The Mary Louis Academy

The Mary Louis Academy
The Mary Louis Academy
Fidem Servavi
I Have Kept the Faith
176-21 Wexford Terrace
New York City (Jamaica Estates, Queens),
New York
, 11432
 United States
Coordinates 40°42′45″N 73°47′15″W / 40.7125°N 73.7875°W / 40.7125; -73.7875Coordinates: 40°42′45″N 73°47′15″W / 40.7125°N 73.7875°W / 40.7125; -73.7875
Type Private school, All-Female
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) Louis IX of France
Blessed Mother
Established 1936
Founder Mother Mary Louis CSJ
School district Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
Dean Ms. Loriann Murphy '89
Mrs. Grace Patchett
S. Linda Pero '67
Mrs. Marie Whelan
Principal S.Kathleen McKinney Doctor of Education
Asst. Principal S. Filippa Luciano '54
Mrs. Ann Cordes '84
Faculty 100
Grades 9-12
Enrollment approx 1,000  (2011)
Average class size 25
Student to teacher ratio 13:1
Campus size 5 acres (20,000 m2)
Campus type Private
Color(s) Columbia Blue and Gold         
Slogan TMLA+
Song Crusaders
Athletics conference CHSAA
Mascot Penguin
Nickname Hilltoppers
Accreditation(s) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication Spring Magazine (literary mag.)
Newspaper 'Mariel'
Yearbook 'Crusader'
Affiliation Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph
Alumnae Magazine Mariel-After
Alumnae Moderator S. Joan Killen CSJ
Athletic Director Mr. Joseph Lewinger
CSJ Sister Schools Sacred Heart Academy (New York)
Fontbonne Hall Academy
Academia Maria Reina
Bishop Kearney High School (New York City)
St. Joseph High School (Brooklyn)
University Affiliation St. John's University (New York)
Saint Joseph's College (New York)

The Mary Louis Academy, also known as TMLA, is a private Catholic college preparatory academy, restricting admission solely to young women. The Mary Louis Academy is located in the affluent community of Jamaica Estates, Queens, New York City. TMLA's 5-acre (20,000 m2) suburban campus encompasses 8 separate buildings situated on private grounds, crowning the top of one of the highest hills in Queens, hence TMLA's interscholastic nickname "The Hilltoppers."

The Mary Louis Academy was founded in 1936, by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, NY, as the fruition of their late General Superior, Mother Mary Louis's, dream to found an academy for young women in Queens. Archbishop Thomas Edmund Molloy had a hand in the birth of TMLA due to his strong personal conviction that the girls of the Diocese of Brooklyn deserved an academy all their own which would foster all of their individual talents and guide them to success.



For over seventy years, the Academy's tall, brick and limestone Collegiate Gothic main building on Wexford Terrace has been a distinctive part of the Queens skyline. Despite the increasing number of buildings, it is an architectural landmark that can be seen clearly from the Long Island Railroad. This is very appropriate because it was while traveling on the Long Island Railroad in the early 1930s, that Mother Mary Louis, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph, first gazed upon the beautiful hilltops of the countryside of Jamaica Estates and selected that as the ideal site for a school. Although Mother Mary Louis passed away on May 22, 1932, her dream of establishing an academy for young women in the urban enclave of Jamaica Estates lived on in the hearts and minds of her congregation of sisters.

When the decision was made to build this academy for girls in Queens, the Sisters of St. Joseph came upon an obstacle, this property (the Adikes Estate) had already been purchased by the Passionist priests of Immaculate Conception Parish, with the intent to build a high school seminary for boys upon the spot! Archbishop Molloy intervened and convinced the Passionists to sell the estate to the Josephites, for exactly what they had paid for it themselves. Thus began Archbishop Thomas Molloy's intense belief in the importance of TMLA.

The Sisters of St. Joseph officially acquired the hilltop Adikes Estate in 1935, and the existing Spanish-Mediterranean style mansion became the convent for the Sisters who were to staff this "Private School for Girls." The new Academy was initially to be named Mother Fontbonne Academy, in honor of the foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy, France. Archbishop Thomas Molloy stepped in with the suggestion that the Academy be named in memory of Mother Mary Louis, who had been such a driving force for education in New York. Sister Mary Angelica Clarkin CSJ,PhD, the first principal, applied for the official Academy charter in the name "Mother Mary Louis Academy." When the charter was delivered, it arrived with the first two letters, as well as the last, in the word MOTHER conspicuously absent from its name. Whether a slip of a clerk's pen or an act of divine providence, the word "THE" was permanently affixed to the name of The Mary Louis Academy.

The first students were fifteen young women who were greeted by a faculty of eight sisters for the first day of school on September 14, 1936. Classes were held in the parlor of the mansion now known as the Mary Louis Convent, which presently adjoins the Academy, while plans for the permanent Academy building were formulated. During this time two wings were also added to the Convent, housing a Refectory and a Spanish-Mission style Chapel.

