McAuley Heritage Wall

Anne Edwards Cotter (center) gathers with Mother McAuley students on the first day of school for a special blessing of the school’s new Heritage Wall, which features panels and an illustrated timeline celebrating the milestones and individuals in McAuley’s 170-year history.

On Sept. 4, Mother McAuley High School hosted a special blessing of its new Heritage Wall.

Attending the event were students, faculty, staff and guests, including the Sisters of Mercy.

William and Anne Edwards Cotter ’73, of Cotter Consulting, underwrote the project. Anne Cotter is the former chairperson of the Mother McAuley Board of Trustees and a 2014 inductee into the McAuley Hall of Honor.

The Heritage Wall is located inside the school’s main entrance at 3737 W. 99th St. It features panels and an illustrated timeline, including nearly 100 photos accompanied by captions. Soon to come is an interactive video with digital search tools.

English Department Chairperson Sr. Nancy Houlihan, RSM, wrote the introduction that is featured on the first panel of the wall, and she also led the blessing of the piece.

In 1846, the Sisters of Mercy started what would become Chicago’s oldest continually operating all-girls Catholic school, St. Xavier Academy for Females. In 1956, the school moved to its current location and became Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. The wall highlights the school’s deep connections to the Chicago community that has embraced its mission for more than 170 years.

Today, the school boasts 28,000 alumnae. The wall celebrates the milestones and the individuals who have brought the school to the current chapter in its story.

Following the blessing, the McAuley community gathered for a liturgy celebrating the start of the school year. The Rev. Mark Walter, pastor of St. Linus Roman Catholic Church, was the celebrant.

Afterwards, guests enjoyed a reception.