A 90th Birthday for Ravenhill

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Although the Academy of the Assumption, known as "Ravenhill" closed its doors in 1977, faithful and loyal alums have been gathering annually to celebrate their education and renew their friendships.

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 was a glorious sunny Fall day which brought 210 women together to thank God for the graces of their Assumption education. The Eucharist was celebrated by Rev. Robert Hagan, OSA, son of Marilyn Depman Hagan. Father Hagan was well-versed in the history of the school which opened its doors in October, 1919 and its future developments as a boarding and day school.

Following the Mass, Deirdre Jones Mecke, president of the alumnae, welcomed everyone and in particular, Sr. Francis Joseph Scarpello, RA who had recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Dr. Stephen Spinelli, President of Philadelphia University then welcomed the group and described the growth of the once Phila. School of Textiles to its present status as Philadelphia University. He made special mention of the fact that the Ravenhill Campus maintains the chapel and the original mansion with its parlors, staircase, and photos of students and faculty from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

The next speaker was Sister Clare Teresa Tjader, RA who brought the group up to date on the latest news of the Assumption around the world.

The whole event was a joyful reunion of women who had come from various parts of the U.S. but also from Canada and Nicaragua. The guitar group headed by Anne Smith, Pat Sweeney Capone and Gwen Forsythe Hurley was specially good. Sr. Cecilia Hervas, RA added to the spirit of the day by playing "Assumpta Est Maria" as the young and old joined their voices.