School Traditions

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) have opened academies, institutes, high schools and colleges which have offered a high-quality education to thousands of young women. This month, the 175th celebration of SSND in North America highlights some of the unique traditions, sports and celebrations at several of these schools in the United States and Canada. This is a small sample of schools sponsored by the congregation.

Did you know that SSND established the first Catholic college for women to award the four-year baccalaureate degree in the United States? Have you ever heard of a sport called tennequoit? Have you ever listened to a song about slate steps? Curious? Read on to learn more about what makes SSND schools unique.

Calling All Alumnae
The staff at the North American Archives (NAA) would love to hear from you! Please share your memories from your time at a SSND school. Tell us about your favorite event, teacher, tradition, memory or general thoughts about your time there. Staff would like to collect these stories for the archives. Please send your stories to

The NAA is also interested in donations of materials that may have been collected while a student at a SSND school. We will gladly accept photos, yearbooks, copies of the school newspaper, scrapbooks and other ephemera (such as playbills, graduation or event programs, etc.). If you have something you would like to donate, please contact us at or 414-763-1000.

This article is part of the School Sisters of Notre Dame North American Archives' 175th anniversary celebration of SSND arriving in North America. For the next year, the staff at the North American Archives will celebrate this milestone by highlighting SSND “firsts.” Each month will focus on a particular sister, event or mission that has a unique place in the congregation’s history in the United States and Canada. Read all of the 175th anniversary stories here.