School History

A Brief Glimpse Into Our History

Magnificat School History

The Humility of Mary heritage has fostered devotion to Mary as a strong woman and faithful disciple throughout her life, speaking joyfully as well as prophetically in the school prayer, the canticle of the Magnificat. This heritage has also promoted involvement in justice and service supported by the H.M. Community Endowment both for summer immersion experiences as well as tuition assistance and other supporting grants. Magnificat’s emphasis on the holistic development of students has led to the enhancement of the Campus Ministry program in complementary dimensions of service, liturgy/prayer, retreats, and peace and justice as well as co-curricular and athletic programs.

List of 6 items.

  • 1960s and 1970s

    The hallmark of education at Magnificat has always been its reputation for excellence and caring. In the late 1960s, the school adopted a mosaic schedule to address the variety of learning rhythms of both students and teachers. In the early 1970s, reflecting the nature of the student body, Magnificat committed to a fully accredited college-preparatory curriculum, receiving the official State Department of Education designation in 1985. Annually, at least 98 percent of graduates matriculate directly to a four-year college or university.

    With the passage of Title IX in 1972 and increased availability of college scholarships for scholar-athletes, Magnificat began to mount competitive teams, which today number 12 sports, most including freshman, JV and varsity levels, and have achieved State Championships in a range of athletic events.

    In 1973, Magnificat established the Genesis program, the first of its kind, involving seniors in a two-week community service and career exploration under a mentor in the broader community.
  • 1980s

    In 1985, the school was honored as an “Exemplary Private School,” one of the original 26 non-public schools nationwide so named by the U.S. Department of Education. That same year, the administration embarked upon the school’s first capital campaign, which resulted in a new wing located at the east end of the building housing the Theology and Science Departments. The project also included classroom and office renovations in the main building and an athletic field for softball, soccer, and track and field. Two years later, the Activities Center (Gym) and outdoor tennis courts, both located at the eastern end of the property, were completed.

    In 1986, the school was incorporated and a Board of Directors established to assure responsibility for the strategic direction of the corporation and to ensure a philosophy, mission and identity consistent with that of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. The Code of Regulations thus guarantees the forwarding of the institution in an enduring and recognized way.
  • 1990s

    1997 marked the transition to a President-Principal administrative model, facilitating more comprehensive planning for the future while maintaining a strong academic program. Beginning July 1, 2010, Magnificat High School announced a innovative leadership structure with the appointment of two deans, Dean of Faculty and Academics and Dean of Student Life and Formation, holding mutual, comprehensive responsibility for the day-to-day aspects of the school, its students, faculty and programs. The President has overall responsibility for the school community, its Mission, strategic direction, Board, constituent relationships and advancement. Along with the President and Deans, the Leadership Team is comprised of Vice Presidents of Mission, Advancement, and Finance and Administration.

    In 1995, the first Named Endowed Scholarship (NES) was established leading to 205 more by 2017. A range of merit and need-based scholarships complement the NES, including Alumnae, Marian, Academic and Lourdes Academy. Today, tuition assistance awarded to students exceeds $1.6 million annually.

    Education beyond the classroom has encompassed field trips to theaters, museums, universities, science and nature centers, as well as student cultural exchanges begun in 1999, with visits to schools in Barcelona (1999), Brussels (2004-10) and Grenoble (2012), and most recently, travel to China (2013). In 2000, summer immersion experiences were inaugurated and have included immersion retreats in El Salvador, Ecuador, Immokalee (Florida), Appalachia and Cleveland.
  • 2000s

    In 2004, the Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts opened, providing state-of-the-art facilities for theater, music and dance. Major renovation of the original structure brought a whole new look from classroom windows to lighting. A newly expanded Chapel became the spiritual center of the school community.
  • 2010s

    In 2010, The Rosemary Saas Center for Women of Faith in Leadership was established at Magnificat. It supports initiatives in leadership development, including local and internationally noted speakers, scholarships, alumnae connections—in person and skyped—and the Link Crew upperclass to freshman mentoring program.

