‘i Pacific University. The Oceanic Institute is a 56-acre aquaculture research facility at Makapu‘u Point; undergraduate and graduate students benefit from the research and internship opportunities available there.
In 2003, the HPU Cheer Program won its first Division II National Championship Title and has won a national title for the past ten consecutive years. The HPU Dance Team won their first national title in 2004 and has won national titles for a total of eight years.
In 2004, the HPU International Vocal Ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut, performing Morten Lauriden’s Lux Aeterna and O Magnum Mysterium.
On June 2, 2008, HPU welcomed ELS Language Centers (ELS), the international leader in academic English-language preparation, onto campus. ELS provides intensive English training, semi-intensive English training and American Explorer program on HPU’s downtown Honolulu campus.
In 2008, the HPU Chamber Orchestra and International Vocal Ensemble performed a concert tour in China, visiting Beijing and Xi’an.
In 2010, the Women’s Softball team won the National Championship for NCAA Division II.
In March 2010, Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Board of Trustees announced the formal creation of a search committee that was responsible for helping select the school’s next president. The appointment of the search committee followed the announcement by HPU President Chatt G. Wright that he was retiring from his position on June 30, 2011.
In January 2011, Hawai'i Pacific University's Board of Trustees has named Dr. Geoffrey Bannister as HPU's next president, effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Bannister was selected from an impressive slate of finalists after an expansive national search. Dr. Bannister comes to HPU with extensive experience in higher education, having served as the 17th president of Butler University, Indianapolis, for 12 years, among other executive positions. For more information on HPU's next president, please click here.