The completed Academy building, housed at the address of 176-21 Wexford Terrace, took shape over a period of two years and finally opened its doors on October 16, 1938. The beautiful Collegiate Gothic masterpiece, now known as the "Main" building, was and is a structural testament to both art and architecture, one that has witnessed more than seven decades. The builder of TMLA, James Nelson, when his daughter was born during the construction of the Academy building, not only immediately registered her as The Mary Louis Academy's first prospective student, he named her for the Academy! Mary Louis Nelson graduated from TMLA in 1955!

The stated purpose of The Mary Louis Academy was to educate young women to be leaders in society and make a positive contribution to the world. In order to achieve this purpose, a demanding academic program was introduced. This program included many of the subjects taught today, with the notable exception that Latin was then required for all students. TMLA is one of the few schools in the area which still offer Latin, a valuable asset in future medical and law school training.

Less than twenty years after its founding, the school's population had outgrown the building. All available space - the Alumnae Room, the lay faculty dining room, and several music rooms had already been converted to classrooms. But, it was not enough.

In 1955 construction began on an addition, initially to be named DeChantal Wing, but ever after known simply as "The Wing." When, in 1957, the new wing was opened, the capacity of the school was doubled. The original cafeteria, "DeChantal Hall", became the Music Complex, and many classrooms, a new Biology Laboratory, a new cafeteria, a Home Economics Complex and a new locker room were added. The new construction also added a third wing to the convent, with a breezeway connecting it to the Academy's new wing, in order to house the additional Sisters needed to staff the enlarged Academy.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Academy knew many more changes in curriculum and the use of physical space. These came as a response to the educational climate of the times and the revision of the secondary school curriculum by the New York State Department of Education. Resource Centers were created, a new Art Studio was constructed on the campus, and the Library was enlarged.

As a response to the needs of the 1980s, Computer Science was introduced, and a Computer Room was created. The school applied for and was granted accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The original Board Room was renovated and designated as the Academy's student Chapel to provide a sacred space that welcomes both faculty and students.

In the 1990s, focusing their vision toward the education of today's young women who must meet the challenges of the 21st century, two state-of-the-art computer laboratories were added and the Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science Laboratories were completely renovated and technologically updated. In addition to the new laboratories, computers were added to the resource centers, every classroom and the Library.

During this new millennium, the Auditorium underwent a period renovation with restored lighting, refinished stage, new flooring, cushioned seats and air conditioning. The General Office was also completely redesigned and historically renovated. The Home Economics Complex was redesigned into additional classrooms and the Biology Laboratory was completely renovated.

In 2004 TMLA expanded once more absorbing, and totally renovating, the adjacent wing of the convent building. This expansion provided more classrooms as well as additional academic and counseling offices.

Upon the recommendation of the New York City Council, the Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, approved the naming of Wexford Terrace between Edgerton Boulevard and Dalny Road, Mother Mary Louis Way, in honor of Mother Mary Louis Crummey CSJ, founder and namesake of The Mary Louis Academy. The 18 month long process culminated with a dedication ceremony on May 1, 2009. It was under Mother Mary Louis' guidance that the Sisters of St. Joseph first conceived the dream of an advanced academy for the young women of the City of New York and its environs.

Each year in TMLA's history has brought some advancements and changes. A visitor who has not seen the school for twenty years or more will behold a familiar place that has undergone many evolutions.


The Mary Louis Academy's goal is to educate the world's future leaders. TMLA encourages every young woman to realize her own unique talents and gifts. For this reason, TMLA women enjoy a rigorous academic curriculum in an atmosphere that produces educational excellence and respect for all.

  • Student : teacher ratio of 13:1
  • An average class size of 25
  • Honors Courses, as well as Advanced Placement courses, in all the collegiate academic disciplines
  • An affiliate program with St. John's University through which seniors earn college credit while attending classes at TMLA
  • Every year 100% of TMLA's graduates go on to college
  • 100% of every graduating class receive the New York State Regents Diploma.
  • Every year more than 92% of The Mary Louis Academy's graduates are awarded the New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, the State of New York's highest academic standard.
  • State-of-the-art science laboratories for Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science and Biology
  • Two full state-of-the-art computer laboratories.
  • "Smartboard" technology in every classroom.
  • Over 100 brand new computers throughout the campus.
  • TMLA's young women enjoy the support and direction of the same dedicated guidance counselor for all four years.
  • Juniors and Seniors have an additional full time college counselor, dedicated to guiding them individually through every aspect of the collegiate admissions and decision making process
  • The top ranking Juniors and Seniors enjoy the benefit of TMLA's "Ivy/Elite College Initiative" through which they are given the opportunity to take overnight trips to tour Ivy League and other Elite colleges and universities, and meet with representatives of the institutions so as to make an indepth, informed decision as to which school they would like to attend.
  • All Juniors and Seniors enjoy the unique availability of a nationally renowned SAT preparation course offered on campus at TMLA.
  • Students are annually among those recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The Mary Louis Academy is Chartered by the State of New York, Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph


The Mary Louis Academy, in keeping with its belief in nourishing every single facet of a young woman's life, offers the largest and most comprehensive all female athletic program in the City of New York. TMLA sponsors 29 athletic teams in 13 separate areas of interest, including Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cheerleading, Dance, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Volleyball.

