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Cor Jesu Academy

History

Cor Jesu Opened Its Doors in 1956 in the building now known as the Sacred Heart Villa

The Sacred Heart Villa building on the Hill was Cor Jesu's original home.

On September 6, 1956, Cor Jesu Academy opened its doors for the first time to 17 students on Macklind Avenue on The Hill under the administration of Sr. Anita Marie Giampetro, ASCJ. With the approval of Joseph Cardinal Ritter and the Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools and the accreditation by the University of Missouri, Cor Jesu began to expand and build its curriculum to meet the needs of each subsequent school year. 

Throughout the school’s history, continued efforts toward excellence have resulted in expanded curriculum and co-curricular activities, as well as increased numbers of faculty members and students and expanded technology and facilities. The faculty of Cor Jesu Academy is composed of dedicated religious and lay professionals. The religious Sisters are members of the community of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Since its beginning, Cor Jesu has fostered a strong and vibrant Catholic tradition and an innovative and academically challenging approach to education for young women. More than 5,500 women have graduated from Cor Jesu, transforming the world for good through their faith, compassion, integrity and impassioned service.

A View of the School in the 1970s

A view of the building as it appeared during the 1970s.

Presidents:

Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph. D. 2020-present
Sr. Veronica Beato, ASCJ '74 2019-2020 (interim)
Sr. Barbara Thomas, ASCJ 2007-2019

 

The Tower Addition Added New Office and Classroom Space

The tower addition added new office and classroom space.

Principals:

Sr. Veronica Beato, ASCJ '74 2016-present
Sr. Kathleen Mary Coonan, ASCJ 2006-2016
Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D. 1990-2006
Sr. Ritamary Schulz, ASCJ  1984-1990
Sr. Ellen Cronan, ASCJ  1975-1984
Sr. Stephanie Termini, ASCJ  1973-1975
Sr. Anne Toohey (Jerome), ASCJ 1968-1973
Sr. Anita Marie Giampetro, ASCJ  1956-1968

 

The new Gym and Student Commons Opened in 2017

The new Gymnasium, Student Commons, and Classrooms opened in 2017.

Milestones:

1956: Cor Jesu opens on The Hill.
             Accreditation: The University of Missouri
1965: Cor Jesu opens new school building on Gravois Road in Affton, MO
1971: Accreditation: The North Central Association
1987:   New Library-Fine Arts Center opens
1990:   Cor Jesu named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by U.S.
Department of Education
1992:   Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D. establishes Endowment Fund
1994:    Cor Jesu is one of the first high schools in the St. Louis area to
implement the eight-block schedule
1996:    One-on-One Laptop Program begins
2005:    $6 million Clelian Hall opens: new school entrance, administrative offices,
Counseling Department offices, classrooms
2007:   President-Principal leadership model begins with Sr. Barbara Thomas, ASCJ named as Cor Jesu’s first President and Sr. Kathleen Mary Coonan, ASCJ as Principal
2008:    Six acres purchased along west side of campus along Gravois Road
2009:    New sports field and parking lot open
2011:   Science labs renovated – Biology, Chemistry, Independent Science Research
2012:    10 acres purchased along west side of campus, adjacent to front field;
           Library renovated - technology and aesthetic upgrades, new Student Learning Center,
Campus Ministry office, IT office, CJTV Studio
2016:    The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus assigns Sr. Veronica Beato, ASCJ ’74 as Cor Jesu’s first alumna principal
2017:    $10 million Performance Gymnasium, Student Commons and four new classrooms open in the fall
2020:    Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D. is named as new President of Cor Jesu.
The Statue of the Sacred Heart Welcomes Students to Cor Jesu

The statue of the Sacred Heart welcomes students to Cor Jesu

Alma Mater:

Cor Jesu, at your feet in blossoming youth, 
We surrender our souls as you impart 
Desired knowledge through paths of light and truth 
Beneath the shelter of the Sacred Heart. 

You’ve laden us with treasures on our way: 
The warmth of friendships, pearls of hopes and dreams, 
Yearnings kindled for the noblest way, 
Wisdom to guide us with her radiant beams. 

Reluctantly we leave to fill our part 
In life – you have helped us to prepare. 
Fond mem’ries shall echo in our hearts 
Of fleeting hours spent in your loving care. 

And when we reach the shores of our new dawn, 
We will not forget your spirit true, 
That of the Sacred Heart, our love’s bright flame- 
Our beloved Alma Mater, Cor Jesu.

~Frances Bonskowski Saber '61
(Author)

~Carol Ann Burt
(Composer)


 

Copies are Still Available

CJ History ~ You may order your copy of Sharing the Love of the Heart of the Heart of Christ: A History of Cor Jesu Academy, a limited-edition, hardcover history book written by two of Cor Jesu's own history teachers. Click here to order your copy from the Spirit Stop Bookstore!

A view of the cover of the book of Cor Jesu History