Centennial Celebration
Hockaday by Decade


By the early 1920’s the original curriculum was expanded. The original classes in mathematics, English, history, Latin, German, and French were augmented with sciences, Bible class, current events, physical education, and singing. These early years became the foundation of many traditions that have continued throughout the years including student government, the adoption of a uniform, Parent’s Day, and much more.

On January 2, 1920, The Alumnae Association was started by the first 45 graduates at the invitation of Miss Hockaday. During the luncheon it was decided that these graduates would organize an Alumnae Association. Maud Emily Tenison Stewart ’16 was the first President of the Alumnae Association.

In the early years of Hockaday the routine of social gatherings usually revolved around a formal dance. On special occasions Miss Hockaday would allow boys on campus for tea, dances, proms, and other rare but highly anticipated activities. In true fashion of the time, each girl attending had a dance card which would be filled in with the names of the boys she would dance with throughout the event.

Hockaday has a long-held tradition of being a school that attracts some of the best and brightest faculty and keeps them for decades. Miss Hockaday originally recruited Miss Sarah Trent and, within the second year, Miss Miriam Morgan to complete the “Triumvirate” as they were nicknamed. By the early 1920’s Hockaday had also recruited the beloved Miss Marguerite Grow as a young and ambitious Latin teacher who made a lasting impression on generations of girls.

The Residence House Council
From the beginning of the boarding department in 1914, there was an informal student government system. It was officially made the residence House Council during the 1921–1922 school year. The formal organization was necessary given the continued growth of the school and boarding department.

“This council was modeled after the one in the Day School. A president is elected from each hall and from among these presidents is selected a president of the House Council. The council meets once a week to discuss the numerous difficulties and questions that arise. When necessary they reform old rules or draw up new ones. They lay matters of special importance before all the girls for their approval or disapproval.” (from the 1923 yearbook)

The First Fourcast
The first school newspaper was printed on February 1, 1923. Each year the school grew, offering more classes and extracurricular activities. On the front page, the editors wrote, "If at any time our paper runs to dullness, it is because our brilliance has been expended in the classroom...if there is a lack of happenings, it is because we have been too busy to make them." The Fourcast sought community support to fund this publication in the form of advertisements for local businesses such as Rainbow Pharmacy, Loyd and Miller Market, and Republic National Bank. Read the first Fourcast.

Athletics were important to Miss Hockaday. By this time the School had established many sports teams that would compete between grade levels. During the 1924–1925 school year, students could choose from bat-ball, tennis, swimming, and hockey.

Song Contest
Much anticipation was given to the Form Song Contest in the early years. This was a chance to showcase what you and your fellow classmates' talents in singing, acting, and overall creativity. Each form would receive a budget of $25 to produce the set design and costumes. Much like the current Form Day, the song contest created a healthy competition among the forms. Although competition was fierce at times, the girls would pull together in true Hockaday fashion. For example, one of the sets was ruined by bad weather the day before the performance and girls from all Forms stepped in to help them rebuild it before the competition that night. If a form did not use the entire budget, the remainder would be donated to a charity.

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.'

By 1928, The Miss Hockaday School for Girls had only been open 15 years, but it had acquired a national reputation as a leading preparatory school for girls. There were more girls passing college entrance examinations from Hockaday than any other school in the southwest or Philadelphia. Teachers were also appointed to serve as committee members for college entrance examinations.

The First Travel Class
Hockaday students have been traveling abroad since the first class embarked for Europe in November 1928. They boarded a train heading east to New York where they sailed aboard the Vulcania and anchored in Gibraltar. From there, the class trekked through Europe over a span of seven months, ending in London before setting sail back to New York. That occasion was recalled in an excerpt from theFourcast featured in the book, Hockaday: The Alumnae Association Observes the School’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, published in 1938. 

"November 5, 1928 - Hockaday’s first travel class was off for Europe, and what an occasion! A picture was snapped of the group just before the boat sailed. All were, of course, dressed in the height of fashion (and what fashion! Low waists, short skirts, and hats that completely hid all hair!) and each girl wore an orchid corsage. Miss McDermott and Miss Edwards were the chaperones, and Martha Moore, Roberta Miller, Mary Kincaid, Florence Cohn, Mary Mosher, Mary Jo Moore, Flora Mae Wagner, and Virginia Browder made up the rest of the party."

The group spent seven months traveling and learning in Europe, spending time in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, and England. The travel classes continued until the beginning of World War II. 

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