    The Freshman Family Welcome Conferences for incoming students became customary in 2009. The Family Mass Program was inaugurated in 2011 to celebrate the gifts of each class and the call to live Mary’s Magnificat in the world. Pendants are distributed by class: Learn; Serve; Lead; Symbol of Mary with Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum (My soul magnifies the Lord).
    In 2012, the Theology Department implemented the new Diocesan Theology Curriculum based on the Doctrinal Framework of the USCCB complemented with traditional units on Mary and the Magnificat, identity, history, heritage and Gospel justice.

    The school-wide recycling program, initiated by students in 2008, was the origin of the comprehensive sustainability approach that has given rise to composting, planting of a prairie, use of sustainable materials in construction, and awareness and advocacy fostering care for God’s creation. In October 2012, Magnificat High School, one of four schools in the nation, was designated a Fair Trade School by Fair Trade USA.

    In March 2013, the Board of Directors approved a resolution naming the Surround Learning Center as the Humility of Mary Center, the Cafeteria as Marian Commons, and the Chapel as Lourdes Chapel in honor of the history and heritage of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, their sponsorship and enduring contributions to Magnificat High School since its founding.
     In 2013, the Genesis program was re-conceptualized as a project-based, personally envisioned interdisciplinary experience conducted across junior and senior year. The revised Genesis experience will culminate in an authentic product and/or innovative presentation.

    In 2018 received a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon and was named a Cleveland Clinic Banner School.
  • Our Campus Through the Years

    The original classroom building facing Hilliard Boulevard was completed in 1957 and dedicated by the late Archbishop Edward F. Hoban. Population increases in the western suburbs of Cleveland during the 1960s and 1970s were reflected in the enrollment at Magnificat, thus creating a need for additional space.

    In 1969, construction began on the spacious Resource Center, a library and educational research area, Large Group Instruction room (LGI) for multidisciplinary experiences and Multipurpose Room (MPR).

    In the mid-1980s, classrooms and offices were added, along with an additional gym at the east end of the building and outdoor athletic fields. In 1993, a third building renovation and construction project was completed with the opening of the new West Wing in what had formerly been the Convent, the living quarters of the H.M. Sisters. The first floor was transformed into an innovative art center and gallery. The Math Department was relocated to the second floor of the former convent. Spaces in the main building vacated by those departments were converted to additional science and computer labs and a completely renovated Business Technology Center.

    In 2004, the Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts opened, providing state-of-the-art facilities for theater, music and dance. Major renovation of the original structure brought a whole new look from classroom windows to lighting. A newly expanded Chapel became the spiritual center of the school community.

    In 2012, the Resource Center was completely transformed into the Humility of Mary Center along with the entrance way and lobby in Phase I of SURROUND LEARNING™ Innovative Education for Global Leading. Today, the area, equipped with WiFi, accommodates a range of electronic devices and promotes ideal environments for 20 learning modalities ranging from independent study to collaborative technologies. WiFi access and online connections to other libraries enable distance learning with museums, NASA, COSI, Taiwan and Ecuador.

    In 2013, Phase II of SURROUND LEARNING™ continues the theme of learning anytime, anywhere in a seamless environment with the transformation of the Cafeteria/Kitchen and the incorporation of electronically ready study areas.

    In 2017, Magnificat began Phase I, II, and III of the renovation of the athletic spaces around the building. Magnificat is now home to Coyne Tennis Courts and Karnatz Family Field. Magnificat is the only all-girl Catholic school in northeast Ohio to have a synthetic turf field on its campus.

    The school’s HVAC system was replaced in the summer of 2019, marking the first time in school history that the entire building was air-conditioned. The new, energy efficient system replaced the old boilers and was an essential first step toward reimagining Magnificat’s science spaces.

    During the summer of 2020, Magnificat’s second floor was transformed to create The Sisters of the Humility of Mary Center for Science Exploration & Innovation. With flexible learning spaces that allow for interdisciplinary scientific inquiry, the new science spaces were completed in time for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

    Click here for information on Magnificat's Asbestos Management Plan.

A History of Magnificat School Leadership

Magnificat’s leadership has been open to growth and change and has led Magnificat to its present stature in the community and nationally. Faculty, parents and students live the Mission of Magnificat in educating young women holistically to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat. Faculty and staff work together with parents to create the kind of caring environment that fosters spiritual growth and intellectual development.
Magnificat High School, a girls' Catholic college-preparatory high school, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, educates young women holistically to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat.