An adventurous spirit and appreciation for diverse cultures and art were Diana W. Lockwood’s key driving forces when she founded Pacific Islands Institute, Ltd. in 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
With Masters Degrees in Education and Fine Arts, Diana’s focus was on raising her family, working on commissioned art projects, and as a certified Camp Director, taking on director positions at Kokokahi YWCA, Camp Mokuleia, and Camp Pecusa. In the late 1970s, while teaching a continuing education art class at her alma mater, Hawaii Loa College (HLC), Diana was offered a position with the college’s fledgling Elderhostel, Inc. (Now Road Scholar) (www.roadscholar.org) educational travel program. She successfully grew and developed HLC’s Elderhostel program over the next ten years; however, due to the College’s financial challenges and priorities, she was asked to continue the educational travel program as an outside entity on behalf of the College. The result was the founding of Pacific Islands Institute, Ltd.
Pacific Islands Institute (PII) ran Hawaii Loa College’s Elderhostel/Road Schoar programs until the College merged with Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in 1992 and since has continuously run Elderhostel/Road Schoar educational travel programs in affiliation with HPU. As an independent travel agency and tour operator, PII has expanded its client-base to other affinity groups, typically non-profit organizations, beyond Elderhostel/Road Schoar. While PII is not a non-profit, its philosophy focuses on providing responsible tourism opportunities to interested groups in a way which honors and benefits the communities in which it operates. PII's mission statement
With her involvement as a lay trainer for her community church, Diana was provided an opportunity that took her to Fiji. With creative foresight, she added Fiji as an Elderhostel/Road Schoar travel destination along with Samoa, Tonga in 1989, followed by the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, and a succession of additional Pacific destinations throughout Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
With her passing in 2002, Diana left a legacy in the form of Pacific Islands Institute through which others can experience the unique travel opportunities in Hawaii and other Pacific islands. Under the direction of Diana’s son, Andrew Lockwood, who joined the company in 1992 and became its President in 1999, PII continues to develop and run quality educational group travel programs for visitors throughout Hawaii, Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. His vision and goals continue to drive the company’s mission with the highest standards of quality in education, activities, expert instructors, and excellence in content and cultural and environmental interpretation.
In addition to her work with PII, Diana will be remembered through an endowed scholarship at HPU that she and her husband, Jack Lockwood, established in 1992, now named the Pacific Islands Institute-Diana W. Lockwood Memorial Scholarship. A second scholarship was started in Fiji. Andrew and Karen Lockwood have since added a third PII scholarship – the Pacific Islands Institute Hawaiian Studies Scholarship Fund at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
It is Diana’s focus on education, culture and natural history that is the foundation on which Pacific Islands Institute continues to operate today. PII strives to give people access to unique travel opportunities, to enrich lives through experiential travel, and to encourage global understanding through cultural exchange and appreciation of the natural environment.