St. Mary High School
In 1887, Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Mahar, the Pastor of St. Vincent Church, was commissioned by Bishop Gilmore of the Cleveland Diocese to establish a Mission in south Akron to be known as St. Mary Church. The parish was formally established in 1896 and in the fall of 1897, the first Catholic high school opened its doors to students. The first class to graduate from St. Mary High School was in 1901. The first Pastor of St. Mary Church, Father Francis T. Moran presented the diplomas. Members of this class included Mary Fitzgerald, Merle Schwalbach and John Gilhooly. Both of the men were later ordained priests. The first football team was formed in 1922. The basketball team won the State Class B championship in 1929 and was coached by Leo "Mox" Engler M28. In 75 years of operation, St. Mary High School graduated 4,351 students.
The STVM Alumni Office is proud to be the archive location for many of the memories, photographs and treasured scrapbooks of St. Mary High School. The following is one example as described in a "graduation diary" from one of the 13 graduates of St. Mary Class of 1922.
"St. Mary's School is situated at Thornton and Coburn Streets, Akron, Ohio. It is built of gray brick and is set far back from the street. There are fifteen classrooms now in use and a well equipped library has been installed. The auditorium for entertainments and dancing parties has a seating capacity of fifteen hundred. It is also supplied with a gymnasium and a bowling alley. The high school has both a physical and chemical laboratory and a number of typewriters for those taking a commercial course. A campaign is now being organized in the Parish to raise funds for completing the third floor of the School. The instructors are the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Reverend Father Dines is in charge of the Latin classes and the pastor and his assistants instruct the pupils in their religion."
St. Vincent High School
St. Vincent High School opened in September of 1906, and was founded by Rev. Fr. Thomas F. Mahar, Pastor of St. Vincent Parish. Fr. Mahar was also the founder of St. Mary Parish and High School. The first graduating class included 4 graduates in 1910.
According to the "Course Instruction Booklet," dated 1915-1916... "Five Courses are offered: Classical, Latin, Scientific, English and Commercial. These are planned to give a well rounded high school education, also to secure a thorough foundation or successful college work. The studies prescribed for the first and second year are the same for all courses. All students receive graded instruction in Religion (Christian Doctrine and Sacred History)."
In 1943 the official school alma mater was changed from "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" to a song created by 2 female students entitled, "Atop a Hill in Akron."
In 65 years of operation, St. Vincent High School graduated 6,626 students.
The STVM Alumni Office is proud to be the archive location for many of the memories, photographs and treasured scrapbooks of St. Vincent High School. The following excerpt was taken from a historical summary of the beginning of the high school in the early 1900's... "The Sister, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Monroe, Michigan were dubbed the "lunch bucket brigade." The sisters staffed both St. Vincent and St. Mary High Schools. They lived at St. Vincent's and carried their lunches with them each day."
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
In 1972, St. Vincent and St. Mary High Schools became St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. In 1973, the first STVM class graduated, which totaled 237 students. In September, 1973, the STVM school year opened for 700 students in the new $3 million facility at 15 North Maple Street in Akron, Ohio. School colors taken from the familiar green and white (St. Vincent High School) and blue and gold (St. Mary High School) became the now ever-present green & gold. The student newspaper was no longer "The Vincentian" or "The Crusader," but "The Leprechaun Gold." The yearbook, "The Phoenix" rose from the ashes of "The Shamrock" and "The Bluebook" and a new alma mater was written to hail Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
STVM is therefore not a "new school" but rather one with a rich heritage and traditions that reach back to the turn of the century. Many of the St. Mary and St. Vincent traditions remain and have been joined by new traditions as well.
As of 2017, STVM has graduated 7,436 students. With our combined histories, our schools have graduated over 18,318 students.
The Future of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
It takes hard work and dedication to maintain STVM as one of the best Catholic high schools in the Akron area. We recognize and treasure the significant amount of time and talent that our faculty, staff, and community have contributed over these many years. We are confident that together we can continue to make St. Vincent-St. Mary the Catholic high school of choice.
Please visit our Advancement page to learn how you can support St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.