Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie

Melody Kapilialoha

William S. Richardson School of Law

Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie’s nominations by community and university colleagues, and current and former students who seek to emulate and honor her legacy, make evident that she has set a distinguished standard and defined a path towards an integration of academic and local community. Professor MacKenzie leaves a legacy to Hawai’i as a driving creative force and undisputed expert in the distinct area of Native Hawaiian law by illuminating culture as a living embodiment of how Maoli culture provides the very foundation for Hawai’i law. Through her establishment of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, innumerable opportunities for students to participate in community-based learning, service and research have been generated. A former student now working in the community writes, “Soft-spoken and humble, she paved the way for myself and my colleagues to continue our work in the name of lāhui.” One of the directors of Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation writes that MacKenzie is “a pono life personified, whose footsteps are guiding and inspiring new generations of attorneys, educators, elected officials, jurists, and community leaders to serve and seek justice always and for everyone.”

William S. Richardson School of Law