History & Traditions: Celebrating 50 Years
Maclay School was founded in 1968 by a group of parents who wished to provide their children with educational resources that would enable each student to develop to the fullest- academically, morally, emotionally, and physically. The school was named in honor of Alfred Barmore Maclay, Jr., a World War II veteran who died of polio in 1953. His mother, Mrs. Alfred B. Maclay, Sr., was a benefactor and loyal friend of the school. Over the years, family members, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mettler, generously donated the land upon which the school now sits. During Maclay's first year, a nine-member faculty taught grades 1-8. Each year following, one grade level was added until the first class graduated in 1972. Our Kindergarten opened in 1975, and Pre-K began in 1989. Today, Maclay has a student body of about 1,000 students and 100 faculty members. At the end of our 50th year in 2018, our 3000th graduate walked across the commencement stage.
The Mace: The shaft of the mace is crafted from the wood of a 100-year old cherry tree that fell on Welaunee Plantation, a plantation owned by the Mettler family, one of Maclay’s founding families that donated the 100 acres Maclay stands on today. The base of the mace is a silver acorn symbolizing the genesis of education and Maclay’s precious oak tree. The cuff features the name of the school and the founding date 1968. The gemstones that decorate the shaft come from the two class ring companies. The school seal is enameled in our school colors and sits surrounded by palms made of sterling silver to represent the Florida landscape. The silver was donated by founding families, the Langfords, the Subers, the Lines, and the Davenports.
Alma Mater: Maclay student Terry Simpson wrote the Alma Mater in 1975.
Senior Walk: On awards day during the last week of class, the seniors wear their college shirts and parade through the Pre-K and Lower School hallway.
Maclay Crest: The crest represents the history and values of the school. It contains four quadrants, each signifying an important aspect of Maclay. The first quadrant shows the Spanish Conquistador Helmet, which represents the heritage of the land the school sits on today and its families. The second quadrant shows three pillars, which represent the three main points of the school's mission: Each student, healthy Balance, and a Liberal Arts education. The third quadrant shows the Flour-de-Lis, which represents our legacy through alumni. The fourth quadrant shows another three pillars, which represent the core values of the Honor Code: Honor, Respect, and Accountability.
Homecoming Parade: The clubs, sports teams, homecoming court, and alumni join in for the traditional parade on Friday of Homecoming. It begins in front of the Lower School and ends at Webster Gym for the Pep Rally.
Spirit Day Fridays: Students wear their Maclay shirts and sports team jerseys on Fridays.
Rowdy ‘Rauder: This is the name of the mascot for Maclay School.
Convocation: This is the opening day ceremony to officially kick-off the school year. Seniors escort 1st and 2nd graders and sit together in front of the stage.
Honor Code: The Honor Code was created in 2000 by a group of Upper School students and updated in 2015 by student leaders to represent a one school philosophy. The Honor Code reads: I will respect all people and property, I will be honest in all matters and take responsibility for my actions.
Honor Signing: This is a ceremony held in the fall where new Upper School students and faculty members, including all freshman, sign the Honor Code Book. The tradition began in 2000.
One School One Community: This is Maclay School’s One School student-Centered approach to a vertical alignment in philosophy, service, and curriculum.
Countdown Dinner: The Countdown Dinner is held each year approximately 100 days before graduation. At the event, the seniors enjoy a walk down memory lane that includes visits and stories from current and former faculty members.
Founders Day: Founders Day is a day to pause and celebrate the Founding Families who had the vision and talents to create our independent day school in 1968. Usually held in November, Founders Day includes on-campus ceremonies and alumni events all over the country.