Angela Merici founds the Company of St. Ursula in Brescia, Italy.
Angela Merici founds the Company of St. Ursula in Brescia, Italy.
The vision of St. Angela Merici spreads quickly throughout Europe, coming to the missions of America in New Orleans.
In response to a request from Bishop Claude Dubuis, the Galveston community, after several weeks of careful planning, sends six Sisters, led by Sister St. Joseph Holly.
Pictured: Mother St. Joseph Holly
This first building will serve in turn as classroom and living quarters for the Sisters and boarders, and day school after the Academy is built on Bryan and St. Joseph.
Seven pupils are enrolled that first day, among them Annie Lee Rogers and Mary Jane Downey.
Pictured: Annie Lee Rodgers, Class of 1884
“Realizing that we would never have a first class academy without being chartered, we applied to the Texas State Legislature.”
Pictured: Second school building on Ervay and Masten Streets.
In June, the Sisters pay $2,000 for 9 acres “of cotton field surrounded by vast waste of country as far as the eye can reach” bound by Bryan, Haskell, Live Oak and St. Joseph streets.
This central building of gothic structure designed by noted Galveston architect, Nicholas J. Clayton, was completed in 1883 with additional wings added in 1890, 1902, and 1907.
Pictured: "Old Ursuline" before wings are added.
On August 15, the new school building is dedicated at Bryan and St. Joseph streets. 1000 guests attend.
Pictured: Postcard of "Old Ursuline"
No specific uniform was required but “all clothing must be perfectly plain: no ruffles or flounces allowed. No jewelry except plain earrings and a breast pin. White dress for ceremonies.”
Twenty-five years of Ursuline presence in Dallas is marked with a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Bishop Dunne.
Pictured: The Ursuline Sisters celebrating the 25th Jubilee, 1899
The Ursuline Alumnae Association is formally organized on February 2. Suggested by Mother Evangelist Holly as a Silver Jubilee gift, is begun as an organization “whose purpose will be to foster and perpetuate your own schoolgirl friendships, to preserve and strengthen ties with your Alma Mater..."
The International Federation of Catholic Alumnae is founded. Ursuline Academy of Dallas is one of three charter members.
The Alumnae Association inaugurates a yearly reception for the Alumnae on February 2, Founders Day. In October, a first consideration of a plan to devote the dues collected on Founders Day for an Alumnae Scholarship is discussed.
World War I restrictions present special problems. Meetings are curtailed and scholarships and prizes are funded by war stamps and bonds.
Pictured: Class of 1916
Uniforms are introduced, “Materials and patterns must be purchased from the Academy as regulation dress is obligatory. Red ties and hair ribbon for both summer and winter. Common sense shoes. No silk hose.”
Hundreds of Dallas men and women have happy memories of “Miss Lucille” Putnam Class of 1915, their loving teacher for many years, and of Sister Emmanuel Shea who carried on until the Montessori years.
Ursuline Academy Mothers Club is established.
During World War II with the difficulties of shortages, students do not wear uniforms.
The residence houses the high school department, Merici High School, for eight years. The grade school remains on Bryan Street for another eight years.
A gold bow is awarded to a student for outstanding academic achievement. The blue bow is awarded for “impeccably good conduct.” The blue-gold bow represents excelling in both areas.
The post war uniform was a navy blue serge suit, white blouse, white socks, and navy blue saddle oxfords. Dress uniform added a string of while pearls, a hat, white gloves and high heels. Changes in the 60s replaced the navy jacket with a white or blue blazer. The navy skirt remained.
The first Snowball is held – a tradition that continues today.
A dramatic part of the symbolic Ring Ceremony occurs as each recipient walks through a six-foot ring (sometimes silver, sometimes gold). This type of Ring Ceremony took place from 1948-1966.
Bricks from the old building are sold as souvenirs, the proceeds to help with the building fund. Within a few years there are no visible landmarks of the old school on Bryan and St. Joseph streets.
In December, the entire Academy is relocated to the new school building at 4900 Walnut Hill Lane. The Merici residence remains the boarders’ residence.
Construction begins on Braniff Gymnasium, the first major addition to the Walnut Hill Lane campus.
Braniff Gymnasium is dedicated; construction is completed on Merici Hall the next year to accommodate growing enrollment of the grade school.
Five acres, including a two-story house and pool, is purchased from the Sailer family for $125,000. The residence becomes St. Joseph’s Hall, housing the President’s Office, Advancement, Alumnae, and Volunteer Offices. The estate and property that housed Merici is sold.
The Cultural Series includes the review of “Camelot”, “The Miracle Worker”, a “Sense of Woman”, an illustrated Art Lecture, Modern Dance, and a Musical Recital.
The legendary plaid skirt is introduced. Since then, there have been many changes with the jackets, sweaters, blue shirts for seniors, long socks, tights, sweatshirts, and other variations but the plaid skirt remains.
Pictured: Students wearing plaid for the first time
The stained-glass window of the Five Wise Virgins, the first major gift of the alumnae, is donated to the Dallas Historical Society as the Ursuline Centennial gift to our city.
Ursuline Academy celebrates its centennial on February 3, with a Mass of Thanksgiving at Moody Coliseum on the SMU Campus. Three thousand participants fill the floor-level seating around the central altar.
Pictured: Centennial Mass
The Elementary School closes at the end of the school year in May, after 102 years in operation as high school enrollment rises.
Pictured: 1976 Elementary Students
Under the leadership of alumnae president Lydia Haggar Novakov ’68, a financial agreement is reached between Ursuline Academy and the Ursuline Alumnae Association.
Ursuline launches The Renaissance Campaign to raise $6.5 million for renovation of existing facilities and new construction.
Just two years after personal computers are introduced, seven personal computers are being used in journalism and computer math classes.
