Traditions and Celebrations

While St. Catherine’s has eagerly embraced the technology and advancements of the Information Age, we are also a school steeped in tradition. These traditions are what connect us to our past—they remind us that generations of women have lived, studied and grown together on this campus, just as our students do today.

Our School Motto 
“What we keep we lose; only what we give remains our own”

St. Catherine’s Day: The St. Catherine’s Day worship service takes place in the fall near All Saints’ Day. On this occasion, a representative senior is selected by her classmates and the Upper School faculty to speak of ideals which are associated with our patron saint, Catherine of Alexandria.

Ring-Candlelight Service: Every spring, a worship service celebrates the transfer of student leadership to the rising senior class. Juniors receive the class rings as a symbol of their new role.

Junior/Senior Banquet: The Junior/Senior banquet is a farewell dinner for the Seniors given by the Juniors on the night before Commencement.

Gold and White
Gold-White games and contests have been a tradition at St. Catherine's since 1926. Every girl, faculty and staff are members of either the Gold team or the White team, representing the School's official colors. The teams participate in activities throughout the year that encourage teamwork, sportsmanship, loyalty and friendlly competition between students in all grades. On designated days, girls wear gold or white clothing to show their school pride. A cup is awarded in May to the team accumulating the most points during the year. 

Founder's Day
A tribute to the School's founder, Virginia Randolph Ellett, this celebration takes place in January and includes a chapel service and the Gold/White cheer rally during the school day for students, faculty and staff. 

Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day
Students invite their grandparents or special friends to spend a few hours with them on campus in April. Guests enjoy student performances, exhibits and classroom visits. This event alternates between divisions every other year with Lower School held one year and a joint Middle School/Upper School event the next year.

Reunion Weekend for Alumnae
Alumnae return to campus each April to celebrate their class reunions. Weekend activities include a Head of School reception for all classes, alumnae art exhibition, a special luncheon and individual class parties. The weekend kicks off on Friday in Upper School Chapel followed by Career Day, sessions for our students in grades 9-12 to hear from alumnae who represent myriad career paths. This is just one way that our current students engage in networking with accomplished alumnae from all over the world. 

School Songs and Prayers

School Hymn
Father in heaven, who lovest all,
O help thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age 
An undefiled heritage.
Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.
Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for Judge and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favor of the crowd.
Teach us delight in simple things,
And mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And love to all beneath the sun.
     —Rudyard Kipling

Jerusalem
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, 
Till we have built Jerusalem
In every green and pleasant land.
     –William Blake

Alma Mater
St. Catherine’s, we praise thee;
To thee a hymn we sing.
Let praise and devotion
From every heart now ring.
Our loyalty and love for thee
Forever true will be.
Through all the years
Thy light will shine
And gleam ever bright.
St. Catherine’s, all hail thee!
We’ll love through all our days
Thy spirit undying.
To thee, Alma Mater, praise!
     — Margaret Page ’51
     — Marion Ryland ’51

School Prayer and Benediction
Help us, O God, to remember, through the example of Jesus Christ, that what we keep we lose; only what we give remains our own.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be near us to defend us, within us to possess us, around us to preserve us, before us to guide us, behind us to justify us, and above us to bless us. Amen.
6001 Grove Avenue | Richmond, Virginia 23226 | (p) 804.288.2804 |  (f) 804.285.8169
Experts in the way girls learn best, St. Catherine’s offers a rigorous liberal arts education, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish (JK- grade 12), JK- grade 12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and 23 AP classes and 33 honors classes. Call us today for a tour 804-288-2804.