GPS celebrated “100 Years of May Day” on Wednesday, April 30, at the school’s annualMay Day pageant. The event began in simpler form in 1914 and, after a two-year hiatus during World War I, continued in different locales, including Signal Mountain and Jackson Park. Since 1947, May Day has been held on the GPS campus except for two years when moves were necessitated by campus construction.
The sixth grade class, “rats” to their senior “cats,” began a noon festival with a dance presentation, which was followed by an array of lunchtime choices offered for sale by clubs and organizations. The crowd grew as extended family and friends arrived, and promptly at 2:30 p.m., Upper School principal Jessica Good stood before the microphone to introduce the members of the Class of 2014, who dedicated their special day to the memory of longtime headmaster Randy Tucker.
In her opening remarks, Good reflected on the May Day memories of faculty and alumnae. The seniors, in bright spring colored long dresses, were presented in the Smith Courtyard of the school, followed by the introduction of the May Court and the May Queen, senior Jessica Erhart. Members of the Court were Emily Cullum, Maid of Honor; Mary Chandler Gwin, Megan Rohn, Meghna Talluri, and Lucy Whitfield.
Following the senior presentation, the audience enjoyed student-choreographed class dances set to the music of ‘N Sync, the Jackson 5, the Beatles, the Chordettes, and Irene Cara of Flashdance fame. The traditional winding of the blue, yellow, and pink May Poles by members of the sophomore class and the singing of the Alma Mater concluded the event.
Whereas the May Queen in 1914 was chosen because she had the longest hair, today’s queen and court are chosen by the following criteria: Members of the court are representative in the “highest sense” of the ideals of the school, and they are chosen in part because of the positive contributions they make in all areas of school life.