The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
A day with Ms. Day
Sarah Moskowitz and Melinda HuMay 19, 2024

How did you get your start in social impact? Day: Out of college, I decided to do a year in a program called The Jesuit Volunteer Corps. It...

Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lang Cooper and Mary Bradley SutherlandMay 17, 2024

What initially interested you in beauty pageants? Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls...

Branching Out During Break
Jessica Boll, Web Editor in Chief • May 16, 2024

Instead of lazily lounging by the pool this summer, taking advantage of an academic break is the best usage of the months when we don't have...

Senior Splash Day
Senior Splash Day
May 13, 2024

Hockaday’s 110th commencement

A deep look into the traditional graduation
1999 This satin dress with a square neck stands out before the turn of the century.

On May 18, there will be 1,800 chairs in neat rows across Graduation Terrace for Hockaday’s 110th Commencement, a day that will be filled with tears of happiness, sadness and everything in between.  

Behind the Scenes 

Activities and Events Coordinator Tiffany Rubi ‘88 coordinates every detail, large and small, for Commencement.  

In the fall, Rubi deals with the little things like reaching out to vendors to reserve 2,500 chairs for outside, 1,500 for inside and chairs for seniors. Now, Rubi must ensure that all the vendors are set and ready.  

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“I met with the woman who does flowers for the baskets,” Rubi said. “She arranges a lot of those beforehand and brings them down to Hicks, and girls can take them when they leave.” 

In addition, Rubi gets help from other staff in planning the event. 

“I get a lot of the things ordered like rentals, and then Jason Wagner, the audio visual coordinator, handles vendors who do the recording and sound,” Rubi said.   

One thing that Rubi finds difficult is the seating for the families.  Each graduate is only allowed six seats for guests in reserved seating section, but there is plenty of open seating.  

“The class last year was 128 girls, and this year there are also 128 girls, so getting them on stage under the pergola is fine and works with the chairs,” Rubi said.   

Dresses and hats, oh my!  

Mothers of graduates donate their time to help plan Commencement. 

Julie Little, mother of Gracie Little, is the lead for Form IV. In addition, Nicole Small ‘91, mother of Julia Small, and Carrie Phaneuf ‘91, mother of Estee Phaneuf, are in charge of graduation dresses and hats.  

All their jobs span the year and one of their central goals is to preside over helping girls pick the dress and hats in the fall.  

“For Hockaday commencement, our Senior Mom Committee helps provide the class with a white dress, specially chosen by the senior class, and a coordinating hat similar to that worn by Hockaday graduates for many years.” Little said.  

That process began May 2023 with eight to ten girls trying on dresses at Stardust in Plano. The selection is narrowed to around ten options and submitted for administrative review.  The top five choices are presented in the fall style show. Each dress is worn by three different girls to see which dress works best for everyone. 

“We are looking for a dress that everyone will feel good about regardless of whether you are tall, short, etc,” Phaneuf said. “That is what the girls are considering and what we encourage them to look at because not every dress is good for all people.” 

At the style show, each senior casts their vote for their top pick. 

“It’s really fun that everybody gets to have a contribution on what the dress looks like,” Small said.  

In addition to the long white dresses, pastel garden hats are a staple for Hockaday’s graduation.  

“We contacted several reputable hat vendors to provide a hat for every senior with the exception of those opting to wear a legacy hat (sister/mother/aunt) or a borrowed hat,” Little said. “The vendor sent sample hats to try on for size and color choice.  Girls were measured for the appropriate coordinating dress size and hat size that fit most comfortably.” 

Seniors are also allowed to pick whichever color they would like to wear, out of the colors offered, and there is no limit on how many of each color is worn. Each senior is responsible for decorating their hat with flowers.  

“While we don’t recommend a particular florist, we do share a list of local florists that Hockaday families have used and reported being pleased with in the past,” Little said.   

The floral design is unrestricted and totally individual. 

“Girls enjoy individualizing their own hats according to their preference and style.  However, due to the size and structure of the hat, a similar amount of flowers is typically used, as to make the hat look festive without weighing it down too much.” Little said. 

A small hat for a big legacy  

A conversation with Ashley Francis 

How many people have worn the hat before you? 

“Seven family members have worn the graduation hat before me.” 

Why do you want to wear this hat for your graduation? 

“I really want to wear this hat because it holds such a strong legacy that I’m so glad to be a part of.” 

How do you plan on decorating your hat with flowers? 

“I am planning on having yellow, white, and purple flowers on my hat. I think those colors go very well with the vintage yellow.”  

A sneak-peak of seniors’ hats  

Amalia Evans 

  • “My hat is pink because it’s my sister’s, and I am putting roses and daisies on my hat.” 

Linda Benites  

  • “My hat is purple and I’m putting a combination of pink roses, blue and purple, and white hydrangeas. I think it’s going to look very pretty! 

Evelyn Fox 

  • “My hat is blue because I like the color. For flowers, I picked purple, green and yellow.” 


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About the Contributor
Elle Myers
Elle Myers, Photo, Graphics & Castoff Editor