The Penn Hawaii Club keeps the “Aloha spirit” and island traditions alive here in West Philly, even as they’re hundreds of miles away from the archipelagic U.S. state.
In addition to putting on an annual luau, upperclassmen members each year take freshman to King of Prussia Mall so they can buy some much-needed winter clothes (not necessarily needed back in Hawaii). When May rolls around, parents cross the mainland to “lei” graduates with flora fresh from home. The student pictured at right displayed the custom in 1992. Here, she adorns her cap with a haku lei, and adds a ti leaf lei, along with an orchid lei, atop her Penn gown.
Originally published on November 15, 2007