Bishop Thomas Tschoepe blesses and dedicates the Sister Emmanuel Courtyard during Homecoming.
Haggar Center is completed. The new student center/dining hall/arts complex unifies the campus linking Main Hall, Brescia Hall, and Merici Hall.
The Beatrice M. Haggerty Library is completed.
Two historic changes of this period are the expansion of the Ursuline Academy Board of Directors to include two laymen and the selection of the first lay person to serve as Academy principal.
Ursuline Academy Dads Club is established.
The first annual Mardi Gras Ball benefitting the Ursuline Scholarship Fund is held on February 3, at the Fairmont Hotel.
Ursuline Academy of Dallas Athletics joins the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS)
The student literary magazine “Esse: Esse-Meme” receives the Highest Award from the National Council of English Teachers.
The Master Plan for Excellence begins, a $10 million capital campaign for future growth.
Ursuline is one of only six schools in the U.S. to pioneer the Anytime Anywhere Learning laptop program. A million-dollar technology grant from the William H. Gates Foundation places Ursuline at the cutting edge of the electronics information age.
The Jane Neuhoff Athletic Center is completed, providing state-of-the-art facilities for Ursuline sports and physical education programs.
Ursuline formalizes a unique partnership for educational and cultural exchange with Huaxia Academy of Beijing, the first school for girls to open in China since the Cultural Revolution.
Pictured: Arrival at the Huaxia Girls' School and presentation of flowers, June 17, 1997
Ursuline receives accreditation from the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
For the fifth time in 10 years, The Meadows Foundation recognizes Ursuline Academy for outstanding community service.
Ursuline implements a wireless network for connecting student laptops to the school network and to the Internet.
On January 24, a joyful crowd gathers in the Westin Ballroom to celebrate the Silver Centennial of Ursuline. A video presentation of the 125-year history sets the stage for the solemn and deeply moving liturgy.
Pictured: A quilt made to commemorate the 125th Anniversary, the Silver Centennial, 1999
On May 15, the Alumnae Association celebrates its hundredth birthday with some variations from the traditional. A seated tea is held honoring the Silver Centennial graduates and formally inducting them into the Association.
Ursuline acquires a two-acre parcel of land at the corner of Walnut Hill and Inwood Road at a total price of $1.2 million.
Renovation transforms Braniff to become The Ursuline Center for the Performing Arts (UCPA), dedicated in January 2000.
The Ursuline Academy of Dallas Foundation Inc. is established.
Ursuline completes its Facing the Future Strategic Plan.
The Facing the Future Capital Campaign is launched to support science, mathematics, technology, and endowments at Ursuline.
Ursuline Academy’s wireless network is updated.
The Ursuline community opens both hearts and homes to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Academy enrolled 34 students from the New Orleans area tuition-free.
Ursuline welcomes eight international exchange students this school year from Chile, France, and Germany.
Ursuline joins the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and becomes a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Eight Ursuline Sisters living in the Convent take up residence in several locations in the city. The convent is renamed St. Ursula Hall and converted to classrooms and offices.
Ursuline Sister School Partnerships begin with Instituto Nossa Senhora de Piedade in Ilheus, Bahia, Brazil; Colegio Santa Ursula in Lima, Peru; and Colegio Santa Ursula (Vitacura) in Santiago, Chile.
The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center and new Music Building open in the fall. Both are built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards. Major renovations of Cass Hall and Lower Main Hall begin.
The French Family Center is dedicated in May. Campus renovations are completed.
The Facing the Future Capital Campaign is completed, raising $29 million.
New partnership with Colegio Santa Ursula in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, ushers in a fruitful period of extending a global network of sister schools.
A record $5.9 million in new endowed scholarship contributions is announced at the annual Mardi Gras Ball.
Pictured: 2012 Mardi Gras Gala
Sister Margaret Ann Moser, O.S.U. retires in June after 22 years as President; she is succeeded by Gretchen Z. Kane as the Academy’s first lay President.
Pictured: President Gretchen Kane welcomes the Class of 2016 to campus at Freshman Orientation during her first year as President.
The Sister Margaret Ann Moser, O.S.U. Athletic Field is dedicated on October 9, providing soccer and lacrosse teams a field of their own for the first time.
The Academy’s Anytime Anywhere Learning approach is strengthened with the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 technology.
A new Strategic Roadmap is created to guide progress on five strategic imperatives: Mission & Values, Student Centered Focus, Attracting and Retaining Talent, Our Setting, and Financial Sustainability.
Ursuline is named a Microsoft Showcase School, the only school in Texas to achieve this designation, in recognition of the school’s leadership in optimizing technology.
The community bids farewell to two long-serving and beloved buildings – St. Joseph’s Hall and St. Ursula Hall, the former convent – to make room for 90,000 square feet of new construction to realize the school’s vision for a transformative new East Campus. View more photos.
Ursuline meets the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic through the love and commitment of students, teachers, and administration.
Hybrid and remote learning is facilitated by Microsoft Office 365/Surface Hub technology and the school’s preexisting familiarity with deploying cloud-based apps for personalized learning.
The Academy launches The Campaign for Ursuline: Act, Move, Believe. With a goal of $85 million, it is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of Ursuline, supporting capital improvements, programs and operations, and endowment growth.
Ursuline debuts as the #3 Midsize Company in The Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work, reflecting a nurturing community spirit and extraordinary employee commitment to the Ursuline mission.
At dedication ceremonies on September 9, a new era begins with successful completion of all Campaign for Ursuline construction and renovation projects, giving students access to world-class facilities including the new East Campus buildings, renovated dining hall, office spaces, chapel, and sports center.
Ursuline Academy celebrates its sesquicentennial, marking 150 years of Ursuline education in Dallas.