The Notre Dame Sisters educated thousands of young women throughout the Notre Dame Academy’s 48-year history, and each student enhanced the experience of the Academy for every individual who walked the halls of our great school. The Academy no longer has young women roaming its halls, strengthening their faith, preparing for exams or participating in extra-curricular activities, but it is home to dozens of wonderful residents who appreciate the history that runs through the establishment. Our legacy continues growing in the halls of Roncalli Catholic High School, the successor of the NDA and Rummel merger in 1974.
Each alumna contributed to that history, and our goal is to continue our close Notre Dame community even beyond the walls of the Academy. Many of you have moved from the Omaha area, but each of you still plays an essential role in continuing the Notre Dame Academy’s legacy today. Even if you’ve lost touch with your educators or classmates, there is still a special place for you in the Notre Dame Alumnae Association, and we look forward to hearing from you!
The Notre Dame Academy Alumnae Association currently consists of hundreds of proud alumnae who gather together annually, remain in communication with each other and the Notre Dame Sisters and continue building the Notre Dame Academy legacy in their daily lives. The Association allows you to remain as active as you choose by serving as a Class Representative, sitting on the Alumnae Association Board, joining us at the annual Reunion in June or supporting the Sisters in their ongoing ministries. Regardless of your participation level, we look forward to hearing from you and having you join us in continuing the Notre Dame Academy legacy. Please contact us today!
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Notre Dame Academy opened its doors in 1926 under the leadership of Sr. Mary Qualbertina Vanek. The all-girls school opened with 15 students, and by the end of the first academic year, attendance had grown to 26 students from around the Midwest.
The Academy was sponsored and staffed by the Notre Dame Sisters from its inception to its merger with Rummel High School in 1974. With this merger, Roncalli Catholic High School was formed, and continues to carry out the Notre Dame Academy’s legacy today.
The Notre Dame Sisters educated thousands of young women throughout the Academy’s 48 years, while additionally providing a comprehensive experience in faith, civic responsibility and community living. Even back in the 1920’s the Notre Dame Sisters embraced the importance of a well-rounded education, offering numerous classes in a variety of arts and music, along with the core courses provided to the young women. Our Alumnae grew to become teachers, nurses, mothers, doctors, members of religious communities, lawyers, accountants, community volunteers and many more very worthwhile professions throughout the Omaha community and beyond. While our Alumnae are now spread throughout the United States and abroad, we still join together at least once each year to celebrate the many lessons and memories shared from experiences at Notre Dame Academy.
After careful evaluation and prayer regarding the current and future circumstances surrounding the Notre Dame Sisters, their Motherhouse and their Academy, it was decided in 1997 to continue pursuing the Notre Dame Sisters’ mission of meeting unmet needs in the community, and convert the Academy into safe, affordable housing for seniors, now Notre Dame Housing.
Notre Dame Academy Today
Today 77 units are housed within the old Notre Dame Academy, with some of the original woodwork, light fixtures and embellishments still intact. December 2011 marked the addition of 30 more units, bringing our total to 105 units of safe, affordable housing for seniors in Florence. While classes are not still in session at the Academy, the spirit that the Notre Dame Sisters worked to instill in their students is still alive and well.
For a more detailed history of the Notre Dame Academy, to take a tour of the building, or further information about the Notre Dame Sisters’ mission, please contact the Advancement Office.