Over 300 supporters gathered at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Maryland on Saturday, May 13, 2023 to celebrate The Power of Sisters – to honor Sister Delia Dowling, SSND, and all the women of vision and perseverance who created and continue to sustain Sisters Academy of Baltimore. Sister Kathleen Feeley, SSND, opened the formalities with a prayer, asking God to continue to watch over and guide the ministry of the school. Mr. Tim Regan, CEO of Whiting-Turner (the Presenting Sponsor), welcomed all and recognized the leadership provided by Sister Delia Dowling – an “extraordinary woman.”
Traveling through time via video, guests were able to see how Sisters Academy has developed from an idea 21 years ago, through two years of formation, from Opening Day in September of 2004, up to its current manifestation. The historical presentation recognized the four co-sponsoring congregations, the teachers and staff who educate our students, our alumnae, our current students who embrace one another as sisters, and the girls who will join the community of Sisters Academy in the future. It included brief snapshots of Sister Delia’s childhood and background, remembrances from the original decision makers, and success stories from some of the school’s alumnae.
Board Chair, Mr. Dale McArdle, recognized the original staff and presented Shining Star Awards to Sister Virginia Brune, SSND, the first teacher, Sister Debbie Liesen, SSND, the first principal, Sister Suzanne Hall, SNDdeN, co-founder, and Sister Delia Dowling, SSND, co-founder and First President of Sisters Academy. Shining Star Awards are presented to those who exemplify how opportunity and education can affect an individual and influence the world in a positive way.
Principal, Dr. Jeanne Dolamore, introduced several students from the seventh and eighth grades who expressed the essence of The Power of Sisters in poetry or essay form. The students read excerpts from their personal works. Mrs. Patricia White, Choir Director, led the Sisters Academy Chamber Choir in a collaboration of joyous songs that embraced the gratitude felt that evening. Once the final musical note was delivered, it had become abundantly clear that Sisters Academy has and will continue to educate, empower, and transform the lives all of its students through its holistic program and rigorous academics.
As Mrs. Kaliq Hunter Simms assumes the responsibilities of the Office of President of Sisters Academy of Baltimore, all will continue to celebrate, honor, and thank Sister Delia for her long-term vision, deep commitment, and loving service to the school and its surrounding community. The legacy that Sister Delia has created will continue to live on through the students who are educated within its walls for years to come.
In closing, when asked to reflect on the success and trajectory of the school, Sister Helen Amos, RSM, said it best, “Sisters Academy of Baltimore, from its very first day unto today and tomorrow, implants goals, and lifts the aspirations of young girls to heights beyond any expectations. The achievements of the graduates attest to this.”