The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Prestigious Hockaday School Turns 100

graduation rings.jpg
Past and present Hockadaisies receiving their class rings. Photo courtesy of

By the fourth grade, Alison Ku recalls doing experiments in The Hockaday School’s science lab. She was also, at that young age, writing, composing and producing the school musical with her classmates.

“It was experiences like those that provided the well-rounded and comprehensive education that I’ll always be indebted to Hockaday for,” said Ku, 20, who graduated in 2011 and is now a student at Georgetown University.

The Hockaday School, a private, all-girls, college-preparatory boarding and day school in Dallas is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. To celebrate Hockaday’s distinguished history, and shape the next 100 years of education, the school has launched a Centennial Campaign to raise $100 million.

“The campaign looks to continue the visionary work that is Hockaday’s hallmark through continued innovation, adaptability and cross-disciplinary teaching,” said Melissa Allan, Director of Communications and Marketing at the school.

The campaign focuses on four main priorities: faculty support, financial sustainability, constructing a centennial center, and renovating the current residence buildings. The campaign is just $40 million from its goal.

The Woman Behind the Legacy

One of the largest all girls’ schools in the nation began with a telegram to a small farm in South Texas. Ela Hockaday was taking a break from teaching to tend to her farm when she was persuaded by a group of Dallas businessmen to head an academic institution for their daughters. Five days after accepting the offer, Miss Hockaday’s School for Girls was opened in a small house on Dallas’ Haskell Avenue with a class size of 10.


In 1961, the school moved to its present location on Welch Road in residential North Dallas. Sitting on more than 100 acres, it has an enrollment today of 1,087 students, including 75 boarding students.


Miss Hockaday is noted for preparing women to achieve through a rigorous, classical education that was unusual for girls’ schools at the time.


“Our girls are taught and encouraged to be creative, innovative problem-solvers who can lead with confidence in a complex and changing world,” said Kim Wargo, Eugene McDermott Headmistress of The Hockaday School.

Instilled Values

Some of Ku’s fondest memories happened outside the classroom, when she got to spend time with friends and classmates and share life with them. From class trips to Williamsburg, to the fourth grade Opera and eighth grade musical, to passing friends between classes and hanging out in the hallways, Hockaday fostered an environment that made it comfortable for girls to build close relationships with their peers and learn how to develop friendships.

“Hockaday afforded us the opportunities to grow as young adults in ways that extended beyond the classroom,” said Ku.

In the Classroom

It’s a great honor and responsibility to lead Hockaday in its centennial year, Wargo said, but that does not distract her from what matters most at Hockaday and what excites her for the school year.

“What matters at Hockaday is the good work we do together,” she said. “Good work is about finding joy in the pursuit of something meaningful in which you feel competent and engaged.”

Teachers inspire and challenge students to be leaders and thinkers, say students. Hockaday legends such as Ed Long, who has taught History of Art and Music to every Hockaday student for 42 generations and counting, want their students to enjoy the process of learning and growing.

“Mr. Long didn’t just teach us, but had a way of inspiring us through his amazing stories, passion and extensive knowledge of art and music history,” said Alex Foote, 20, who graduated in 2011 and now attends Harvard University.

This past year, the school hired videographers to record Long’s lectures so his knowledge and stories can educate future students of Hockaday when he is no longer teaching.

Defining a Hockadaisy

Hockadaisies, as they are known, are women who have a thirst for learning, say students and teachers. They are loving and loyal friends who know the true value of building relationships. They benefit their communities through service and instruction, and their loyalty displayed to Hockaday is unmatched.

“I’m not quite sure how to put into words what I think it means to be a Hockadaisy, but there is just an intimate connection to the school that develops during your time there, and I know that if I ever run into another Daisy, there will be a sort of acceptance or understanding in place,” said Ku.

There is a quick and sure-fire way to spot a Hockadaisy. Look down at her finger.

“Receiving your class ring is such an honor that Hockaday grads never take it off,” said Foote.

Alexa Malevitis is a junior at Southern Methodist University, double majoring in journalism and fashion media, and minoring in advertising. She can be reached at [email protected].

The Hockaday School sits on more than 100 acres on Welch Road in residential North Dallas. Photo courtesy of


More to Discover