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St. Joseph's Academy has many traditions that are important to our community and deeply rooted in our history. The spirit of these traditions dates back to that of those young pioneer sisters who were inspired by faith and a desire to serve where needed. In fact, the school’s tradition of “serving the Dear Neighbor without distinction” is one of its oldest. For decades it has been most dramatically witnessed in such programs as Mission Week and Senior Projects, but being of service has been part of the Academy’s core identity in every era in ways large and small. In this tradition, as in so many others, students and staff are joined in their efforts by parents and by alumnae, who treasure their own experience of Academy traditions.

Special events are also a rich part of school tradition. Class Day enjoyed a history of almost 100 years before being transformed into Baccalaureate Mass. Many school dances date to the Fontbonne years, including Winter and Prom, with the Father-Daughter Banquet, in a league of its own, dating to the 1940s. The distribution of a school ring can be traced to the 1920s, with the actual ceremony as we know it today evolving over the course of many decades. Graduation has been held in the outdoor theater since the school’s first year at Frontenac.

Other long-standing traditions give way with the times, such as May Crowning, which was celebrated on all three campuses from at least the 1890s to the 1960s, and the Horse Show, which enjoyed a nearly fifty year run. Still other traditions are tied to a particular grade. For decades freshmen have worn a special hat during orientation week, beginning with the beanie, and seniors have been granted special privileges. The Academy also began a winning tradition in athletics when it captured its first State Championship in 1975.

Traditions are the ties that bind today’s school community to those who came before – sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, alumnae. Today's students, faculty, administration, parents, alumnae, and alumnae parents are guardians of St. Joe’s traditions, protecting a rich heritage, even as we add new chapters to the SJA saga.