History of the College
Leeward Community College opened its doors in the fall of 1968 as the first college in the University of Hawai'i system to be developed without a connection to a pre-existing technical school. The college’s guiding principle was “innovation” – a readiness to depart from tradition in order to bring the best of current educational practices to our students.
In 1968, Leonard T. Tuthill, our first Provost, welcomed over 1,640 students into humble old buildings that once housed Pearl City Kai Elementary School. That first semester witnessed more than twice the anticipated number of students ready to explore the “Community College” experience.
In the spring of 1969, the College moved to its current location near the geographic center of O'ahu, between Pearl City and Waipahu. Since those beginnings in inauspicious temporary facilities, enrollment in credit classes has grown to place the College among the largest community colleges in the State. Approximately 7,000 students are regularly enrolled each semester in liberal arts and career and technical education programs offered on campus, at off-campus locations in the community, and through distance-education courses.
Take a step back in time and view a pictorial retrospective of the College, created in 2008 in celebration of our 40th Anniversary.