ST. CECILIA ACADEMY 150 Year Commemoration by St. Cecilia Academy of Nashville, Tennessee

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1 ST. CECILIA ACADEMY 150 Year Commemoration Copyright 2010 by St. Cecilia Academy of Nashville, Tennessee All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or any other except brief quotations in printed review, without the written permission of St. Cecilia Academy, 4210 Harding Road, Nashville, Tennessee Text by Jeanne (Rickey) Chick Schuller 74 Creative Direction by Sister Mary Christopher Weiland, O.P. 73 Book Design by Jadyn Stevens / Eveready Press Printed in the USA ISBN: EVEREADY PRESS 1817 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203

2 T his volume is dedicated to the Honor and Glory of God, the giver of all good things; To the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation in gratitude for 150 years of faithful prayer, loving service and generous sacrifice; To all St. Cecilia Girls ~ those whose lives have been formed by her teaching, those who are now in her care, and those who will in the future come to know her ~ May each be united in grateful certitude that to give the Truth is the highest Charity.

3 A Cultivation of Joy Centennial Jubilee A gnes Eckhardt Nixon 40, Margaret Campion Toleson 42, Frances Sharp Luster 42, Mildred Sharp Coode 42, Sister Jerome Hannifin 45, Joanne Collins Walker 52, Sister Robert Ann Britton 46, Sister Mary Leonard Colorigh 46, Sister Mary George Barrett 47, Sister Regina Craft 52, Catherine Malenosky 55, Barbara Adams Goodrich 56, Sister Mary Louis Baltz 57, Julia Malenosky 57, Sister Mary Kevin Cronin, 58, Sally Lea Nance 59, Ibby Rye Tomlinson 59, Angela Baltz Singer 59 and Amelia Bigger Wallace 59. One only has to hear their names to understand what this era of St. Cecilia Academy accomplished. St. Cecilia Academy in

4 A Cultivation of Joy As the aformentioned women gathered at various times during the summer of 2009 to recall those days, they each displayed a similar expression of joy as they talked about their Alma Mater, and reminiscence about classmates. It is easy to understand how these classes produced the students who penned We Love You, St. Cecilia, - the Alma Mater still sung today. Its words echoing down to us through the generations, remind us that these women, not only with the power of their words, but by the example of their lives, have passed on to us the rich tradition and living heritage of St. Cecilia Academy. Each in her own way, found her vocation that she lives each day with dedication, devotion and energy. Agnes Nixon summarized their sentiments, As I m sure it is for all of you, my memories of St. Cecilia are among the most cherished. Cherished because all the good results that followed are indebted to the superior education I received at that convent academy on that north Nashville hill so long ago. I could go on for pages aboutall I learned there and how it helped me throughout my life. But, above all, the most important lesson the sisters of St. Cecilia taught me is the meaning and magnitude of love. 70

5 THE WAR EFFORT An understanding of the importance of those decades - the 1940s and 1950s is evident in their recollections, but there is also an ease, a grace highlighted by humor and intellect that permeates their telling. World War II came and went during the 1940s. The 1950s were a decade of great change for the school. Sister Robert Ann recalls sitting on the stone wall at the Academy waving to soldiers riding by in green trucks from Ft. Campbell. We d wave and they d toss out little pieces of paper with their names and addresses scribbled on them. Like the soldiers of the Civil War had been to the St. Cecilia students of that era, these young men were the brothers, uncles, cousins and friends of the students of the 40s Sister Mary George recalls having to cut out all the lights sometimes when there would Catholic Students Mission Crusade and Sodality Officers, 1946 be citywide blackouts. The shades would have to be down in preparation for the possibility of bombing raids. Sister Mary Leonard recalls that everybody had a victory garden. We were supposed to grow as much of our own food as we could and we did, right here. At that time, St. Cecilia property went all the way to the Cumberland River. We had our own cows so we had beef as well. St. Cecilia Unit Catholic Students Mission Crusade, St. Cecilia Motherhouse,

6 A Cultivation of Joy Margaret Campion Toleson recounts the loss of her beloved class ring. I gave it to a boy I was going out with who was headed overseas to the war. Well, that ring ended up at the bottom of the ocean. I married someone else before he returned and down it went! The war effort inspired many service projects at St. Cecilia. Through the Catholic Students Mission Crusade, the students supported worldwide Catholic Missionary work, holding school bazaars to support the effort and to help children in China and Africa. In 1944, Peggy Sharp 44 was honored with the CSMC Paladin Jewel Medal for her work. The Junior Red Cross also met on campus and supported the war effort in many ways including teaching the girls to make bandages for the wounded Junior Red Cross 1943

