The feast of St. Ursula was traditionally celebrated at Ursuline with a Mass and a free day. Everything changed in 1948 when Sr. Marie McCloskey, who was the principal at the time, came up with the idea of a Rally Night. She explained her idea to high school P.E. Teacher Clayre Ahern Crook, who embraced it whole-heartedly and went on to plan and produce the event that we know and love today.
The focus of Rally Night was to encourage peer support and bonding among class members, while providing an alternative to high school sororities, popular at the time and believed by Sr. McCloskey to be unchristian. The new event would include categories to appeal to a variety of interests and skills: volleyball intramurals (athletics), a skit (drama), a poster (visual arts), songs and cheers (music). Classes were encouraged to choose their own name, colors, symbols, and class theme.
Subsequent Rally Nights were coordinated and conducted by the Academy’s Physical Education Department. Teacher and Coach Patricia Jane Taylor C’50 became an integral part of the planning in 1950 through 1955, and then again in 1967 into the 1990’s, working with the assistance of Teacher and Coach Marta Bott. Ms. Bott carried on this tradition until her untimely passing in 2008. Today, the Academy honors the legacy of these former leaders by remaining true to Rally Night’s objectives and practices.