On September 15, 1931, during a record-breaking heat wave of 104 degrees, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened Academy of Holy Angels with 107 students in grades 1-12 at 66th Street and Nicollet Avenue in Richfield. Built during the Great Depression in the midst of cornfields, the construction cost was about $600,000.
Holy Angels became formally accredited on May 2, 1932. The enrollment was 225 on the first day and grew to 265 by the end of the school year. The 13 girls in the first graduating class wore white formals and carried long-stemmed roses. The tradition of carrying roses at graduation is still in place today.
In 1972, Academy of Holy Angels becomes coeducational, serving students in grades 9-12. There were 84 freshmen boys, 38 sophomore boys, and six junior boys.
AHA purchased the school's campus from its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, in 2003. Holy Angels also built and dedicated a new 70,000-square-foot addition that included a Convocation Center and classrooms.
Academy of Holy Angels recently celebrated 50 years of coeducation. AHA currently educates 630 students each year that come from 102 different schools across the metro.
For more history about AHA, click the video below.