Gwynedd-Mercy Academy, originally known as the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy, is a sponsored institution of the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Governance is shared with a Board of Trustees whose members are committed to the mission of Mercy education and whose expertise supports the ongoing goals of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy.
Catherine McAuley founded the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, on December 12, 1831. The Sisters dedicated themselves to the "service of the poor, the sick and the ignorant." Within ten years of the establishment of the Sisters of Mercy, members of the community had been sent to all parts of Ireland and England.
Mother M. Patricia Joseph Waldron brought the Sisters of Mercy to Philadelphia in August 1861. On the first Monday of September 1861, the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy formally opened on Spring Garden Street in the parish of the Assumption. Two years later, the school was moved to a private residence at the corner of Broad Street and Columbia Avenue. At that time, twenty-eight pupils from grades one through twelve attended the Academy.
In 1947, the Sisters of Mercy purchased the Taylor Estate on Sumneytown Pike in Gwynedd Valley. The Academy then moved from Philadelphia and occupied various buildings on the campus until a new Academy building was completed in 1955.
In order to accommodate the tremendous growth of the Gwynedd-Mercy Family in all levels of education: elementary, high school, and college, the Spring House public school was purchased in the spring of 1981. Later, six acres of playing fields adjacent to the parcel were purchased. In recent years, two major additions have been made to the building, a 22,000 square foot project including a multi-purpose gymnasium/auditorium, a library, and computer room and a 2004 addition housing our middle school wing, enhanced science lab, and fine arts areas.
The student body of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary is presently composed of 400 boys and girls from kindergarten through grade 8. There are three classes at each grade level with an average of 15 students in each class.
In all of its endeavors, Gwynedd-Mercy Academy strives to continue the tradition of excellence begun over 150 years ago, in 1861.