Kaʻōleiokū: strong leadership; promoting healthy learning environments

The name translates to “the beloved offspring of Kū.” He was the first born son of Kamehameha I and Kānekapōlei, the sacred wife of Kalaniʻōpuʻu [while he was ruling over Hawaiʻi], uncle of Kamehameha I. Raised by his mother and stepfather, he joined forces with his half brothers, Keōuakūʻahuʻula and Kīwalaʻō, to fight against Kamehameha’s armies. In 1791 he was chosen by Keōuakūʻahuʻula to command one of two double canoes sailing to Kawaihae at the invitation of Kamehameha to take part in the dedication of Puʻukoholā heiau. Keōua and seven companions in the first canoe were speared to death by Kamehameha’s warriors led by Keʻeaumoku before they could reach the shore. Kaʻōleiokū and his companions in the second canoe were saved from death when Kamehameha called out, “He shall not die; he is the child of my youth.” Kaʻōleiokū eventually reconciled with his father and fought with him in his campaigns on Oʻahu and Maui.

He and his first wife, Keōuawahine, were the parents of Pauahi I, who became the mother of Ruth Keʻelikōlani. By his second wife, Luahine or Kahailiopua, he became the father of Konia, mother of Bernice Pauahi. He held various government positions until his death in Honolulu on February 19, 1818, a year before the death of Kamehameha.

The suggested name for the administration building, Kaʻōleiokū, gave prominence to his genealogy as Kamehameha’s first-born and reflected strong leadership characteristics and demonstrated his support to Kamehameha throughout his lifetime. Thus the incentive here was to bring honor to this name and allow the Middle School administration, staff, and students to build capacity within the school by demonstrating good, positive leadership skills and promoting a healthy learning environment.
Kū Kilakila ʻO Kamehameha, Donald D. Kilolani Mitchell, Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, 1993.

Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii, Revised Edition, S. M. Kamakau, Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, 1992.