McAuley Renaming Survey

Your input is needed and valued!

May 6, 2016

Dear McAuley Community,

As you probably know by now, the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community in Rhode Island have informed us that we will not be allowed to continue to use our current name because Catherine McAuley is so closely aligned and connected with their religious order. Therefore, “Catherine McAuley” and “McAuley” cannot be viable options for us moving forward. Additionally, the term “Mercy” cannot be used.

We are choosing to be excited about finding a new name and believe it will propel us toward the exciting future that awaits our school and students – all while upholding the same values that have so meaningfully shaped us over the years. We ask you to join us in enthusiastically embracing this process.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the school’s new name and is very interested in receiving input from all of you to help guide their discussions.

Please take a few minutes to read what the Board of Trustees is looking for in the new name, and with that in mind, please complete the survey below.

  • Because the new name will need to serve the school well beyond the lifetimes of all current students, faculty, staff, etc., the chief goal of the process for selecting a new name will be to best serve the future interests of the school, and not necessarily to memorialize the past.

  • All naming suggestions should...

  • be 2 to 5 words in length,

  • clearly represent the school’s character and distinction, and

  • leave flexibility for adding new and exciting offerings for women and girls in the future. (Example: “Maine School for Girls”)

  • There will be one important exception to the previous principle: The Board will be open to naming the school for a specific individual, group of individuals, family or organization as a named gift opportunity recognizing a generous and significant donation that fully reflects the values of the school.

  • A committee including representatives from alumnae, parents, donors, faculty, staff, trustees and local Sisters of Mercy, as well as those with branding and communication experience, will review and evaluate the names suggested from the survey and recommend to the Board of Trustees their top choices.

  • The final determination of a new name for the school will be made by the Board of Trustees – who will give serious consideration to the committee’s recommendations and all others it believes will help the new school successfully forge its future.

  • The school will announce and begin implementation of a new name by or before July 1, 2016, and will do its best to announce that name around June 9, which is after graduation but before the Auction and while students are still in school.

No matter its name, this school remains the only school in Maine designed especially for young women. We need your support to fully realize these plans and to carry this remarkable school – and its remarkable young women – into the future.

McAuley is so much more than a name. Now is the time we turn to you – our McAuley community – for your voice and vision as we continue to shape the new McAuley.

Thank you for your input during this challenging and exciting time in the life of the school.


Kathryn Woodson Barr

Head of School