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 OldLS enable each student to develop to the fullest- academically, morally, emotionally, and physically. The school was NewLS 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 is situated. 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 were donated by 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: The Alma Mater was written in 1975 by a student Terry Simpson.

    Senior Walk: On awards day during the last week of class, the senior class wears their college shirts and parades through the Pre-K and Lower School hallway.

    Maclay Crest: The crest represents the history and values of the school. It contains four quadrants: the Spanish Conquistador Helmet, which represents the heritage of the land the school sits on today and its families; the Flour-de-Lis, which represents our legacy through alumni; the second quadrant's three pillars, which represent the three points of the mission: Each student, healthy Balance, and a Liberal Arts education; and the fourth quadrant’s three pillars, which represent the core values of the Honor Code: Honorable, Respectful, and Accountable.

    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: The name of the mascot for Maclay School.

    Convocation: Opening day ceremony to officially kick-off the first day of school. Seniors are escorted by 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: A ceremony held in the fall where new Upper School students and faculty members, including all freshman, sign the Honor Code Book. The tradition was started in 2000.

    One School One Community: Maclay School’s One School Student-Centered approach to a vertical alignment in philosophy, service, and curriculum.

    Countdown Dinner: Held each year at approximately 100 days before graduation, the seniors enjoy a walk down memory lane that includes visits and stories from current and former faculty members.

    Founders Day: 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.