On March 23, 2002, Miss Harker’s alumna Gloria Brown sat down for an interview at a Harker gala event. Brown, a Palo Alto resident, graduated from Miss Harker’s School as a high school senior in 1945. The interview was held to honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of Miss Harker’s School in 1902.
Brown answered questions about life in the Palo Alto boarding school during World War II. She described how Miss Sara Harker went shopping armed with over 50 ration books. There was little help in the kitchen and on the grounds, but the small, devoted staff worked very hard to make life comfortable for the students. Brown spoke about the war efforts of Miss Sara and the students. For her efforts, Miss Harker received a letter from General Douglas MacArthur, thanking the headmistress for her work to improve the life for underprivileged children of Japanese leper parents.
Brown went on to describe the delightful Sunday dinners and the parties with boys (from schools approved by Miss Sara, of course). She spoke about her admiration for Sara Harker, calling her the “most influential person” in her life. This, in spite of nearly being expelled for tossing her Latin book out of the bus window as she left for summer vacation.
Brown closed the interview with an explanation of the school’s motto: “To serve, not to be served,” and a recital of the school’s anthem. She also told the appreciative audience that she “will always be a Harker girl.”