The campus of BYU - Hawaii is in Laie, Hawaii on the island of Oahu. It is very near the Polynesian Cultural Center as well as the Laie Hawaii Temple. Laie, Hawaii (population 7,000) is situated 35 miles north of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The 100-acre campus is nestled between lush mountains and ideal shoreline. "BYU-Hawai'i is a four-year undergraduate institution that educates 2,400 students each year from 70 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the U.S. and other parts of the world. Among universities that exclusively offer bachelor degrees, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks BYU-Hawai'i among the best in the western United States."
BYU-Hawaii students are fulfilling a phenomenon envisioned by the university's founder, David O. McKay, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1955, standing in an isolated field that would evolve into the beautiful campus of today, McKay declared: "From this school, I'll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally." BYU-Hawaii began as a two-year church college with 153 students and 20 faculty members. Its first bachelor's degrees were offered in 1961 (BYU-H now offers 24 bachelor's degrees). Construction on the Polynesian Cultural Center began in early 1962, and it was dedicated in late 1963. In September 1991, Peterson's Guide rated BYU-Hawaii among the top 10 universities in the U.S. for a low-cost fully-accredited education. On April 25, 2003, The Polynesian Cultural Center, celebrating its 40th year, welcomed its 30-millionth visitor.
After 50 years of educational excellence, BYU-Hawaii focuses on educating the minds, hearts and character of its students, sharpening their integrity and their desires to serve. The school develops leadership skills in a harmonious multicultural environment, preparing students to embrace the opportunities and challenges of an increasingly global world.
BYU-Hawaii is closely linked with the Polynesian Cultural Center, the number one paid tourist attraction in Hawaii, where over 30-percent of BYU-Hawaii students work as performers, guides, food service personnel, and in a variety of other positions to help pay for their educations. Each year because of the employment the PCC offers, hundreds of students who would ordinarily be unable to afford a college education have that opportunity.
Mission Statement and Goals
Brigham Young University Hawaii—founded by prophets and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—exists to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life and in their efforts to influence the establishment of peace internationally.
BYU-Hawaii seeks to accomplish this by:
- Educating the minds and spirits of students within an intercultural, gospel-centered environment and curriculum that increases faith in God and the Restored Gospel, is intellectually enlarging, is character building, and leads to a life of learning and service.
- Preparing men and women with the intercultural and leadership skills necessary to promote world peace and international brotherhood, to address world problems, and to be a righteous influence in families, professions, civic responsibilities, social affiliations, and the Church.
- Extending the blessings of learning to members of the Church, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.
- Developing friends for the University and the Church.
- Maintaining a commitment to operational efficiency and continuous improvement.
Also see BYU Hawaii