Our History:

The history of Mount St. Mary Academy can be traced back to the 1800’s Belgium – when the founding organization, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur was originated. Our story is a long and exciting one. And even with some ups and downs along the way – one thing has always remained at the forefront: our passion for helping young women succeed and forge their own path in life.

Our Most Humble Beginnings:

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur was founded in 1819 in Belgium to educate young women, especially those in poverty.  Starting with sewing classes, the Sisters expanded their curriculum to include reading and writing. The order gained official recognition in 1834 and soon after sent sisters to establish schools in the United States, including locations in Buffalo and its suburbs where five schools were founded by the sisters, along with a school in Lowell, Massachusetts.

On September 11, 1911, a new building was named Mary Immaculate Academy where the sisters taught until closing in 1925 when plans were completed to build Mount St. Mary Academy. 

The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, under the direction of Sister Veronica, began the construction of the Mount. The project took two years to complete and was plagued by lack of funds every step of the way. The Sisters never wavered in their belief that this work, undertaken for the glory of God and the spread of the Church, would prosper and bear abundant fruit.

Our Story:

October 14, 1925
The ground-breaking ceremony for Mount St. Mary Academy was held.
Mount St. Mary Academy opened with a freshman class of 19 students.
The statue of Mary above the front entrance, a gift of the students, faculty and parents of the St. Mary’s Seminary, was put in place.
Mount St. Mary Academy graduated its first class of three young women in the Chapel with the entire student body acting as a guard of honor for the graduates.

Class of 1931 & 1932

The second commencement exercises featured three graduates carrying a bouquet of red roses. This “red rose” tradition has been maintained until the present.
The University of the State of New York chartered Mount St. Mary Academy.
For the first time, an incoming class was large enough to require two homerooms.
The “New Wing” added 30 classrooms, including science labs, home economics and art rooms, music rooms, and a real cafeteria.
The gymnasium and auditorium were added. Up to this point, no space at the Mount could accommodate the graduation ceremony. The class of 1959 was the first to graduate from the new auditorium.
Mount St. Mary Academy graduated its largest class ever, 194 young women.
The school received accreditation of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The school has been reevaluated and reaccredited regularly since that time.
Mount St. Mary Academy was reincorporated as a private Catholic college preparatory school for young women, with its own Board of Trustees.

Mounties pose with *new* plaid uniforms

A state-of-the-art computer lab was installed at the Mount with 16 new computers. The computer lab was built with funds raised through the Annual Giving Program and other corporate funding.
The Mount St. Mary Academy Marching Band was founded and became (and remains) the only fully instrumented all-girls marching band in New York State.
WiFi was added throughout the school and, through the generous support of private donors and our alumnae, an iPad initiative was launched, bringing this new technology into four classrooms to start.
Mount St. Mary Academy hosted the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur and representatives from other area schools sponsored by the Sisters to celebrate the Sisters’ 150 years in North America.
Mount St. Mary Academy stepped away from requiring NYS Regents exams as final assessments. Regents exams were eliminated entirely from the curriculum in 2020.

Class of 2018

New academic centers in the fields of humanities, languages, and STEAM are introduced to enhance curriculum. Creating spaces for collaboration, problem-solving, inspiring curiosity, and deepening relationships with classmates and teachers.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator positions were established and school DEI policies were established.
Mount St. Mary Academy leadership & Board of Trustees Kick-off Long Range Strategic Plan to maintain MSM’s prominence in the Catholic private school sector.
October 14, 2025
Mount St. Mary Celebrates 100 Years since breaking ground at the site of our school.

100 years of Mountie pride.

Through our Centennial in 2027, Mount St. Mary Academy is committed to building on our proud traditions and greatest strengths to respond to education challenges in the 21st century, cementing our place as the leading Catholic school for young women in Western New York.