About » History


Established in 1860, the Academy of Saint Elizabeth is the oldest all-girls high school in New Jersey.

Mother Xavier had been commissioned by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, a nephew of Elizabeth Ann Seton, to establish New Jersey’s first secondary school for young women. The Academy welcomed its first students in a white frame building that still stands today. Just a few years later, in 1865, a new building was completed in time to host the first commencement exercises on the growing campus. By then, the Academy had already established an enviable reputation for its academics, culture, and Catholic learning.

The original AOSE schoolhouse was built in Madison; the renaming to Convent Station would come in the 1870s, when Mother Xavier funded the construction and staffing of the train station just beyond the Academy gates.

The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth continued to acquire local parcels of land whenever they became available - an enlightened determination for women of their time and circumstance. Today, the campus is over 200 acres and also the home of the College of Saint Elizabeth, founded in 1899.

In 2015, the Academy entered a new era when it welcomed its first lay leader, Principal Lynn Burek. At the Academy, we look back on our rich and important history even as we engage in today’s work of educating young women for 21st-century scholarship, leadership, and service.