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School Traditions

With such a rich, lasting history, many of our School's traditions have come with us into the 21st century.

Human Arch

Each fall, the academic year begins with an Opening Chapel service that then transitions to the "Human Arch." Starting at the Whitney Memorial Arch, returning students lock hands to create a long Human Arch tunnel, inviting new students and employees to run through as part of their official welcome to the SSM Community. The end of the Human Arch brings newcomers to Shumway Hall where a kick-off celebration for all ensues.

Harvest Breakfast

Every year before Thanksgiving, all the female students gather for a special breakfast, harkening back to the days when the women and girls of St. Mary's weren't able to travel home for the holiday. The meal is concluded with the St. Mary's Hall hymn. (Photo: top)

Christmas Dinner

The night before Winter Break begins, the Upper School students and faculty gather for a special Chapel service, called Lessons & Carols, followed by a festive dinner and school dance. The evening also includes rousing singalongs of Christmas favorites, such as "White Christmas," and "King Wenceslas." (Photo: middle)

Class Night

In the final week of classes in the spring, the Upper School girls gather for a night of memories and goodbyes. Each senior girl is given a golden chain by a junior girl, which will later hold the special cross necklace given to her at Commencement.

Senior Dinner

The night before Commencement, the seniors and their parents gather together for a special Baccalaureate chapel service and Senior Dinner, followed by the presentation of the Senior Class Video, which is created by students. (Photo, bottom)

Students pose for a photo after Senior Dinner

Students pose for a photo after Senior Dinner

Tables set at Christmas Dinner

Tables set at Christmas Dinner

Three seniors at Harvest Breakfast

Three seniors at Harvest Breakfast