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BYU Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus, A School With The 'Ohana Spirit

Updated on April 3, 2013

'Ohana Means Family

Located on the north shore of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, in the city of Laie, is the beautiful campus of Brigham Young University Hawaii. It is situated between the breathtaking green mountains and the crystal blue coastal shoreline, looking out over the ocean, it offers a view that is truly a sight to behold.

With an enrollment of 2,400 students representing 70 different countries, BYUH is one of the most culturally diverse educational institutions in the world. Approximately two-thirds of the students enrolled speak two or more languages. This four-year undergraduate institution offers a curriculum that is first rate, with programs in business, education, computers and technology, the sciences and fine arts.


Brigham Young University Hawaii

A Day in the Life of a BYU Hawaii Student

A senior from the Philippines hosts a tour of the BYU-Hawaii campus. Get to know the campus through the eyes of a student. See the Hales (dorms), cafeteria, student jobs, library and more.

BYU Hawaii is great for Surfing too!

BYU Hawaii good for Swimming!

BUYH History

On January 26, 1865 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, purchased a plantation on the island of Oahu, in the area of Laie that covered more than 6,000 acres. This property which housed more than a thousand head of livestock and a large frame house, was the future home of the BYU Hawaii campus.

In 1921, while on an around-the-world tour of the LDS missions, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder David O. McKay and Elder Hugh J. Cannon attended a flag raising ceremony in the city of Laie. It was here that soon to be prophet, David O. McKay envisioned the educational center that would become the university campus.

It wasn't until about thirty years later that the ground breaking ceremony for the campus itself saw the fulfillment of the earlier vision. It was during this ceremony that the prophet pronounced this "far-reaching glimpse" of the impact the school would have when he stated:

"We dedicate our actions in this service unto thee and unto thy glory and to the salvation of the children of men, that this college, and the temple, and the town of Laie may become a missionary factor, influencing not thousands, not tens of thousands, but millions of people who will come seeking to know what this town and it's significance are."

BYUH Groundbreaking Ceremony

President David O. McKay
President David O. McKay

Tahitian Dancing at the Night Show at the PCC

Polynesian Cultural Center

One of the unique features particular to BYU-Hawaii is the partnership it shares with the adjoining Polynesian Cultural Center, one of Hawaii's most successful paid-admission visitor attractions.

The PCC founded by The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, gives the students who attend the college the opportunity to work and supplement their educational and living expenses. The PCC itself employs over 700 BYUH students every year. Since the opening of the center over 15,000 students have worked there as they attended the university. The PCC has also provided nearly $150 million in total financial support to the college and its students. This educational/buisiness relationship, between the university and the PCC, offers a way and means for students who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to receive an education at the university level this great possibility.

Polynesian Cultural Center Samoa

Awhina I The Kaupapa - Wahine Toa

Night Show at the PCC

BYU Hawaii a multi-cultural experience

Multicultural Environment

The mission of the BYU-Hawaii institution focuses on educating the minds, hearts and character of their students. It provides opportunities for development of leadership skills in a harmonious multicultural environment and helps to prepare its students to embrace one another's differences and cling to each others similarities.

As President 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."

Academics are a priority for the students who attend the university.

The academic standards of the university are held in high regard. The U.S. News and World Report's annual "best colleges" survey has consistently ranked the campus in the top tier among "comprehensive" undergraduate institutions in the western U.S. The family or ‘Ohana spirit that is felt throughout the campus is one that is never to be forgotten.

I love BYUH!

I have had a personal interest in this beautiful university as my son has attended it for the past three years and has been culturally immersed in the "Aloha" spirit. The opportunities that he has been given could never have been matched anywhere else. He has come to love the Polynesian culture and appreciate the diversity of all people everywhere. I know that BYUH has changed his life for the better, and will have made a difference for generations to come. It truly is an institution that promotes world peace and multicultural understanding.

Brigham Young University Hawaii

This is outside of my son's housing.
This is outside of my son's housing.


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    • profile image

      Wang Junsheng 6 years ago

      It's a great school. I studied on the campus from 1991-1992 as a visiting student from mainland China. I still miss great teachers like Isi Kongaiga, Mark James, Fan Whittiker, President Goo, President Niu, Student adviser Oler, and others. I love the campus and friends I made there.

    • profile image

      savali apineru 6 years ago

      hi im frome new zealand and i would love to enroll in BYUH because i hear all about what you guys do at BYUH and it make me really whant to enroll.....and plus tht you guys have what i whant to study and the sport that i want to play....and hopely one day ill will be studing at BYUH when i had a chance to join BYUH...and the good thing is that my church is helping me out to get there for me nw all i do is pray and save up so i can have enouth to enroll to university i hear:D

    • profile image

      mabel 7 years ago

      Hi,I'm from philippines I also like too enroll in BYU.Because,according to my research BYU is a best university in the world.Aside of that it is a university for LATTER-DAY SAINTS.I'm in 3rd year high school and my wish someday that I will school in BYU.

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 10 years ago from California


      Hope you enjoyed the HUB. I too, love Laie. I think that side of the island is less crowded and more relaxing.

    • starrwriter profile image

      starrwriter 10 years ago from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

      I am glad i found this hub of yours.  I have been to Hawaii four times and I always stay at a ocean-side condo in Laie.  You can see the Temple from our door.  I am looking forward to reading this.

      Thank you,


    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 10 years ago from California


      Thanks for adding to my HUB with your comments. You are absolutely right, the people do go back to their native countries and make a difference in any way they can. xxoo

    • profile image

      JDM 10 years ago

      BYUH is an amazing institution that not only benefits the individual that recieves an education there, but the many nations in which its students come from. The students are encouraged to go back to their native country and help it succeed as best they can. And what an awesome place to go to school, it pretty much doesn't get any better.....