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Oregon’s premier college-preparatory Catholic high school for young women

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Alumnae Events

Upcoming Events


Important dates:

      • Open House - Sunday, October 2
      • SMA Spirit Walk - Friday, October 7
      • Founders’ Day - Friday, October 21
      • Food For Thought - Tuesday, November 15
      • Fall Theatre Production - Friday-Sunday, October 21-23 (Alumnae reception on October 21)
      • Christmas Basket Project - November and December
      • Christmas Concert: Instrumental/Dance - Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m.
      • Christmas Concert: Choral - Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m.
      • Alumnae Christmas Event - Wednesday, December 28 (Location TBD)
      • Studio Theatre Production - Friday-Saturday December 9-10
      • Marian Singers perform at the Grotto - Sunday, December 11
      • Spring Musical - Friday – Sunday March 10-12
      • SMA Annual Auction - Saturday, April 8 at the Oregon Convention Center
      • Spring Concert: Instrumental/Dance - Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m.
      • Spring Concert: Choral - Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m.
      • Alumnae Choir rehearsals for Spring Concert (TBA)
      • Reunion Weekend and Alumnae St. Mary’s Academy Awards (TBA)
      • Alumnae Association presentation to graduating seniors - Wednesday, May 24 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Alumnae Induction and Senior Luncheon with legacy alumnae - Thursday, June 1 at noon

Please check out our athletics calendar and join us in rooting for the Blues!

St. Mary's Academy Alumnae Awards

Patricia Fursman Floersch '56, Whitney Swindells Flanagan '91, Sara Follen Salvi '71, Ardis DeFreece '92

Thank you for attending the 2016 St. Mary's Academy Alumnae Awards on Friday, May 13, 2016. Four outstanding alumnae were recognized.

Outstanding Achievement in Innovation
Whitney Swindells Flanagan '91

Whitney loved art from a young age and bloomed at SMA, especially in her art classes. “St. Mary’s embraces every single student, ability and skill set,” says Whitney. “I was taught how to be myself and showed what I could do. That was important at this stage of my life.” After studying communications and art history in college, Whitney started her professional career in marketing and advertising. Thriving, but feeling unfulfilled by the corporate world, Whitney started collaborating in art and education. Life took her to Australia and New Zealand, where the idea of an eco-friendly cardboard vase sprouted in her mind. Coming back to the United States after a few years, she and her husband decided to jump into the great adventure of creating a company to offer an alternative to glass vases. For 13 years, they grew their company one customer at a time, until they decided to sell it. Whitney told us, “We were so passionate and fearless when we created our concept. Blumebox was our baby. It was very emotional to let it go but it needed to get to the next stage, to go mainstream and be sold to supermarkets and bigger customers.” Whitney is a confident innovator and outstanding alumna of St. Mary’s Academy.

Outstanding Achievement in Arts
Ardis DeFreece '92

Ardis grew up in an artistic family, and decided to attend St. Mary’s Academy for its academic challenges as well as its art programs. Ardis’ love for art was cultivated at St. Mary’s, where teachers like Kathy Custer Mitchell ’64 nurtured her talent. Ardis says, “I always felt supported, and was told, ‘You can do this; you can make it your life but it’s going to take hard work.’” Thanks to the support of her amazing St. Mary’s teachers, Ardis kept true to her passion, studied art in college, and traveled around the country and Europe to curate galleries, create her own pieces and teach art to adults and children. Ardis says, “Everyday objects, the people I meet and the world around me are my inspiration. I am fascinated by what we see every day, but that we don’t really appreciate what is there.” Ardis shares her love for art with her students and peers; she is truly an outstanding alumna.

Outstanding Achievement in Athletics
Sara Follen Salvi '71

Sara is an English teacher and coach at St. Mary’s Academy, but she first impacted the school as a student when she pioneered the first tennis program. Her initiative allowed for the school to be competitive on the court, and we still honor her legacy with our strong tennis program today. After playing tennis, basketball and volleyball at SMA, Sara became a UC Davis Aggie, and then continued playing tennis in European tournaments and as a graduate student in Ireland. She became a teacher, and had the opportunity to coach tennis and teach at Wilson High School for 10 years. After taking time to raise her children, Sara decided to come back to St. Mary’s Academy to be a Spanish and then an English teacher, as well as a professional development coordinator and the assistant golf coach. Sara’s commitment to St. Mary’s Academy and to sharing her love for athletics and English makes her a truly outstanding St. Mary’s Academy alumna.

Outstanding Service to the Community
Patricia Fursman Floersch '56

Pat knew at the age of 10 that she wanted to become a nurse. Pat says, “St. Mary’s was very different back then. We wore uniforms and all of our teachers were nuns in full habits. It was very strict, but coming through St. Mary’s got me ready to succeed in nursing school.” Following her calling, Pat attended nursing school and started working while her friends stayed home to take care of their families. With a strong commitment to service, Pat took part in her first medical trip to Calcutta, India – it was the start of numerous missions that took her to India, Mexico and Haiti. Pat tells us, “In Haiti, we would drive away from the city, up on the hills where farmers live crop by crop. I learned more from my patients than they learned from us. These trips were transforming.” Pat’s last trip was in March 2015, and she now is a busy retired nurse in Portland. She gives her time to St. Michael’s, Holy Trinity, the Food Closet and is also a “lunch grandma” at Jesuit. Her commitment to service and her mission to heal the sick make Pat an outstanding St. Mary’s Academy alumna.

Please join us!

We love our alumnae and hope to see you at some of our upcoming events. If you have questions about any of our events, or would like to RSVP, please email Annie Diess at