Evolution of the St. Genevieve Academy
by Patricia Anderson
St. Genevieve’s began with only the younger grades, but within five years, college courses were offered. In 1924, the French lycée of St. Genevieve received recognition as the only such collegiate department in America. Native-speaking professors taught the classes. It later featured a secretarial school for girls, and it was both a boarding school and a day school.
St. Genevieve was one of thirteen schools founded to raise the expectations of female students in the South. St. Genevieve Academy - the high school of St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines - was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACS) in 1913. A SACS charter member, the school retained continuous membership in the association. In addition, the girls’ grammar school and Gibbons Hall were the first Catholic grammar schools to be accredited in the entire Southeast.
Its various courses of study presented a broad and deep culture with careful and exact training through a liberal education under Christian influences. Mother Margaret Potts writes, “We wanted to develop character and help each individual student through learning and moral guidance to find fulfillment and grow into a worthwhile person.” The campus atmosphere was essentially religious, although there was limited emphasis on Catholicism; the majority of students and lay faculty represented numerous denominations. In the high school, religion was taught to Catholics three times a week and moral guidance was taught to both Catholics and non-Catholics twice a week....