Skip To Main Content

Toggle Close Container

Mobile Main Nav

Header Holder

CTA Navigation

Landing Nav


History & Tradition

Founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1858, the Academy has evolved but the mission has remained the same. 

Mount Saint Joseph Academy, located in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, has been preparing generations of young women for the challenges of college and life since 1858. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the academy was located in Philadelphia on the grounds of what is now Chestnut Hill College. Originally a boarding school, the academy accepted day students in 1911. In 1928, it was the first Catholic school to be approved by the Middle States Association accrediting agency. In response to the growth of the school and evolving educational needs, the Mount moved in 1961 to its present site situated on 78 acres, just outside the community of Chestnut Hill, an urban village with a cultural life of its own and ready access to downtown Philadelphia. The new home of the academy expanded three times, adding additional classrooms and computer labs for student use.

However, since the construction of the buildings in 1961, student enrollment has more than doubled, the number of full-time faculty has tripled, and the number of course offerings has quadrupled. In order to continue the academy's tradition of excellence, the administration and the Board of Directors embarked on two capital campaigns. As a result of the overwhelming generosity and support of the Mount community, the campaigns have been a tremendous success, resulting in the expansion of the Academy during the 1997-98 school term and again in 2003-2004.

The Mount is more than just a school, it is a community.

When a young woman chooses the Mount, she chooses to be part of a thriving sisterhood, grounded in spirit and community.

For more than 150 years, the Mount has created and maintained traditions to further a sense of unity among its sisters, while continuing to evolve and modernize through the years.

This combination of preserving beloved traditions, while adapting to current needs has brought together and continues to bring together Mount sisters from different places, spaces, races, ages and ethnicities.

MSJA is a place where young women develop a lasting sense of pride and loyalty—a place with which they'll remain connected and can always (and often do) return.

Mount Traditions and Events

The Mount celebrates many unforgettable traditions and events each year...

Alumnae Induction: This ceremony officially inducts the senior class into the Mount Saint Joseph Academy Alumnae Association. Alumnae mothers and relatives of seniors are invited to attend and participate in the pinning ceremony. After the formal ceremony, a casual gathering is held to celebrate seniors.

Commencement: Commencement is steeped in traditions that have been upheld for decades. Graduates wear white Grecian gowns and the graduation medal they receive during Senior Recognition Night. Graduates also carry a bouquet of yellow roses that represent the gold of the Mount’s colors.

Fashion Show: A night of style and fun! Mount seniors are chosen by lottery to model fashions (from a different provider each year) for guests. Selected faculty, staff, and alumnae model as well. This event is hosted by the Parents Association.

Founders’ Day: October 15th is a celebration honoring the founding of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJs) in LePuy, France. The day celebrates the founding of the congregation’s and the Academy. The entire Mount community gathers in the morning for an assembly, followed by a walk to the Chapel at the Motherhouse, located at Chestnut Hill College. The afternoon is a community celebration with various activities.

Freshman Fest: A fun, casual social gathering for freshmen at the start of the school year, hosted by the Parents Association.

Golden Girls Luncheon: Alumnae who graduated 50 years ago or more are invited to enjoy lunch together.

Golf Classic: Held each fall, this day of golf directly benefits current and future students, with funds supporting financial aid and scholarships.

Honors Convocation: A ceremony hosted by the Parents Association in which students are recognized for their distinguished academic achievements.

Junior Ring MassA Mass and Ceremony in which Juniors receive their class rings, hosted by the Parents Association. 

Junior Training Retreat (JTR): Juniors who will be retreat leaders the following school year are invited to attend this retreat.

Open House: One day each fall when the Academy opens its doors to prospective students and families to welcome them to the Mount.

Parent Social: A casual social event parents hosted by the Parents Association. 

Retreats: Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors join together as a group in prayer and service. Each grade has its own retreat. 

Reunion (formerly known as Alumnae Day): Two class years are celebrated every year, as well as the 50th anniversary reunion class, during an evening of socialization on campus.

Senior Recognition Night: A night to celebrate the accomplishments of Seniors, hosted by the Parents Association. During this awards ceremony, seniors receive the graduation medal that they will wear during the Commencement Exercises.

Senior Tree Trimming: Seniors gather in December to decorate the Mount’s Christmas tree with ornaments bearing each student’s name. Before Christmas break, each student takes home her ornament as a keepsake.

Spirit Week: A week that celebrates the history and future of the Mount. Efforts are focused on fundraising, with competitions by grade level. 

UNITAS Retreat: Seniors participate in UNITAS retreat, an off-site, three-day spiritual retreat.