Due to the high demand for competitive opportunities by student-athletes, TMLA has been afforded membership in two separate Athletic Conferences: the Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA and the Nassau/Suffolk CHSAA.

In recent years the athletic program has developed a cooperative program with the Academy's Guidance Department and Administration to monitor and increase the number of student-athletes applications to colleges and universities which offer scholarships in both academics and interscholastic athletic achievement. This program has resulted in increased scholarship awards annually.


  • Mary Gordon, The Official New York State Author 2008-2010, in addition to being the prestigious McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College.
  • Susan James Kropf, Retired President and Chief Operating Officer - Avon Products
  • Myra Turley, Film & Television Actress - Flags of Our Fathers, Mad Men
  • Helena Kane-Finn, Ph.D. - U.S. Foreign Minister to Germany - United States Department of State
  • Maureen Scannell Bateman, Esq - Retired Executive Vice-President - State Street Corp. General Counsel - Manhattanville College
  • Patricia Reilly Giff - Children's Author - Newberry Medal winner
  • Marilyn Hanold Neilson, Screen Actress and Fashion Model - Twentieth Century Fox
  • Marie Ciorciari, Vice-President – ESPN-ABC Sports
  • Dr. Patricia Ryan Recupero, President & CEO - Butler Hospital/Professor of Medicine - Brown Medical School
  • Janice Curreri, Program Officer Fulbright Scholarship -- Middle East - U.S. Department of State
  • Patricia Hynes,Esq, President - New York City Bar Association
  • Laura Pula Cook,Esq, Executive Vice-President - Twentieth Century Fox
  • Patricia Fili-Krushel, Executive Vice-President - NBC Universal
  • Caroline Dorsa, Executive Vice-President & CFO - PSEG
  • Diane Salvatore, Former Editor-in-Chief - Ladies Home Journal
  • Patricia Castel Skarulis, VP & Chief Information Officer - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Geraldine Otremba, PhD, Senior Advisor to the Librarian of Congress - Library of Congress
  • Regina Pitaro, Managing Director - GAMCO Investors
  • Nancy Matta, Senior Vice President of Investments - UBS
  • Gailmarie Goldrick, Senior Vice-President – Wells Fargo
  • Kerry Unflat Cable, Director of Finance & Administration – Harvard University
  • Eileen Keating Sullivan, Executive Director – UBS
  • Stacy Genovese Williams, Technical Director - Good Housekeeping Institute
  • Audrey Schlaepfer, Senior Vice-President - Macy's
  • S. Linda Bevilacqua OP, PhD, President - Barry University
  • Regina Brady, Chief Administrative Officer – Barclays Capital
  • Marisa Matteoni Harney, Managing Director – Bank of America
  • Dr. Helen Shields Aparo, Professor of Medicine - Harvard Medical School
  • Patricia Ziegelbauer Blair, Chief Calligrapher - The White House
  • Elizabeth Healey Boldis, 1st Vice-President – UBS:Paine Webber
  • Geraldine Boylan, Retired General Counsel - New York Stock Exchange
  • Deirdre O'Connor Martini, U.S. Trustee - U.S. Department of Justice
  • Susan Leary, Chief Financial Officer - National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Esther Sampayo, Chief Resident – Montefiore Medical Center
  • Lynn Fredericks, Director of Neuroscience - Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Frances Yellen Muzio, Chief Operating Officer - EBA
  • Josephine Santos Pappa, Vice-President & Chief Administrative Officer - Met Life
  • Dr. Michele Mauro, Medical Director - Southgate Animal Hospital
  • Hannah Sexton Young, Retired Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer - General Re
  • Mary McBride Florin, Managing Director – Calyon
  • Dr. Kristin Waldron, Neurologist/Former Chief Resident - NYU Medical Center
  • Tracey West, Esq., Professor – Harvard University Law School
  • Dr. Ruthann Rizzi, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Student Counseling Services – University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Ellen Callinan Fischler,Esq, Professor of Law – Georgetown University Law School
  • Consuelo Lamphere PHR, Deputy Director-Human Resources - Dechert LLP
  • Sr Marianne Trouve, FSP, - Daughters of Saint Paul
  • Allison Lynch, Speech Language Pathologist, HeartShare Human Services, New York, NY

Notes and references

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