Madeleva Scholars

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The Madeleva Scholars Program provides a structure enabling students to achieve most fully those qualities articulated in the Mission Statement of The Academy of the Holy Cross: courage, compassion, and scholarship. The Program is named in honor and recognition of Sister Mary Madeleva, CSC, a noted member of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Students choose to enter the Madeleva Scholars Program in the spring of their Freshman year. Upon successful completion of the Program, students receive the Madeleva Scholar Certificate from The Academy of the Holy Cross and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross; in addition, students proudly wear the Madeleva Stole at all Commencement activities.

Program Criteria.


Each student maintains a 3.0 grade point average and completes at least one Honors-level course during each semester of her sophomore, junior and senior years; students are also required to take public speaking. Each student also submits a fully documented Research Paper and chooses a faculty member to serve as her Mentor. With the help of their Mentors, students finalize their research topics and begin their writing in the spring of Junior Year. The paper reflects the academic interests of the student and is a minimum of 10 pages. 


Each student performs a total of 115 hours of service (this includes the required Christian Service commitment and is not in addition to).


Students are expected to assume a leadership position in clubs, activities and/or athletics during their time at Holy Cross.


Each student participates in a meaningful and committed way in school athletics/activities during each year of her enrollment at The Academy of the Holy Cross.


Students engage in one learning enrichment activity in the summers following Freshman and Sophomore years, and submits a one page reflection on what she learns when she returns to school. Activities include, but are not limited to, summer courses (for-credit and not-for-credit), and programs at local museums and other institutions (for example at colleges and music halls). Students should consult the director of the Madeleva Scholars program about the enrichment they are choosing to pursue prior to the start of the summer holiday.

“We promise you discovery, the discovery of yourself, the discovery of the universe and your place in it. With these unguessed, untried potencies you begin your lifetime enterprise of exploration into God. Affairs are now and always for you, soul-sized.”

–Sister Mary Madeleva (Wolff), CSC

Sample Paper Topics

Our students have written their research paper on topics such as:

  • Forensic Science in the Media
  • Lady Gaga: Fame, Sex and Gender Issues
  • Patterns of Bullying and the Clique books
  • The Psychological Effects of Parental Deployment on Children
  • Gothic Elements in Film Adaptations of Wuthering Heights
  • The Legacy of the Civil War in American Literature
  • The History of Number Systems
  • Rights of the Paparazzi versus a Celebrity’s Right to Privacy
  • The History of the Red Sox-Yankee Rivalry

Sister Mary Madeleva (Wolff), CSC

For 27 years, Sister Madeleva was president of Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame, IN. She is internationally recognized as one of the outstanding women in Catholic literary and academic fields.

She once wrote:

"School is a profound part of life, not merely a prelude to it, it gives the students ideal opportunities to live normal, healthy, intellectual lives in social conditions equally ideal… we will not promise you happiness. We will not wish you security. For we remember that ‘security is mortal’s chiefest enemy’. And we know that you can be secure only when you can stand everything that can happen to you. If your school has prepared for this, it has been a good school."