Ursuline Academy- CLOSING after 150 years

Posted in the Springfield Forum

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jsmith

Springfield, IL

#1 May 14, 2007
Does anyone have any significant memories to share of their time at Ursuline Academy, which is closing its doors this May due to bankruptcy. Ursuline high school has been around a long time in Springfield, even quartered troops during the Civil War.

Here is there website, with the closing announcement:

http://www.ursulineacademy.us/
slokes

Springfield, IL

#2 May 15, 2007
I went there from '84 to '88. I hate to say it but being a West Ender I found the atmosphere there pretty cliquish and unfriendly. Lots of them had known each other since kindergarten.
They did have alot of history. The conservatory building was cool. And those 'Ursuline Madrigals' and their way out garb.

It's sad to see a piece of Spfld go, but personally you won't see me going to any reunions. Teachers were nice, but some students were just plain stuck up and mean, all the way through. I was da hell outta there when I graduated.......
One Who Knows

Saint Louis, MO

#3 May 17, 2007
The closing is a public relations nightmare SCI/Benedictine will never live down. That happens when you have people who aren't invested in the community running things. And President Carroll can't escape his words either; two years ago at the takeover, he emphasized how the partnership was focused on building the high school through aggressive recruiting. He wasn't there to "tear down its history and tradition." He did just that. He broke 150 years worth of hearts.
T Wente

Latonia, KY

#4 May 31, 2007
What we need is some kind of raffle where we sell tickets for $50 or ask the Alumni for $50 each. WE might get some money to send to our owners. I could do it! WE all could do it!
Ursuline Sophomore

Mount Vernon, OH

#5 Jun 5, 2007
It is now official that the Academy won't be opening next year. Not enough students could afford the tuition increase. My most significant memory would probably be of my theology teacher tossing chalkboard erasers at slumbering students to wake them up in the winter, or running around in warmer weather spraying kids in the face with icy water from the blasted green spray bottle to wake them up. We're UA and that's how we do things, lol!
Ursuline Alumni

Springfield, IL

#6 Jun 5, 2007
I am sad to see it go, Benedictine & SCI anger me even thinking about the way they handled the closing of the school. I was like other students who did nto care much for the student body, i had my clic of friends, but it took me until just two years ago to ever want to go back to Ursulien for any reason. I joined the alumni board and jumped on to helping out with events and coming up with new ideas.. i was pleased to see tom kelly join the UA staff & frankly shocked that sci/benedictine would approve such a hiring only to not give tom a chance to put forth his goals and ideas in th comign year - it just doesnt make any sense, that along with the many other random things that have jumped up as obstacle to ursuline - condemning of ursula hall, concerns over the stability of the 5th street building - its all just more excuses to prevent any type of progress - i can only hop that historical findings live up to their name and save Ursula Hall and the Chapel at least.
Helen

United States

#7 Jun 11, 2007
I would like to know if anyone remembers the rose ceremony at ursuline academy. An exchange of roses between the seniors and juniors.
1984 Graduate

Springfield, IL

#8 Jun 20, 2007
I remember the rose ceremony...and the UA theme song...and Freshman initiation...and school plays...basketball. Ahh yes, many fond memories of UA. I'm saddened to see it close especially under such questionable circumstances. The latest, which was reported on the news last night is that SCI/Benedictine has changed the locks on the UA buildings even though the 150th Anniversary Reunion and Celebration is next week. All the UA historical items are innaccessible to former UA staff and they can't get in the buildings to do whatever they need to do for the celebration. I guess I can understand that ONLY in the sense that UA doesn’t own the buildings any more...SCI and their overlords do...but come on. They’re throwing a party next week. How much more unethical and corrupt can SCI/B be?
fafnir242

Mount Vernon, OH

#9 Jul 2, 2007
Madrigals was probably one of the funner times at UA. That and Annie (The Musical), P.E. class, all the teachers, everything about UA rocked. It's extremely sad to see it go.
Kirsten Spelman

United States

#10 Jul 25, 2007
I taught math at UA starting in Dec 93 and I stayed for three years until I moved to Green Bay, Wi. I loved teaching there. UA gave me a wonderful base as a new teacher. The kids were awesome and so were the staff. I always wanted to go back to visit UA, but I have never made the trip down from Wisconsin. I have great memories of my experience there. Thank you to all !
Kirsten Spelman

United States

#11 Jul 25, 2007
Miss C made the madrigals soooooo cool. She is now in Highwood, Il teaching and just got married!
fafnir242 wrote:
Madrigals was probably one ofthe funner times at UA. That and Annie (The Musical), P.E. class, all the teachers, everything about UA rocked. It's extremely sad to see it go.
Dave

Springfield, IL

#12 Aug 2, 2007
I graduated 1983. I enjoyed the "warmth" that I felt at UA. We were a smaller school, students were closer to each other. I learned more in one year than I did in three at Griffin. I wanted my daughters to attend. Unfortunately this is another nail in the "Catholic" coffin. This diocese is a train wreck with poor leadership.
Exchange Student

