Hockaday Kicks Off Centennial With Parade, Show, Fireworks

Wednesday commenced a year of celebration for the Hockaday School; the girls-only private school turned 100. The Daisies are kicking off the year in style with a parade, concert, and fireworks Saturday.

“We are in the middle of a capital campaign, as well as having events and projects to celebrate our centennial,” said Holly Hook, the centennial director. “They are happening on a parallel track. It’s all intertwined.”

Hockaday first opened its doors on Sept. 25, 1913, to a class of 10 girls. One hundred years later, there are more than a thousand girls on campus.

The parade will feature relatives of founder Ela Hockaday, members of the Hockaday Neighborhood Association, as well as past and present students. Meredith Mihalopoulos, a senior and second-generation Hockaday student, will be riding in it with her sister and mother. For her, attending Hockaday was “a family affair.”

“I am very proud of all the progress we have made so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the progress we will make in the future,” Mihalopoulos said. “I am so fortunate to be a part of this celebration and be a part of all of these festivities.”

After the parade, there will be an open mike for students to perform, as well as food trucks, bounce houses, and Ela Hockaday’s favorite exercise, the “Indian Club,” which she taught her founding class of students.

“It basically looks like you are an air traffic controller with bowling pins,” Hook said. “It’s an antiquated form of exercise that Mrs. Hockaday wanted the girls to do. She believed, ahead of their times, that girls should have strong bodies as well as strong minds.”

Other traditions being revived for the celebration are outdated uniforms, which will be display by Daisies in a fashion show, and a time capsule to be sealed with items chosen by the current students.

Saturday is just the first of many centennial celebrations; there are 18 planned throughout the year. Some of them include the Centennial Day of Service (Nov. 13), when students will spend the day volunteering at worthy Dallas nonprofits such as Educational First Steps, Goodwill, and the North Texas Food Bank. On April 12, a gala themed “The Party of the Century” will take place as a capstone celebration.

With a year of celebrations ahead of them, it sounds like the Daises will be dining on birthday cake quite frequently.

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