The Falcons

How did we become the Falcons? Pretty simple, there was a vote. In 1972 when sports started at Wallace O’Neal Day School, Headmaster Bob Haarlow asked the students what they would like for a team name. It was narrowed down to The Minutemen and The Falcons. There was a vote among the student body and The Falcons won.

A falcon drawing was located among articles and documents dated 1977/1978. It is the oldest image located so far. When the yearbook changed its name from “Sunshine” to “The Talon” for the 1978 issue we see the first official image.

Twenty years later in 1998 the Falcon logo that we use today appeared. Its beak was enhanced later in 2015.

Durward Grady, founding parent, trustee and present O’Neal grandparent has been responsible for many achievements at O’Neal, and a notable one was bringing the School’s famous falcon sculpture to campus. With connections at the University of Miami, Mr. Grady commissioned the metal falcon to be fabricated by students. To save on expenses, Mr. Grady made a “round trip” drive to Miami and back to deliver the sculpture. Once standing in the front entrance of Taws Hall and Tate Gymnasium, the sculpture was refurbished and relocated to a more visible location on campus. On Founder’s Day in 2011 celebrating O’Neal’s 40th birthday, the falcon sculpture was dedicated to Durward Grady.

A school with very strong athletic success through the years, the team name “Falcons” is doing us well and has withstood the test of time. Imagine… The O’Neal Minutemen.

Falcons Fly to 50

O’Neal is excited to share its history with readers as it quickly nears its 50th year in educating and cultivating youth in becoming successful, effective contributors to communities large and small. The official celebration starts school year 2021/2022. This weekly blog will focus on different aspects of the School as it grew through the years. With every entry, there is just as much more information to gather than what is already written. Readers who have been a part of the O’Neal community are encouraged to reach out and share their O’Neal memories. It is with great hope that the efforts of many in contributing information and photography can be published into a book for reflection and reference as the School continues to prosper for the next 50 years.

Please send your memoirs and photos to:
The O’Neal School
c/o Kathy Taylor, Director of Communications
P.O. Box 290
Southern Pines, NC 28388

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