Hockaday School

By: Mary Anne Norman

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1995

The Hockaday School, in Dallas, is a private girls' college-preparatory institution encompassing grades preschool through twelve. In 1913 Ela Hockaday established the school to "provide Dallas and the Southwest with an outstanding college preparatory school for girls," with training based on "the traditional four cornerstones of living-scholarship, courtesy, athletics, and character." In 1942 she donated the school to Dallas, and it is now a nonprofit corporation run by a board of trustees who represent alumnae, parents, and community members. A member of the National Association for Independent Schools, Hockaday is accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The physical plant includes eleven buildings situated on a 100-acre tract worth an estimated $25 million. The library contains 50,000 volumes. Other campus facilities include a computer center, piano and voice studios, a greenhouse, a swimming pool, a 600-seat auditorium, tennis courts, and a golf driving range. Former Texas governor William Clements donated funds for the Rita Crocker Clements Lecture Hall, a new academic complex named in honor of his wife, a Hockaday graduate.

In 1990 the staff consisted of 100 full-time instructors and twenty part-time instructors. In the 1992–93 school year, 989 girls attended Hockaday. Several foreign countries and a dozen states were represented among members of the student body. Admission to Hockaday is based on school records, results of aptitude and achievement tests, recommendations, medical certification, and personal interviews. Some scholarship funds are available, based on need and academic merit. In addition to such traditional subjects as math, science, and physical education, Hockaday offers computer science beginning in preschool and Spanish and French beginning in grade two. The Upper School also has courses in third-world history, multimedia production, oral interpretation, and photography. Extracurricular events include a newspaper, a yearbook, a literary magazine, and both local and field trips as far away as Williamsburg, Virginia. After graduation, an extremely high percentage of Hockaday girls matriculate into the nation's universities. In 1983, for example, 96 percent of the graduating class entered over forty-five colleges and universities. St. Mark's School of Texas and Hockaday maintain a cooperative arrangement whereby Hockaday girls can select German, psychology, astronomy, or geology at St. Mark's. Hockaday reciprocates by opening some eight to ten courses on its campus to St. Mark's boys. In addition to opening their classrooms to one another respectively, St. Mark's and Hockaday cooperate in all dramatic and choral activities. Two alumnae memorial fellowship awards bring outstanding Americans to live on campus for several days. These persons live with the students, lecture to them, and visit informally as occasion allows. Among the recent recipients of these awards are Anne Armstrong, Nancy Dickerson, S. I. Hayakawa, and Art Buchwald.

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Private Independent Schools (Wallingford, Connecticut: Bunting and Lyon, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Education
  • Private Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Women


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Mary Anne Norman, “Hockaday School,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hockaday-school.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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