Hop aboard the time machine

Our Lady of the Lake’s basketball team, 1911-1912.

Our Lady of the Lake’s basketball team, 1911-1912.

How different was life at the Lake 100 years ago?

The answer can be found partly in the 1912 Catalog and its descriptions of campus. For example, the Catalog touts the campus’ electricity and Artesian well-fed plumbing.

The Catalog also lists Disciplinary Regulations, including:

  • The time of recreation excepted, silence must be strictly observed, and even during the hours of recreation silence is exacted in the halls, corridors, and staircases.
  • No pupil is permitted to borrow or to lend any article of clothing.
  • Neatness of person and great care of books and clothing must be strictly observed.
  • No jewelry should be brought to the Academy, its use not being favored.
  • Particular friendships are not allowed. The pupils should cultivate an amiable disposition and a polite deportment.
  • Regular hours for sewing are allowed to each pupil, so that she may keep her wardrobe in perfect order.
  • Letters are written on Saturdays and Sundays; and communications sent or received are subject to the inspection of the Superior.

The thought of these (and many more) regulations gives me sympathy not just for the students, but for the Sisters who must have been exhausted enforcing them.

What else do we know about how the young school was growing 100 years ago? At that time, the school was an established academy for girls, but collegiate education was just beginning. The women’s liberal arts college had only been established a year earlier. In the academic year 1911-1912, Rosalie McNelly was the only college student enrolled. In 1914, Rosalie joined the Congregation of Divine Providence as Sister Presentation. The 1912-1913 Catalog lists these college-level subjects: religion, church history, philosophy, history of philosophy, English, history and social science, Latin, Greek, German, mathematics, and science. In that academic year, the freshman class had grown to three students.

For more information about the history of Our Lady of the Lake, visit the University Archives, Monday –Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or contact archivist Anna Beyer at x2338.


Catalog. (1911). San Antonio, TX: Our Lady of the Lake.

[Our Lady of the Lake basketball team] [Photograph]. (1911). San Antonio, TX:
Our Lady of the Lake University Archives.

Our Lady of the Lake University Archives. (n.d.). Happenings year by year.
Unpublished typescript, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX.


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