The Souvenir of Western Women/St. Mary's Academy and College


ST. MARY'S ACADEMY AND COLLEGE enjoys the distinction of being the first educational institution founded under Catholic auspices in the State of Oregon. Heads of the community, then laboring in Montreal, appreciating the needs and possibilities of this Northwest, sent twelve of their Sisters to Portland in 1859, and October 21 saw the modest beginning of St. Mary's Academy.

Notwithstanding the countless obstacles encountered in the upbuilding of an educational institution in a new and thinly populated country, the Sisters' met all difficulties with courage, industry, and perseverance, and to-day St. Mary's Academy, with its splendid buildings, extensive equipment, well-trained faculty, and three hundred students, stands as a glorious monument to the zeal, wisdom, and sacrifices of the noble religious.

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Nor has its character as a Catholic institution ever narrowed its sphere of usefulness. During the forty-five years which have passed since its foundation it has received students of all denominations; and graduates, non-Catholics as well as Catholics, have shared the refinement and culture which it has ever labored to impart.

Manifesting the vigorous life of a well-organized institution, it gained the confidence of the state authorities, with the result that St. Mary's is qualified to confer collegiate degrees and academic honors; successful examination before the state board entitles her students to state certificates.

The past history of St. Mary's Academy presages splendid achievements for the future. Having served the cause of education faithfully and well for nearly half a century, the hope is indeed well grounded that, as in the past, so also in the future, she will ever prove herself a true and valiant "Alma Mater" to the young women of the West.

R. G. T.