7 THE ALL-GIRL MARCHING BAND In 1942 the St. Cecilia All Girls Marching Band was formed. The school catalogue declared, Membership in the St. Cecilia Academy Band is open to all students. Practice to develop skills in corner turning and marching in step occurred during regular gym class time. The band members had sharp uniforms which varied to fit the occasion and they were well equipped. Sometimes they sported white pleated skirts with dark pullover sweaters, and rimmed caps. At other times white skirts and sweaters with the letter C on the front; and for formal occasions they wore white wool a-line skirts and brass button jackets with army caps. So extensive were their uniforms that they had a designated wardrobe mistress. Their numbers ranged from and their efforts were led by a director, drum majorette and two color guards. The band remained active well into the 1950s. Barbara Goodrich remembers playing the tuba and marching with the band as well as playing in concerts. Sister Regina recalls marching in the Nashville Electric Service Christmas Parade in the freezing cold. St. Cecilia All-Girl Marching Band in the Nashville Electric Service Christmas Parade 1952 St. Cecilia Academy All-Girl Marching Band

8 A Cultivation of Joy The end of the war was a memorable time. On the day it was announced that the war had ended, the sisters let school out for the day, thus allowing the girls who were old enough to experience the huge celebration that took place in the streets of downtown Nashville. Taking the trolleys and buses that ran by the school, they headed to the popular soda shop Candyland on Church Street. A regular gathering place in quiet times, on this day Sister Robert Ann recalls, We got on the bus and went to Candyland for milkshakes and to watch the celebration. It was so crowded that later we had to walk home because we couldn t squeeze on a bus. World War II had an impact on St. Cecilia, but the school continued to expand and modernize during the 40s and 50s. Academics, art, extracurricular activities and social events, remained the focus, as it had throughout its history. Chemistry Class 1946 Junior Typing Class Junior Typing Class 1957

9 Feminine Genius In the year 2010, St. Cecilia Academy remains the oldest continuously operated high school in Nashville. It has been recognized five times by the Acton Institute as one of the Top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation and by the United States Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and holds memberships in The College Board, the Nashville Consortium of Independent Schools, the Independent Schools of the Nashville Area, the National Catholic Education Association, the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools, and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Student enrollment remains near 260 with more than 40% of the student body receiving financial aid amounting to over $700,000 annually. 115 Briana Baines 12, Sister Mary Barbara Keiser, O.P., Clare Sherlog 13, Marcella Gomez 12

10 Feminine Genius This chapter focuses on the most recent years of our history. There are more alumnae who are available to share more memories and there are more hopes and dreams yet to be realized. It is a time period marked by both looking back to a rich heritage and looking ahead to even more possibilities. As from its earliest days, the school is committed to providing an outstanding academic curriculum, as well as an emphasis on teaching the faith, social skills and the arts. Historical continuity is a great asset, but even beyond this is the inestimable value of continuity of mission. In this, St. Cecilia Academy, as an institution, models that which she hopes each student will achieve: her own feminine genius. Catholic Day on the Hill Mass The Most Rev. David R. Chobey with Liturgy Ambassadors Meghan Clarke, Caroline Delaney, Sloane Varallo, Ashley Herrmann, and Taylor Quirk Mary Welsh, Ashley Nimmo, Andrea Broadbent, Marty Harris, Amanda Liens, Anne Albrecht, all Class of

11 Dance Ensemble

12 Feminine Genius The Academy s academic program continues to grow and challenge the young women of today. As in earlier decades, the Academy has one of the strongest and best prepared faculties in the city. Seventy five percent of the faculty and administrative staff have advanced degrees with twentysix percent of those being doctorates. The Academy now offers 15 Advanced Placement courses and nine honors courses. Approximately twothirds of the students will take an Advanced Placement course before graduating. Over the years the school has graduated dozens of National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Scholars, its students matriculating in recent years to over 150 different colleges, with 80% of them offered merit scholarships. Between 2005 and 2010, St. Cecilia graduates were accepted to 13 of the top 20 colleges in the nation. Such impressive statistics objectively measure the quality and extent of the education provided at St. Cecilia. Emily Butcher 12 Sister Nicholas Marie Polkowska, O.P., and Algebra II Honors students. 118 Graduation 2009

13 The new wings of the building are no longer the art room and the library, but the Alumnae Hall and the science labs. Excellence in the sciences continued to expand with additional science labs and a physics first curriculum in which all students take physics and chemistry before having the option of three advanced placement science courses and other electives. A 40 to 50 member Science Olympiad team competes on both the regional and state levels. St. Cecilia has been represented in the Governor s School for the Sciences as well as Governor s Schools for the Arts, for Teachers and for Humanities. Marissa Bulso 10 and Caliopi Anderson 10 in AP Chemistry Lab Alumnae Hall Students continued to excel in the visual and performing arts. The Fine Arts department, under the leadership of Anne Love Brunette 72, not only saw the development of a varied and outstanding curriculum, but contributed to the personal development of the students. The art room and the gallery wall display the work of students which still Art Class Anna Givens 10, Cate Hargrove 11, Audry McInturff Anne Love Brunette 72

14 Feminine Genius amazes and inspires viewers. Each year students compete in six to eight juried visual art shows, often receiving scholarship offers from art colleges from all over the southeast. The choral program continues to grow, continuously scoring as one of the top choirs in the state of Tennessee each year at the Tennessee choral festival. In the last ten years, the choir has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall, at St. Joseph s Oratory in Ontario, Canada, and in Venice, Italy. The Advanced Chorus 120

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