Saint Mary's 175th Gala
Laura Novia

Saint Mary's School marked its 175th year with a gala celebration on Friday, May 12, 2017 – exactly 175 years to the date that the "Original 13" girls arrived for their first day of school at Saint Mary's 1842. It was a spectacular event for the almost 1,000 guests who arrived on campus to commemorate this important milestone in the school's history.

The gala took place on the school's beautiful, historic campus under an extraordinary big-top tent. The 175th gala volunteer committee, under the leadership of co-chairs Laura Norris Raynor '69HS '71C and Joan Comer Johnston '87C, with honorary chair Blanche Robertson Bacon '53HS '55C, spent months planning and preparing for what was an historic evening for Saint Mary's School.

The event featured the talents and contributions of the school's more than 10,000 alumnae worldwide with a focus on the Saint Mary's legacy across generations of women. Gala invitations featured the calligraphy of Lynn Johnson Titchener '73C, the evening's fine food was provided by Ladyfingers Caterers (owned by Tudi Martin Jackson '91HS) and a special painting by artist Ellen Rodman Hathaway '79HS '81C was commissioned to help commemorate this milestone year in the history of Saint Mary's School.

Collaborating with Themeworks Creative, the committee created a festive and elegant atmosphere for the evening's program that included special guests from around the world, former Saint Mary's administration, as well as highlights of the school's history provided by First Citizen's Bank that are now a part of a permanent virtual archive for the school. Guests danced the night away to the dynamic sound of The Black and Blue Experience.

The 175th Anniversary Gala was the crowning event following months of special activities and celebrations commemorating Saint Mary's 175 years of excellence in educating women. More about the school's history can be found on the Celebrating 175 Years page. In addition, gala updates, photos, and videos, can be found on the Gala page.