About
History
Centennial Celebration
Hockaday by Decade

1930s

The Alumnae Association celebrated its tenth anniversary. As a part of this celebration, the alumnae decided to have a portrait painted of Miss Hockaday by Miss Content Johnson. The painting was delivered to the school to be unveiled on Founder’s Day, March 12, 1930. Sadly, the painting was later destroyed in a fire.

Hockaday Junior College Opens 
The start of this new decade brought several challenges for the school as the entire nation was dealing with The Great Depression. For many girls, this meant that once they finished at Hockaday, the option of continuing education was just a dream. To meet the needs of her students, Miss Hockaday decided to open a junior college that was closer to home and a more affordable option than the colleges and universities on the east coast. The first class opened with an enrollment of 15 students and continued to serve the needs of young women for two decades.

December 18, 1932 Herbert Marcus, a Hockaday Trustee, wrote an article for The Dallas Morning Newsabout the educational excellence of the school. In the article, Marcus highlights the 1932 report of College Entrance Examinations Board that of the 50 students from Texas who took the exam, 32 were from Hockaday. This remarkable statistic shows the standard of excellence that is a hallmark of The Hockaday School.

The First Roman Banquet 
Latin class at Hockaday is synonymous with the name of Miss Marguerite Grow. She had long wished to hold a formal Roman Banquet, and the first one was held in 1933. 

Jane Mitchell '37 told the story of the first Roman Banquet in the 25th anniversary book.
"As the guests entered the reception room the men in flowing togas, the women in stolas, and the younger guests in tunics, they were met by 'slaves', who helped them replace their shoes with sandals. Another slave solemnly warned them with the words,Dextro Pede, reminding them to enter the reception room with the right foot first for good luck."

"In the reception room, the guest mingled and greeted each other...then, when everything was ready, the doors to the banqueting hall were thrown open...In this room tables were arranged along the three walls leaving a rectangular space in the center...Each scroll, bearing the name of a guest, designated the places at the tables."

"After the high priestess, Laura Gene Higginbotham, had made the customary offering to Minerva, the patron goddess, the banquet proceeded...The whole banquet was Roman to the smallest detail, literally to the very finger tips, as no knives, forks, spoons, or napkins were allowed. The girls soon discovered that eating string beans and honey with the fingers is a lost art."

The Junior College continued to grow, and in October 1934 the school broke ground on the new Junior College building which was completed later that spring. Over the next year, the program increased by 40 percent, new faculty were hired, and new classes were offered. Five new classes were added for the fall semester in 1934 to include:

“English history, taught by Dr. Fancis Ballard, and American History and archeology by Mr. Vivian. Dr. Hesse is offering a Spanish course dealing with works of contemporary novelists, composition, and conversation, which is to alternate each year with a course including a general survey of Spanish culture and literature.” (Four-cast article, December 13, 1935).

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Visit the Greenville Avenue campus
Although there were many visitors to the campus over the years, this visit by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas is the one that many talk about to this day. In the spring of 1935, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas visited the campus and experienced the famous hospitality of Miss Hockaday. Both Stein and Toklas wrote about their experiences and how much they enjoyed their time with Miss Hockaday and the students at The Hockaday School.

In a cookbook written by Alice B. Toklas is the recipe for Hockaday’s famous corn sticks along with her description of her time at Hockaday. Alice wrote:

"It was a fresh new world. Gertrude Stein became attached to the young students, to Miss Hockaday and the life in Miss Hockaday’s home and on the campus. Miss Hockaday explained that all good Texas food was Virginian. Miss Hockaday’s kitchen was the most beautiful one I have ever seen, all old coppers on the stove and on the walls, with a huge copper hood over the stove. Everything else was modern white enamel."

"The only recipe I carried away with me was for cornsticks, not knowing in my ignorance that a special iron was required in which to bake them. But when we sailed to go back to France in my stateroom one was waiting for me, a proof of Miss Hockaday’s continuing attentiveness. It was my pride and delight in Paris where it was certainly unique. What did the Germans, when they took it in 1944, expect to do with it? And what are they doing with it now?" (pg. 132, Toklas, 1954).

Song Contest - from the "Scope of Heritage" article in the Four-cast December 4, 1961
“A tradition which has somehow been lost is the Song Contest. The Four-cast of 1928 says, 'One of the main events in the history of Hockaday is the annual Song Contest. Throughout the entire fall the classes plan and look forward to the day of the Song Contest. The idea was first thought of by Miss Harrington, and the first contest was held in 1920-21. The next year she incited the classes to a keener competition in creating the best songs. That year the contest was given without either dramatics or costumes. In the year 1924-25 actions and costumes became an important part and awards for those as well as for music and words.'"

Many sports were offered to students during this time. The most popular were field hockey, soccer, and tennis. The fun rivalry between the Green and White teams filled the afternoon hour of recreation in which the girls participated.

“On the afternoon of Thursday, March 8, the girls of Miss Hockaday’s School burst forth at the unusual hour for their afternoon recreation, but the excitement on this day seemed to be more general than usual; and, instead of dispersing to the separate fields, all the girls stayed on the main field...Miss Ryan’s shrill whistle put an end to the wild shouts and exclamations which were filling the air, and there was a scramble for the choice places on either side of the field. The Greens sat on the side by the pit, and the Whites occupied the opposite side...Yes this was the day for the first Green and White hockey game.” (Excerpt from the Fourcast article, May 22, 1934).

The 25th Anniversary of the School
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the School, the alumnae and Miss Trent created the first Hockaday book. Much like the new Centennial Anthology book, the 25th Anniversary book was written by alumnae who recounted the most historically significant aspects of Hockaday History.

Travel Class aboard the torpedoed ship Athenia
As World War II began, Hockaday felt the effects, as the 1939 Travel Class was aboard a torpedoed ship. The students were among the passengers aboard theS.S. Athenia when it was hit. Fortunately, all students returned safely home.

First hispanic student graduates
Irma Salinas Rocha '39 from Mexico was the first hispanic student to graduate from Hockaday.


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