Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is an all-girl, Catholic high school located in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois at 3737 West 99th Street. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Mother McAuley is the largest all girls high school in the country.
|Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School|
3737 West 99th Street
|Former name||St. Francis Xavier Academy for Females|
|School type||Private, High school|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Authority||Archdiocese of Chicago|
|Oversight||Sisters of Mercy|
|President||Mary Acker Klingenberger|
|Teaching staff||81.4 (FTE) (2015–16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.6:1 (2015–16)|
|Athletics conference||Girls Catholic Athletic Conference|
|Publication||Inscape (alumnae and donor magazine)|
Equinox (annual art and literary magazine)
A small group of Mercy Sisters arrived in Chicago in 1846, led by Frances Warde, Catherine McAuley's closest friend. Within weeks, they opened a "select school" that became St. Francis Xavier Academy for Females, the first school chartered in the city of Chicago. The course of study covered primary, secondary and collegiate levels. The first building was located on Wabash Avenue between Madison and Monroe Streets. In 1871, the Chicago Fire destroyed the original building. St. Francis Academy relocated to 29th and Wabash for a short time, then to a larger location at 49th and Cottage Grove in 1900.
In the 1950s, the southwest side of Chicago needed a Catholic girls' school to serve a fast-growing population. In 1956 "the Academy" relocated once again. Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and St. Xavier College opened in the fall of 1956 to serve secondary and post secondary women students respectively. McAuley opened with 523 students, 300 of which were first year students. That same year, the Archdiocese of Chicago purchased 22 adjacent acres from the Mercy Sisters to sell to the Christian Brothers of Ireland to open their second all male high school in Chicago Brother Rice High School which is one of largest all male high schools in the United States.
McAuley continues to expand. Today, approximately 1200 young women and 95 faculty and staff members form the McAuley community.
The official insignia of Mother Mcauley High School, the shield, takes elements of the Mercy Shield, the shield of the founding Mercy Sisters. It combines the symbol of charity and caring together, symbols that represent Mother Mary Catherine McAuley. The final two symbols, the Cross and the Flame, are said to represent sacrifice and charity, combine together to represent the pattern of Christian living that Mother McAuley High School instills in its students.
Mother McAuley competes in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference (GCAC). Mother McAuley is also a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most of the athletic and competitive activities in Illinois. The teams are styled as the Mighty Macs.
The following teams have finished in the top four of their IHSA sponsored state tournament or meet:
- Basketball: 4th place (1989–90, 1993–94); 2nd place (1994–95); State Champions (1990–91)
- Cross Country: 4th place (2006–07)
- Volleyball: 4th place (1991–92); 3rd place (1990–91, 2005–06, 2008–09); 2nd place (1983–84, 1996–97, 2007–08); State Champions (1977–78, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2004–05, 2013-14, 2016-17)
- Water Polo: 4th place (2004–05, 2005–06, 2010-11); Third place (2012–13); 2nd place (2003–04, 2007–08); State Champions (2001–02, 2002–03, 2006–07)
The volleyball team holds the state records for regional, sectional, and state championships, in addition to appearances at the state tournament and top four finishes.
As of 2009, the water polo team holds the state record for appearances in the state tournament and top four finishes.
- Jenny McCarthy (class of 1990) is a model, actress, and Playboy model.
- Joanne McCarthy (class of 1992) was a professional basketball player (1998) with the ABL Chicago Condors.
- Alex Meneses is an actress.
- Erin O'Connor (class of 2006) was Miss Illinois 2009.
- Emily McAsey, State Representative
- Katie Quick (class of 2000) is a country musician and artist, and founder of The Fingertips Program.
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School currently educates more than 1,200 young women grades 9 through 12 and is the largest all-girls high school in the country. The Alumnae Association serves more than 24,000 graduates and works to preserve the spirit of loyalty and affection for the school among its graduates; to foster continuing interest in Mother McAuley High School and to provide opportunities for them to contribute to its needs; to encourage Christian education for young women; and, to promote personal growth of alumnae as leaders in the Church and society.
As a proud alumna of McAuley, Jennifer McCarthy has set up an annual scholarship for one lucky woman who wishes to pursue modeling in tandem with her Catholic education.
During the fall of each year, the school sponsors a major musical production. Shows in the last ten years have included Carousel, Babes in Arms, Fiddler on the Roof, Hello, Dolly!, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, and Footloose. This year's show[year needed] is White Christmas. The show is traditionally put on during the week before Thanksgiving.
In late September every year, the school hosts Mercy Day, a celebration of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy and of Catherine McAuley. This celebration includes an assembly that highlights the core values of the Mercy Education and the giving of the Catherine McAuley award, an award given to one senior student and one faculty member who best represents Catherine McAuley.
Many senior students participate in the senior retreat known as Kairos. This is a weekend retreat that occurs six times a year, and many McAuley girls promote this tradition.
"Spirit Week" takes place every spring and includes five days of dressing up and activities to fit the daily theme. The week is often concluded with "Mac Pride Day" with a pep assembly.
As many all-girls schools do, at the commencement ceremony, all graduates are required to wear a white dress and white gloves, as opposed to the traditional graduation style of a cap and gown.
- "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- School information for Mother McAuley LAS; ihsa.org; accessed June 21, 2009
- "Institution Summary - Mother McAuley High School". AdvanceED. Retrieved August 17, 2019 – via www.advanc-ed.org.
- AOC. "Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools". Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- MMHS. "Mother McAuley High School History". Retrieved May 11, 2007.
- MMHS. "Mother McAuley High School Shield". Retrieved April 1, 2010.
- Mother McAuley Athletic Department; accessed June 21, 2009
- Season summaries for MMLAS; ihsa.org; accessed June 21, 2009
- Table of Titles for Girls Volleyball; ihsa.org; accessed June 21, 2009
- Table of Titles for Girls Water Polo; ihsa.org; accessed June 21, 2009
- Austin, Michael & Wehunt, Jennifer; Before They Were Famous; February 2007; Chicago Magazine; accessed June 22, 2009
- Akouris, tina; Mother McAuley – High School of the Week; October 17, 2007; Chicago Sun-Times; accessed June 21, 2009
- News Release: MCAULEY TEAMS RECEIVE HALL OF FAME HONORS; Mother McAuley High School; accessed June 21, 2009 Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Barker, Bonnie; WIU Thespian Erin O'Connor Named Miss Illinois; June 22, 2009; Press Release from University Relations; accessed July 13, 2009