The YMCA of Honolulu and the University of Hawai‘i have enjoyed a robust partnership for more than 100 years. In 1908, informal YMCA work began with Bible classes and discussion groups at the University of Hawai‘i, which was then operating as the College in Hawaiʻi in the McKinley High School buildings.
In 1912, the Y followed the newly named College of Hawaii to Manoa and continued its work in Hawai‘i Hall. By 1922, "University YMCA” was formally organized and was one of the largest and most active groups on the University campus. YMCA University activities expanded to include Friendship Clubs, weekly business meetings, a University Night for high school students, employment services and freshman orientations.
In 1932, the Atherton family contributed funds for construction of a three-story cement building at 1810 University Avenue to serve as a “residence for students of moderate means attending the University of Hawaii.” In addition to providing resident rooms, a lobby, dining and reading rooms, the Charles Atherton House (the "Pink Building") also served as a center for University YMCA activities. In 1995, the "next-door" Mary Atherton Richards House, was purchased by the Y, providing more residential and program activity space.
In May 2017, the Atherton Y property was sold to the University of Hawaii Foundation and today, the Atherton Y "has returned home" and is located in the Queen Lili’uokalani Center for Student Services building on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (“UH”) campus, where we continue to serve not only students on campus, but students of all ages and families throughout our island.
Who we are
Throughout its storied history, the Atherton YMCA has served Hawai'i's college students and the greater community through its residence hall, young adult programs and myriad of service projects. Currently, our service work is through teen and young adult programs. At Atherton we provide a variety of programs that help youth learn about and enroll in college, help college students develop their career goals and skill sets, and help Hawai`i at large by leveraging the students time, talent, and willingness to serve to make a positive difference in our communities.
But we are just one branch of the YMCA of Honolulu. Check out our online interactive display in celebration of the YMCA of Honolulu's 150 years of service to the community
150th Interactive Website
What We Do
At the Y, our goal is to
bring about meaningful change in individuals and communities. We
measure the success of our cause by how well we engage communities in
our three areas of focus: Healthy Living, Youth Development, and Social
At the Atherton YMCA, we take part in the YMCA of Honolulu's mission by developing young adults into cause-driven leaders who are of service to their community. Our young adult volunteers devote their time to being of service to others, have the courage to go beyond their comfort zones, and think forward to being ready for a fruitful career.