Hackley School: Did You Know?

Ice rinks, horses, first ladies, and magic squares. Learn more about Hackley’s campus and history.

Hackley: Did you know?

Lights, camera, action! 

Hackley has been featured in three movies: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1983); Presumed Innocent (1990), starring Harrison Ford; Admission (2013), starring Tina Fey.

Hackley has also been the filming location for an unidentified student film starring TikTok star Axel Webber. Find out more and see Hackley’s campus and several students on his TikTok Page here, here, and here.

Short Tread 

Ever wonder why the steps in the Admissions Hallway by the Lindsay Room were so small and short? On the second floor above the Admissions Hallway was Mrs. Hackley’s apartment. As Mrs. Hackley grew older, the stairs became more of a challenge. Taking this in mind, the tread of the staircase was designed to accommodate her.

Hackley Hometowns; Postcards from… Slap Shots on Campus

Students and faculty join together on the hilltop from a whopping 94 different cities, villages, and towns across multiple states. (To put this into perspective, Westchester County alone has 48 total, with six cities, 19 towns, and 23 villages!)

Slap Shots on Campus 

Clark Oval once harbored Hackley’s ice skating rink, where the hockey team would hold their practices during the 20s, 30s, and early 40s

A Visit from a First Lady 

In the late 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt ate dinner in the Hackley dining hall and was served by students. As a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and first Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, Mrs. Roosevelt was an integral part of the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). She visited Hackley while in Westchester to promote the Articles of the UDHR.

A Visit from a President  

In March 1991, well before he was elected as president, Barack Obama spoke at Hackley as one of the lecturers in the Forbes Lecture series. Read all about it here

The Vagabond Library

The Upper School art studio, inhabited currently by Art teacher Mr. Cice was once home to the Gage Memorial Library. The Admissions hallway in Minot Savage (the oldest building on campus) was used as the library in the early 1900s.

Hilltop Stirrups Model Status 

Hackley’s stable and barn were located across from Clark Oval. Until the late 50s, students could take riding lessons on campus. In the early 70s, the barn burned down. In 2017, the faculty housing unit was constructed where the barn once stood.

Model Status 

High fashion companies Polo Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers have done multiple catalog shoots on the Hilltop campus. Unfortunately, the leader of the shoot was fired and the drives were wiped, denying anyone access to the records of the shoot. 

The Ancient Magic Square

Myth: the magic square on the quad above admissions was a gift from the class of 1934, explaining the consistent sum of 34 of all diagonal, horizontal, and vertical rows.

Truth: though there is no certain record, it is believed that this square has been in place since Hackley’s time of construction, and the number 34 is “simply” the sum using integers 1-16. Read more about it here. The small and more recent square on campus has row sums of 100 – and it was gifted by the class of 2000.