Faced with continued financial issues and a dwindling enrollment, the religious order that has run Saint Scholastica Academy for nearly 150 years has decided to close its doors at the end of the year.
"We are deeply saddened by the need to close SSA," Sister Patricia Crowley, Prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, said in a statement. "St. Scholastica Academy has educated thousands of young women who have served our world well in business, religious and civic spheres."
Among the students at the academy is Amy Blagojevich, one of the daughters of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. News of the closure hit the family on an especially difficult day. Blagojevich heads to federal prison on Thursday.
"That is a grievous blow to both Patti and me. And it is hard on Amy, and we hope... that if there's anybody out there who cares about that beautiful little Catholic school, St. Scholastica, and they want to help keep that school open, if you can open up your hearts and do whatever else is possible to keep that school open, that sure would mean a lot to all of us," Blagojevich said during his farewell remarks outside his Ravenswood Manor home.
Crowley said she didn't see the former governor's statement but had received several emails about it.
"Amy is a wonderful girl," said Crowley. "She has done well here."
The academy said juniors at the school will have the option to continue their education at what will be called St. Scholastica Senior Academy and earn their SSA diplomas upon graduation. If juniors choose to transfer to another Catholic high school, The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago will work with that school to try to arrange for SSA students at that school to receive St. Scholastica Academy diplomas.
Alumni of the school includes former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne.