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Marian spends 50 years giving hope to world

The Catholic Voice

It's a good thing to be 50.

That's what Elizabeth Kish, head of school at Marian in Omaha, said about celebrating the high school's 50th anniversary this year.

'When you're 50, I kind of compare it to a personal birthday "“ you're a little bit sad that so many years have gone by, but on the other hand, you are really feeling at the prime of life and you appreciate life a lot more," she said. 'I think people here at Marian are looking at the last 50 years as an appreciation, a real appreciation of the blessings we have."

More than 400 Marian students, faculty and alumnae gathered May 6 to celebrate the school's golden anniversary, which included an open house, Mass and dinner.

'We're just doing so well here in so many areas," Kish said. 'I'm very blessed with a very good faculty and staff and very good students and parents."

Marian opened in 1955 under the direction of the Servants of Mary. Since then, more than 6,500 young women, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a National Mother of the Year, have graduated from the all-girls school located at 74th and Military Ave.

'Our theme is "˜50 years giving hope to the world,' and that's the focus of our school "“ our girls. They go and they do give hope to the world whether it's in the family, the workplace, the world, or other countries," said Kish, who has been employed at Marian since 1977, and was appointed its first lay principal in 1989.

Marian has been recognized several times for its academic excellence. In 1993 and 1998, Marian was named a Blue Ribbon School of Academic Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, and was acclaimed for its distinguished math program. Marian is the only school in the Midwest ever to win back-to-back Blue Ribbon awards, Kish said.

In 1994, Marian received approval from the North Central Accreditation Board as a college preparatory high school.

Due to an increase in enrollment, Marian has undergone several expansion projects over the past 50 years, beginning in the 1960s when new administrative offices, classrooms, labs, cafeteria and gym were added.

In 1997 another gym was built, along with a center for fitness. In 2001, Marian finished construction on an East wing addition, which included a library, college counseling center, science labs and prep rooms. In the summer of 2005, the school underwent another renovation project that replaced all windows, installed a new heating and air conditioning system and replaced three sections of the roof.

This summer, the school is rerouting some of its roads and doing some reconstruction of the campus.

                                                'I'm proud of the expansion, the enrollment and the awards we have won in academics," Kish said. 'Our kids are so good in so many ways. They are brimming over with excitement and enthusiasm and our teachers here are so innovative and creative and energetic."

She added that at 50, 'you kind of know what errors you made in your youth and how you learn from them, so we're ready now to look forward to the future and a bright future it will be."

Marian facts


Enrollment for 2005-200 


Students in first graduating class


Young women in graduating class of 2006


Marian students over the past 50 years


Awards Marian has received this school year

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