Brazil

#13 Aug 26, 2007
I was an exchange student at UA back in 1973. Though my English skills were quite poor, I have fond memories of my sophomore classes though planning those weekly class schedules was a nightmare. I learned a lot - inclusive about the American way-of-living - during my 6-month stay in Springfield with a great host family.
I've surfed the Net for a few hours and just learned that Ursuline had its doors closed earlier in the year under those circumstances. A pity, to say the least.
leahk

Milwaukee, WI

#14 Sep 9, 2007
My three sisters and I all attended Ursuline - I graduated in 1978, and have always looked back on my years there with great fondness. I can remember it all - Freshman Initiation, Merit buttons, assemblies (seeing the movie "To Sir With Love" for the first time in the UA gym), Sister Kevin, Father-Daughter Dance, lunch in the Student Center, running through the breezeway from the "old" building to the "new" building, the Resource Center with Sister Beatrice gliding around, art classes up on the top floor of the old building, and of course, the Rose Ceremony at graduation. I made life-long friends during my high school years there, and learned a lot to prepare me for college and life beyond.

It is an absolute shame that the school has closed, and especially under the circumstances I have seen described. I do not know a lot about the Benedictines, but from what I have read, it seems to me that they just did not really care about the school, it's history and traditions, or it's students and alumni. When I come back to Springfield to visit family, I have often driven by the school, and pointed it out to my husband as such a great place, and told him stories about my friends and me, and what we did there, and the fun times. I will always have my memories, but they will be tinged with sadness now.
Parent - Class of 2008

Springfield, IL

#15 Sep 19, 2007
My daughter would have been a senior this school year at UA. I can't tell you how sick and sad our family still feels (and today is September 19th). Everything a student looks forward to in their senior year is now lost to my daughter and the other members of the class of 2008. Unless you are one of these students or a part of their family, you can't possibly know how hard this is. The "SJR" features student athletes of the week on Mondays - one boy one girl. In this week's issue one of the questions posed to the boy athlete of the week was "shining moment". His response was "everything about senior year is a shining moment". Unfortunately this does not ring true for the former Ursuline Academy seniors. Shame on you SCI/Benedictine for taking away something so important - a right of passage so to speak. If it was truly necessary to close the school, you could have found a better way. Obviously the people that run these institutions have no feelings nor a backbone. No one stepped up personally to talk to the students/parents and explain the situation. Once again, SHAME on you SCI/Benedictine. Your Christian values are quite questionable.
MonkeyPox

San Jose, CA

#16 Oct 10, 2007
slokes wrote:
I went there from '84 to '88. I hate to say it but being a West Ender I found the atmosphere there pretty cliquish and unfriendly. Lots of them had known each other since kindergarten.
They did have alot of history. The conservatory building was cool. And those 'Ursuline Madrigals' and their way out garb.
It's sad to see a piece of Spfld go, but personally you won't see me going to any reunions. Teachers were nice, but some students were just plain stuck up and mean, all the way through. I was da hell outta there when I graduated.......
You too, eh?:-) I hated the people in my class ('84 -'88). They made my life a living hell.
Mike Linksvayer

Foster City, CA

#17 Oct 30, 2007
I hated you too.

(Actually I have no idea who slokes or MonkeyPox are, though I was also there 1984-8, and from the west side -- I recall that the main reason I went to Ursuline was that I didn't want to see the same people I had gone to grade school with for four more years at Griffin, now Sacred Heart-Griffin.)
UAfreshman

Springfield, IL

#18 Feb 17, 2008
I went to UA for my freshman year, which would also be my last there. There is nothing to describe the pain and hurt I felt losing this huge chunk of my life.
some of you have said how it was clickish and how you hated it, but that was a while ago. UA was my family. Everyone worked together and helped eachother through everything.
I was in madrigals, show choir, annie, student council, literally like everything. I never felt like a freshman who didn't belong there.
It is already almost the end of February and I still want to cry every time I think about what I've lost.
150 years and it's over. I still can't grasp my mind around it
From Outside Looking Back

Rockford, IL

#19 May 12, 2008
While I was never a student, I two of my great aunts taught at the College and also the high school from roughly 1950 to 1982. Mother Aloysius taught mathematics at he college and the high school, and Mother Therese taught history at the college. To me they were Jane and Mary, and visits to the college were wonderful childhood memories. We zoomed around the grounds as small children without a care in the world.

I cannot attest to the student body or even the school, but my childhood memories of those visits to Springfield will always be fond ones.

Sad to see the campus close.
Kim Capranica-Zelle

Peotone, IL

#20 Sep 4, 2008
Like Leahk, I graduated in 1978 and share the same fond memories mentioned in her post. I still have my merit button! I will always treasure the many wonderful memories I have of those years. It breaks my heart that the doors have closed.

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