Founded and operated by the Daughters of Our lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) opened in September 1962 to 52 young women, embodying the first freshman and sophomore classes. The school’s first principal was Sister M. Dolores, and Sisters Gertrude, Dominica and Matthew Marie were the school’s first teachers.
The OLMA crest contains the school motto: “Knowledge and Truth.” The lamp symbolizes knowledge and the globe represents universal truth. The “M” represents the Blessed Mother. A cross, symbolizing Christian education, and the book of life are also present in the crest. The school’s colors are green and gold. Green stands for hope, new growth and enthusiasm, and gold stands for victory, success and becoming the best person possible.
In the spring of 1965, 23 young women departed OLMA as its first graduates. In June 1967, ground was broken for the construction of a new field house. the building was named Carew Hall in honor of Mother Bridget Carew, a founder of Our Lady of Mercy Academy. The next year, Carew Hall was used in the graduation ceremony of the Class of 1968.
Over the years, many OLMA graduates have returned as faculty. History teachers, Patricia Blackshear and Susan Cavagnaro attended Our Lady of Mercy together and remain friends. Other teachers and staff who attended include Barbara DeValerio, Mary Duffy, Devonee Fatcher, Mary Jane Kinkade, and Mary Jane Stanzione.
Once a young woman has entered through the doors of OLMA she becomes part of the Sisterhood. This large family includes alumnae, current students, religious and lay faculty, family and friends who are bonded together forever. OLMA is South Jersey’s premier, privately owned, Catholic High School for young women. It provides a unique experience for students to learn and grow surrounded by Christian faith and sisterhood.