HONOLULU (AP) – A non-Native Hawaiian student has been admitted to attend Kamehameha Schools this fall.
The schools’ board of trustees and chief executive officer made the announcement in a letter posted on the website of the institution dedicated to educating Hawaiian children.
The unidentified student was among some 45 students invited from a wait list for admission to grades 10 through 12, the letter said.
Kamehameha has a century-old Native Hawaiian-preference admissions policy.
”Non-Hawaiian applicants who meet our admissions criteria can be admitted if vacancies exist after the preference is applied,” the officials said. ”We will continue to offer admissions preference to Hawaiians because it is the most direct way to fulfill our mission of improving the capability and well-being of Hawaiians through education.”
The student follows in the footsteps of Kalani Rosell, a non-Native Hawaiian who graduated from Kamehameha’s Maui campus in 2007. He was admitted in 2002 after a list of Native Hawaiian students had been exhausted.
In 2003, another non-Native Hawaiian student was allowed to attend 7th grade on the school’s Kapalama campus following a lawsuit.
Kamehameha also has a campus on the Big Island. The campus that the newest non-Native student will attend wasn’t named.
Kamehameha Schools was established in 1883 by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop to educate Hawaiian children. The largest private landowner in Hawaii, the trust has said that as of November, the value of its investments totaled about $7.7 billion.
Roy Benham, a past president of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, said Friday that the school probably didn’t have a choice under its admissions policy but to accept the non-Native Hawaiian student.
”I think they did the right thing and they didn’t deny admission to any Hawaiian applicants,” he said