Changing the Name of Smith Office


The Smith office is named after William O. Smith, an American missionary who helped overthrow the Hawaiian government.

There are a lot of controversies surrounding the topic of changing the name of the Smith office at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. The current name, Smith, is named after William O. Smith, who was raised in Koloa, Kauaʻi. Though Smith wrote Ke Aliʻi Pauahi’s willwhich established Kamehameha Schools and the Bishop Estatehe also played a major role in the Coup D’etat in 1893, which illegally and prejudicially proclaimed the crown lands, and wrongfully overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani and the entire Hawaiian Kingdom.

Seven years ago, a group of Kamehameha students took it upon themselves to make a change. Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha is the given name of Queen Liliʻuokalani. Students petitioned to rename the W.O. Smith office “Kamakaʻeha” to highlight the importance of the Hawaiian monarch.

Though the original petition was incomplete, two students took up the petition and are in the process of getting more followers, connecting with staff and students, and getting in touch with the administration. Myself and Chanel Matsumoto, two seniors at the Kapālama campus, have challenged ourselves to take up an “External Conflict” project, where our passion and drive for activism are put to the test as we choose an issue and arrive at a “shared” position. As a means to create positive, uplifting change in our community, Matsumoto and I chose to bring attention to the seven-year-old petition for our AP English Literature and Comparative project. We plan to bring this petition to the Kamehameha administration to lawfully change the name of the Smith office to Kamaka’eha.