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Paly Centennial

Paly celebrated 100 years on its current campus during the 2018/2019 school year. To view the student produced Paly History Videos link here:

Our community-focused “Paly Then and Now” themed events brought together young and old, students and alumni, Paly neighbors and Paly staff, District and civic leaders.

In August we kicked off the year by eating BBQ together and cheered along with the Paly band and cheerleaders.

In October we joined the Palo Alto Historical Association in a reenactment of the “March to Paly,” which marked the first day of school in 1918. We dedicated plaques to revered basketball coach Clem Wiser, Paly founder Anna Zschokke, and landscape architect Mary Gordon. A packed Performing Arts Center enjoyed faculty and student performances, alumni speeches, and the premier of the choral composition Hope is a Thing With Feathers by Christopher Tin (Paly 94). Paly student leaders received proclamations from Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian (Paly 70) and Assembly member Marc Berman (Paly 98).

In March many Paly alumni participated in Paly’s annual Career Speaker Series. The Centennial Committee helped sponsor the Youth Speaks Out Black Scholars United and the LatinX Club mural project.

Group photo

Photo: David Hickey

We ended the year with a Paly Community Open House where student guides led public tours of Paly’s historic and new buildings and Canopy led tours of Paly’s arboretum. We also celebrated the Campanile’s 100th birthday. Throughout the year more than 1,000 participants enjoyed many pieces of birthday cake.

Paly Facilities Open House included student-led tours of our new and historic buildings, Canopy-led tours of Paly’s arboretum, food prepared by Paly’s Culinary Arts students, and birthday cake to honor The Campanile’s 100th birthday.

October 7th 2018: Coach Clem Wiser Dedication; March to Paly: A Centennial Reenactment; Centennial Celebration.

Paly Voice Centennial March Recap:

The day of celebrations started at 10:00am with a dedication to long-time Paly teacher, coach and mentor Clem Wiser. At 1:00pm the Palo Alto Historical Association and Paly conducted an historical reenactment of the march that took place on the first day of school in 1918 when students, staff and community members marched from the old Paly campus on Channing Street to the current Paly site. After the march everyone enjoyed a program of student performances, recognitions, and speeches by local and national dignitaries.

August 23rd - Welcome to Paly’s Centennial Kick-off BBQ was a Big Success! Over 700 alumni, students, staff, and community members celebrated Paly’s 100th birthday with great food and entertainment.

The Paly Alumni webpage has more information about alumni activities.

Contact Mary Ellen Bena at with your questions, suggestions and ideas.

Go Vikings!