With no local university rivalries or pro sports teams, Hawaii residents are passionate about high school loyalty. But now, a high school that doesn’t even exist is growing alumni, and that’s a first.

Kukui High School is the name given to Steve McGarrett’s alma mater in the new Hawaii Five-O. When the series premiered, some locals sneered at the name, asking why they couldn’t pick a real high school. Oh, come on, even I know the answer to that one. No mainland producer is going to stick a toe into the life and death rivalries on these islands. No, better to make up a name. And “Kukui” sounds Hawaiian and yet is simple enough for non-islanders to pronounce. Most travelers will be familiar with the name from the popular round black nut lei.

Since Monday’s nationwide premier of the pilot, an enterprising group of local professionals has gotten far more creative. They’ve created an online presence for Kukui High School that has many locals playing along, tongue firmly planted in cheek. KHS has a Twitter account and is on Facebook, seeing to make contact with “alunni.” The story is that the administration building burned down, destroying school records. so alumni need to contact KHS to get listed. A webpage carries an online yearbook, and the first entry under “alumni news” is an article celebrating the fact that several KHS alumni have been selected by the governor to head a new crime-fighting task force. It’s absolutely tone-perfect. It sounds exactly like notes in every alumni association newsletter and incorporates all the information disclosed in bits throughout the Hawaii Five-O pilot. All that’s missing is an appeal for donations.

Within hours, many locals had sent photos and a yearbook description of themselves that includes activities and awards we only wish could have existed in high school. That alone has an instant appeal. Who wouldn’t like to re-make a few high school memories? In the KHS yearbook, we can make ourselves into the person we wish had wandered high school hallways, “reimagining” our own experiences.

To paraphrase a line of H5O dialogue: “What kind of alumni are you?” KHS grads: “The new kind.”


  1. Holy Haberdashery Batman @*%*  get the Bat Mobile..we've been summoned
    to help at Kukui High School with their new crime-fighting task force.
    Gosh, I wonder if Bulaia is still class president..he can get ahold of commissioner Gordon and be sure
    Catwoman, Joker and Penquin aren't up to their ole tricks!!!!@@**

  2. LOL that is awesome…Kukui High School!  That will be my new alma mater!
    I missed the pilot of Hawaii 5-0 so I guess I'll have to grab it online.

  3. CBS is doing a rebroadcast of Hawaii Five-0 pilot on Saturday, Sept. 25th, at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT!  I will be watching this winner of a show again tomorrow night.

  4. A friend, Mary Greer, says the Hawaii Five-O quote should go: "What kind of alumni are you guys?" KHS grads "The virtual kind."  🙂  Either way, great fun!

  5. Cindy, From Denver to Hawaii nei, we keep running into each other!  Tanks, eh sistah for da talk story u did for me!
    Tis is one  smart, creative and purely Hawaiian-style way to give aloha to our KHS braddahs who have gone to and are in DA SHOW,… Hawaii Five-0 dat is!  We are Kukui HS ohana. We are nuts!  : ) Garrans ba

  6. hi,im hattori san and my comment is that i didnt know in the show that steve's father was john mcgarret even though it's fiction,that's very interesting. also didnt know chin and steve  graduated from kukui high,that's lol!

    i think gp  aka kono make's a great   addition to the team,she can kick some booty.
    well thank's for your time=O)

  7. I hope Hawaii Five O has the great "Makaha Sons" of Hawaii perform on the show, as they do much around all islands..especially on Oahu, where they live.

  8. I love Hawaii and enjoy watching Hawaii five-0 but…..last weeks show disappointed.  In the police car, he was driving and talking and texting and driving fast.  Then went on a boat and was angry but was drinking beer.  Might be simple things but why have them setting bad examples and it make no point except bad point.

  9. Kukui high alma mater lyrics:
    Kukui High,
    Kukui High
    Raise your nuts up to the sky
    When you grab them sing out strong
    Let the world hear Kukui's song
    Kukui's nuts are big and bold
    They're to love and they're to hold
    Grab your nuts and don't be shy
    (no joke its on youtube sung by jimmy borges)

  10. […] via Hawaii Five-O High School – Kukui High School Hawaii Alumni. […]

  11. I've checked the yearbook site and have found very few alums have signed in.   I think the show is not proving to be as "positive" an influence as we had hoped.
    Too much action and not enough substance in the storylines huh?

  12. People get way too serious about a television show. Why this? Why that? WHY NOT?!
    I like the show and I find their "alumni" recollections absolutely entertaining.
    As for setting bad examples, people shouldn't rely on TV to set examples for their children or anyone for that matter.  Truth is, stuff like that actually happens.  It's not like it caused an increase in that particular kind of activity just because it was shown on TV.
    @Straight Dope — your comment is hilarious!

    By the way, if anyone runs into "Danno", please tell him I love him.  HA!

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