History: 125 Years

Founded in 1893, Harker's journey from Manzanita Hall in Palo Alto to The Harker School of today in San Jose has been momentous. We are honored to have educated the students of the Valley for 125 years and will proudly continue our unwavering commitment to excellence for generations to come.

Harker's 125 Years in the Valley

The 2018-19 school year marked the completion of our historic 125th year (that's the quasquicentennial, if you were wondering), and we celebrated throughout the year with skits, events, memory-sharing and more. The 125th anniversary's theme was "Reflect | Inspire | Achieve," a triptych designed to honor the school's past, present and future. This website was created in honor of our 125th anniversary year to share more about the people and programs that have made The Harker School what it is today. For more information, contact


Harker's 125 Years of History in Words, Photos and Videos

In the late 1880s, the town of Palo Alto had only about 1,400 residents. It would be nearly another 100 years before the term “Silicon Valley” was coined and the area became known as an innovation hub. In 1890, Congress had just established Yosemite as the nation’s third national park and Stanford University was in its infancy.

However, the need for students who were well prepared to go on to Stanford and other top universities was evident. So, in 1893 at the behest of Stanford’s first president, The Harker School was founded by Frank Cramer as Manzanita Hall, a college preparatory school for boys. Miss Harker’s School for Girls, founded by Catherine Harker, followed soon after in 1902.

Read the Full Story

Then Soccer

'Then and Now' Photo Gallery

It's always fun to compare photos of similar things from different eras. Each photo in this gallery has a slider tool so you can slowly transition from old photo to new.

View Gallery

Harker School Song

Historic Video Channel

While we wish we had videos going back to 1893, we do have lots of fun clips from the modern era. Check out these short clips of performances, historic moments, and so much more.

Watch Videos

David Starr Jordan

125 Fun Facts

In honor of our 125th anniversary celebration year in 2018-19 we created these 125 fun facts. Browse through and discover some fun and fascinating things about our history.

Browse Our 125 Facts

Boarding program brochure

Milestones Timeline

This timeline captures the chronological milestones of the school's locations, names and leaders.

Visit Our Timeline

Smiling Grad

Harker Magazine 125th Commemorative Issue

We published a commemorative issue for our 125th anniversary celebration year in 2018-19. Enjoy this special issue of the Harker Magazine. Contact us if you would like a copy!

Read the issue one of two ways:

Online Print Issue Harker News Online Feed

1980 Computers

Share Your Memories

Do you have memories or artifacts from the Miss Harker's School, Palo Alto Military Academy, Harker Academy or The Harker School? We'd love to hear about them!

Submit Your Memories

125th Anniversary Events

Harker Picnic

125th Anniversary Celebration Weekend | Oct. 5-7, 2018

Harker is having a special celebratory weekend and alumni are especially encouraged to attend.

  • Fri., Oct. 5 is Homecoming. Cheer on the Eagles as they compete against Oakland's Madison Park Academy, and enjoy all the festivities, like tailgating, student performances, Homecoming Court and more.
  • Saturday, Oct. 6 will be an alumni recognition event - keep checking back for details.
  • Sunday, Oct. 7 is the 68th annual Harker Family & Alumni Picnic, held at the middle school campus. Enjoy all your favorites: the student show, carnival games and auction.

Visit the Picnic Website


125th Anniversary Gala | Sat., Feb. 23, 2019

Come celebrate our birthday at this special gala, to be held on the upper school campus. Tickets go on sale in November 2018. For information contact

Visit the Gala Website