In 1888, Our Lady of Providence Academy, the direct ancestor of Providence High School, was opened in one room of Our Lady of Sorrows School in Chicago. Nine students were enrolled. In 1891, the first two graduates received their diplomas. In 1898, a building on Van Buren Street and Albany Avenue (same geographic area) was purchased for the Academy.
In 19821, Cardinal Mundelein selected the school as one of the regional high schools and the name was changed to Providence High School. Enrollment increase led to a new building at Central Park Avenue and Monroe Street. Classes began in the new building on March 4, 1929.
In 1968, due to decreasing enrollment and finances, St. Mel High School for Boys and Providence High School for Girls were both housed at Providence High School. In 1969, the schools fully merged as Providence-St. Mel High School. In 1974, due to financial strain, the Sisters of Providence leased the building to the Archdiocese for a token annual rental. In 1978, the Archdiocese lease expired July 1. That fall it reopened as a private Catholic School purchased from the Sisters of Providence and incorporated as a non-profit institution with Paul Adams as principal. Today, Providence-St. Mel is an independent school for pre-k to grade 12. Each year 100 percent of its graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities.
Alumnae of Providence High School
Alumnae of the former Providence High School hold their annual reunions on the last Saturday of October most years. See the reunion page for more information. For more information about the Providence Alumnae Association, contact the Alumnae office at (708) 802-4722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The class of 1952 of Providence High School organized a 60th anniversary reunion Sept. 15, 2012, at the Wellington Restaurant, Arlington Heights, Ill. Email email@example.com for more information.