More than 450 individuals from across the nation came to Cape Girardeau earlier this month to celebrate a significant milestone: the 85th anniversary of the opening of the first Roman Catholic high school in the city. Alumni recalled the school's three locations over the years and its four names.
St. Mary's High School opened in 1925 in the former Saint Francis Hospital building at the corner of Sprigg and William streets near St. Mary Cathedral. In 1954 students attended classes at the new Cape Girardeau Catholic High School on Caruthers Avenue near St. Vincent's Church. In 1960 the school's name was changed to Notre Dame High School. When students moved in 1998 to the new campus on Route K, the name became Notre Dame Regional High School.
Graduates of each phase of the school's long and productive history attended the all-class reunion, bringing their personal stories to share among the several generations of attendees.
Since 2004, the school has been ranked as one of the Top 50 Catholic high schools -- out of 2,500 -- in the nation. For the many individuals who helped celebrate at the 85-year reunion, the school has always been No. 1.