This article originally appeared in the winter 2018 issue of Harker Magazine.
In a departure from its regular programming, this year Harker held its two big fall events on the same weekend and compounded the fun by adding a Grand Reunion gathering for alumni. Homecoming at Saratoga felt all new with the reconfigured campus, which suited the event well.
Festivities started early with the opening of Harker’s Athletic Hall of Fame in the new athletic center’s Krishnamurthi Sports Gallery. Guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks prior to the event, then watched as the drape was pulled, officially opening the Hall of Fame. Harker inducted three student athletes and one super fan (see page 48 for the full story).
Even as the Hall of Fame inductees were accepting their awards, fans were streaming past the windows on their way to Davis Field for the traditional pregame activities of the Eaglets fly-by, lower school cheer squad performance and the tug of war to settle third and fourth places in the spirit competition. A brief moment of silence was held for the passing of Diana Nic ols, former head of school, before the coin toss.
Harker dominated the game against the Lobos of Elsie Allen High School, winning 56-0. Halftime activities included performances by the varsity cheer squad and Varsity Dance Troupe, as well as the tug-off in which the seniors clipped the juniors to take first place in the contest.
Also at halftime, Teja Patil ’02 was given Harker’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for her work as a doctor with the Palo Alto Veterans Administration and her work overseas. The following day, Saturday, was a mixture of delight in seeing old friends and sadness in saying goodbye to Diana Nichols at her memorial. The memorial, attended by about 200, was held in the Rothschild Performing Arts Center, Nichols’ last big project before her death. (See page 33 for more.)
Following the memorial, about 50 alumni from many graduation classes gathered at the upper school to reminisce, nosh, enjoy an adult beverage and reconnect. Brian Yager, head of school, conducted tours of the new buildings and alumni were wowed and a little jealous, according to reports! The event ended early enough for alumni to enjoy an evening on the town.
Sunday was the big day for the whole community, as families poured onto the Blackford campus for one of the last few picnics on that site before the middle school moves to the Union campus in 2022. The 68th Harker Family & Alumni Picnic picked up where the 2016 picnic ended; the 2017 picnic was canceled due to the fires in Napa.
This year’s theme was “Back to the Future,” in keeping with the school’s celebration of its 125th anniversary. As always, the blacktop was jammed with booths offering games of skill, chance and fun. Attendees tried laser tag, a self-propelled ride called The Wizzer, and a trial of skill called The Hoverboard in the multipurpose room, along with various sports-related games. Highlights, as always, included the stage performances by various student groups, along with appearances by various administrators getting into the spirit of the day. Food trucks supplied delicious snacks on the perimeter while food booths in the center of the grounds filled bellies with classic picnic fare. It was a glorious weekend with lots to do for everyone!
Visit news.harker.org for more. To see the skit on our cover, visit https://harker. wistia.com/medias/b9l34c6tam .