About
History
Centennial Celebration
Hockaday by Decade

1940s

Hockaday’s first Board of Trustees formed

The Board of Trustees has played such an integral part in the success of the school over the years, it is hard to imagine a time without them. Establishing this governance structure ensured that the school would have a group dedicated to keeping Hockaday viable for the future.

In Service to British Children

Miss Hockaday exemplified her commitment to the Cornerstones of Courtesy and Character when she enlisted the help of families in the Dallas community to open thier homes to children from war-torn England. Miss Hockaday managed to find 50 families that were willing to host children. One British family took her up on the offer; and the Pateman family sent their two children to live with the Leake family in Dallas. 

Ela Hockaday Gives the Hockaday School to its Alumnae and to the Citizens of Dallas

In a touching letter in which Miss Hockaday refers to the Alumnae as “My precious ones…” she gives the school over to them. This is a heartfelt look into how deeply Miss Hockaday felt about the school and more importantly, her girls.

Hockaday Participates in the War Effort

Because the United States had entered World War II, many schools, including Hockaday, put full effort into community service. Courses in civil defense were introduced, war bond drives were organized, and the Junior College presented the Red Cross with a station wagon for their blood donor service.

Another Record-Breaking Year for Enrollment, New Buildings, and Plans for a New Campus.

Hockaday opened its doors to a record 183 students with 108 boarders and 75 day students. This new growth also included three new buildings on the Greenville Avenue campus. The September Fourcastgave the details of these new buildings.

“These three new buildings are prefabricated ones, which look very nice on such a well-developed campus. One is behind the main building. It will be used for Miss Newby’s office and for a lay room for the day students. All the girls will appreciate this building, for we will be allowed to eat lunch there. The lay house has been redecorated. There is pretty new wallpaper, and the kitchen has been enlarged. What wonderful dances we are going to have there this year!” – from the September 20, 1944 issue of theFourcast

This was also the year that planning began for the new Hockaday campus that was to be built on land that was given to Hockaday just off Beltline Road.

“There will be room in which to expand, some broad acres over which blows a breeze not contaminated by traffic or charged with street noises. This time Hockaday will be moved to the country. It will be far enough out so that it will not again be engulfed in a few years. Acres and acres of good rolling Texas farmland that can be beautified with buildings and trees and shrubs will be purchased for the new location. Perhaps even a pretty creek with some fine picnic grounds with old pecan and walnut trees will be purchased. Think how many of our daughters and granddaughters will benefit by this new institution!”

Green Gates Farm

Miss Hockaday loved farming and owned a farm near White Rock Lake called Green Gates Farm. The farm was purchased during World War II and was used for recreation and educational classes in animal husbandry. Miss Hockaday would bring students to the farm for horseback riding, picnics, bike rides, and raising the many animals on the farm. Students would work to raise and take care of chickens, turkeys, pigs, and sheep. This was not only great education for the girls, but also had a practical use for the school during war rationing. Green Gates Farm helped to supplement the school's rations for milk, cheese and other items produced by the farm. Miss Hockaday even celebrated her birthdays on the farm.

Miss Hockaday's Retirement

This transition came with much forethought and wisdom on the part of Miss Hockaday and the Board of Trustees. In her retirement speech, Miss Hockaday reflected on the thirty-three years since establishing the School and her vision for its future.

“In the early days I dreamed my dreams alone. Now I dream them with the trustees and the alumnae sharing my visions and the responsibility of bringing them to actuality," she said.

Hobart F. Mossman was named President of the School.

During this time, there was an annual ski trip for the senior class. In March 1947, the seniors took a trip to Sun Valley, Utah. One of the girls published her diary detailing the trip, from the late night chat on the train ride to the trepidation felt by those who were new to skiing. These ski trips required a new ski-appropriate uniform which included Hockaday green ski pants that were cinched at the waist and ankle.

March 28, 1947 "Dear Diary, Here we are, on our way to Sun Valley. Our send-off at the station was wonderful! We staggered on to the train with our arms piled high with boxes of candy. Families' "last minute instructions" were completely forgotten as soon as we settled down. Decks of cards were pulled out and violent games of bridge ensued throughout the afternoon...After dinner we crawled into someone's lower berth and had a gab-fest enlivened, of course, by remarks from the upper across the aisle."

Dads' Night

For many, Dads' Night is a much-anticipated event that celebrates that special relationship between a father and daughter. The first Dads' Day was organized by Miss Grow at Miss Hockaday's request. 

"Miss Hockaday had to go out of town, and was in charge of the first Dads' Day and before she left she said, 'Miss Grow, think of something to honor the dads-they ought to be honored. I was just frantic! When I asked someone what I should do, they said, 'Feed 'em!'' 

So she did. The first Dads' Day was held in 1940, and who but Miss Grow would think of having the daughters, at a given signal "crown" the fathers with royal crowns. The first Dads' Days were very formal-one was even held in the Crystal Ballroom in the Baker Hotel. But in the war years they became less formal and have remained so ever since.

Student Clubs

Student clubs have always been a part of school life. Over the years the formula has remained the same: a girl or group of girls find a common interest and create an organization around that interest. During the 1949 school year, the new clubs established included the Overseas Club, the Typing Club, the Sewing Club, Dramatic Club, Archery Club, Tumbling Club, Music Appreciation Club, Painting and Drawing Club, and the Arts and Crafts Club.


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