Providence High School, Chicago
Another successful reunion event in the books!
Saturday, October 28, 2017, saw the planning phase of the Providence Alumnae Association become the reality phase as the 115th Homecoming Luncheon took place at the Diplomat West Banquets in Elmhurst. The welcoming remarks of Andrea Kozicki Pocica, ’64, began the festivities and set the tone for the day. She also made the introduction on behalf of Alumnae Association President Therese Donatello, ’57, who was unable to attend. The Sisters of Providence accepted a $50,000 gift from the Alumnae Association in support of their retirement fund. Sister Ann Casper accepted the gift as well as providing the invocation for the meal. An abundance of tasty morsels satisfied the palettes and tummies of everyone at this plated luncheon. Hugs, laughs, prayers and concerns were plentiful as table chats among the women involved stories of past shenanigans as students and updates on their lives since graduation.
Beautiful floor raffle prizes, ranging from Christmas towels to a chocolate surprise, were claimed by excited winners. And, of course, the five Grand Raffle prizes were big hits too with some being won by alumnae not in attendance.
A special bond brought together the anniversary classes of 1937, 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967 to celebrate a milestone of life! Quite remarkably, almost every year was represented for a total gathering of about 160 alumnae. This memorable day ended with the singing of the school song led by Barbara Metz Kennedy.
A dues envelope was enclosed with the spring newsletter. If you’ve not yet paid, dues are $5 per year and should be mailed to the Providence Alumnae Association, 8001 W. Belmont Ave., River Grove, Illinois, 60171. Any amounts over the $5 are considered donations to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund and are tax deductible. Please include your name (including maiden name), class year, mailing information, phone number and email address. Payment of dues ensures that you will receive regular newsletters from the alumnae association, as well as information for the school and the last two class reunions.
2018 Future planning
As was announced back in 2015, the Providence Alumnae Association will close its doors at the end of 2019. In 2018, the Class of 1968 will celebrate its Jubilee on May 19, 2018, and the Homecoming Luncheon will take place on Saturday, October 27. However, because there are so few active members of the Class of 1969 (25, with only four having paid dues in the last few years), it is likely they will be honored at the 2019 Homecoming Luncheon.
Connie Gualano is the alumnae/i relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. You may reach her at 812-535-2811 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of Providence High School, Chicago
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 1921, 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 school fully merged as Providence-St. Mel High School. In 1974, due to financial strain, the sisters leased the building to the Archdiocese for a token annual rental. In 1978, the Archdiocese lease expired July 1.(photo)
That fall, it reopened as a private Catholic School purchased from the sisters and incorporated as a non-profit institution with Paul Adams as principal.
Today, Providence-St. Mel is an independent school for pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Each year, 100 percent of its graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities.