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Merici Academy Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Straw bonnet hat for gala uniform and beanie to complement standard uniform

Merici Academy Banner

Display of photographs and school memorabilia



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Merici Academy Collection | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Juan A. Villanueva

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Collection Overview

Title: Merici Academy CollectionAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1941-2012

ID: CHC5376

Creator: Merici Academy Alumnae Association (MAAA) (1941-1961)

Extent: 7.0 Boxes

Arrangement: The materials in this collection are arranged in the order in which they were received.

Languages: Spanish;Castilian, English

Abstract

The Merici Academy Collection documents the experiences of students of Merici Academy, a private, Catholic elementary and secondary school for girls. Established in Havana by American Ursuline nuns, the school operated from 1941 to 1961, when it was closed by the revolutionary government.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Merici Academy Collection documents the experiences of students of Merici Academy, a private, Catholic elementary and secondary school for girls. Established in Havana by American Ursuline nuns, the school operated from 1941 to 1961, when it was closed by the revolutionary government.

The collection includes yearbooks, photographs, programs, newsletters, awards, pins, medals, banners, CDs, a straw bonnet hat and beanie worn for school holidays, and the standard school uniform.

Biographical Note

Merici Academy was a private, Catholic elementary and secondary school for girls established in Havana by American Ursuline nuns in 1941. The Order of Saint Ursula, founded in Italy by Saint Angela Merici in 1535 as the first order in the Church dedicated to the education of girls, had a presence in Havana since 1804, when nuns originating from the New Orleans chapter of the order opened the first school for girls on the island. Initially under the protection of the Spanish Crown and Cuban colonial authorities, the school, known as the Colegio de las Ursulinas, flourished and expanded well into the twentieth century. In 1937, the school added an English department, which led to the creation of the English Academy under the direction of American nuns. The English Academy became the nucleus for the foundation of Merici Academy, a bilingual Catholic girls' school that would offer English as the main teaching language.

In February 1940, the Prioress General of the Ursulines, Reverend Mother St. Jean Martin, traveled to Cuba to assess the possibilities of establishing another Ursuline school in Havana - Merici Academy. The school opened in September 1941 with Mother Thomas Voorhies of New Orleans as founder and directress, and was immediately successful. Mother Thomas was assisted by Mother Rita Connell of Galveston, Texas, Mother Cecelia Prudhomme of Dallas, Texas, and Mother Bernadette Daly of Frontenac, Minnesota, who was already teaching at the Miramar Academy. Elementary courses, Pre-Primary to 7th Grade, were taught in English; additionally, in compliance with Cuban law, the requisite elementary curriculum was offered in Spanish.  There were two types of courses at the secondary level. The Academic course was much like an American high school; and the Commercial and Secretarial courses offered bilingual business training. The curriculum was designed in accordance with the traditional Ursuline model of education, which is “based on the general principles of classical and Christian philosophy and permeated with sound religious spirit.”

After its initial success, Merici Academy continued to exceed all expectations. In its twenty years of existence, the school operated at three locations. Two were private residential properties under lease in the neighborhood of Vedado: L and 19th Streets (1941-1943) and Línea and 6th Streets (1943-1949). The third was Merici's own property, custom designed and built in the Reparto Biltmore, a residential suburb west of Havana (1949-1961). Before it was closed by the revolutionary government in 1961, Merici Academy had brought forth nineteen graduating classes with close to seven hundred Academic, Commercial and Secretarial graduates.

Administrative Information

Accruals: The repository continues to add materials to this collection on a regular basis.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact chc@miami.edu for more information.

Acquisition Method: Gift of the Merici Academy Alumnae Association (MAAA), 2015.

Preferred Citation: Merici Academy Collection, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.

Processing Information: Collection-level record added by Juan A. Villanueva, December 2015.

Finding Aid Revision History: Updated by Juan A. Villanueva, May 2016. Revised by Amanda Moreno, July 2017.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5: Straw bonnet hat for gala uniform and beanie to complement standard uniform],
[Box 6: Merici Academy Banner],
[Box 7: Display of photographs and school memorabilia],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Class of 1956 documents, 1956-2011Add to your cart.
Folder 2: ScrapbookAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: AlbumAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: TextbooksAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: TextbooksAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Guasch, Beatriz, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Maestri, Silvia, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Ursuline Order, books and pamphletsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Casa Angela, Iguala, Mex., 1990s-200sAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: D¡az, Sonia, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Tamargo, SeidaAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: School history and alumnae associationAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Photographs, 1950s-1960sAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Masvidal, Mar¡aAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Agudo, NoraAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Serviam, 1975-2015Add to your cart.
1 of 2
Folder 15: Serviam, 1975-2015Add to your cart.
2 of 2
Folder 16: Merici Academy Alumnae AssociationAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Program of Summer mass/luncheonAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Arteaga, Ana Mar¡aAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Initiation of commencement ceremony and photographAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: The Catholic University of America - Diploma (Bertha McDonald)Add to your cart.
Folder 21: CD - "Merici Academy Memories", 2015Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Postcards of school and photograph of emblemAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Photographs of commencement ceremony, 1960Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Scrapbook - Carmen Rosa Villa (Carmen Borbolla)Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Item 0001: g. Nora Agudo - pins for handwriting; perfect attendence and overall excellenceAdd to your cart.
Item 0002: g. Alicia Mena - bowsAdd to your cart.
Every quarter students with an average of 95 was given blue and yellow bows. Blue represented deportment, application, and courtesy. Yellow represented all other courses.
Item 0003: g. Alicia Mena - medalsAdd to your cart.
Item 0004: g. Alicia Mena - medalsAdd to your cart.
Item 0005: g. Ana Alejandre, 1958Add to your cart.
Silver coin medal with original blue ribbon. Detail: Fleur de Lis and two images, reads: Labor, Victoria, Ursula, Laurus. This medal was given at the end of the year to the student with the highest scholastic achievement of her class.
Item 0006: g. Luisa Beguirista¡n (López Medranzo)Add to your cart.
Ring
Box 5: Straw bonnet hat for gala uniform and beanie to complement standard uniformAdd to your cart.
Box 6: Merici Academy BannerAdd to your cart.
Box 7: Display of photographs and school memorabiliaAdd to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5: Straw bonnet hat for gala uniform and beanie to complement standard uniform],
[Box 6: Merici Academy Banner],
[Box 7: Display of photographs and school memorabilia],
[All]



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