Padua Academy's mission, along with its rich history and cherished traditions, serves as the fundamental cornerstone that sets us apart.

Our Mission

Rooted in the Catholic faith, Padua Academy offers young women a transformational college preparatory education, challenging them to live Christ-centered lives of leadership and service.

Padua's school motto, "Suaviter sed Fortiter," translates as "Softly, but Strongly" and describes the qualities of an educated woman: nurturing and responsive to the uniqueness of others, yet purposeful and determined, accepting a responsible role in the global community.  At the heart of Padua's education are our four pillars:  Spirituality, Scholarship, Service and Sisterhood.

Our History

In 1954, the girls of St. Anthony of Padua grade school voiced their desire for a "school of their own." Today, we proudly stand as the result of their courageous request. For over six decades, Padua Academy has been dedicated to providing a transformative educational experience rooted in faith. 

Founded by Rev. Joseph L. McCoy, OSFS, our beloved "school with a soul" on Broom Street was built through the efforts of the members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, led by the inspiring Fr. Roberto Balducelli, OSFS (pictured). In the early years, members of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia administered and staffed the school. To ensure a continuing tradition in the founding spirit, St. Francis de Sales and St. Francis of Assisi were chosen as the patrons of the school.

Padua Academy has had three different buildings throughout its history. The first building was established in 1954 at St. Anthony's of Padua Parish School, located at 9th and Scott Street. As the school experienced growth, it expanded into the building across the street known as Balducelli Hall Annex.
By 1966, plans were underway to begin construction on Broom Street. In the fall of 1972, the building was almost (though not quite) complete, and students relocated once again to our current location at 10th and Broom Streets and construction continued. On November 24, 1974 the new school held its dedication.

School Spirit and Traditions

Our school spirit is a vibrant reflection of our faith, love for one another, and our deep appreciation for God's provision of a safe and nurturing environment for us to grow as a community. This unity is demonstrated through our enthusiastic support for the academic, athletic, artistic, and service accomplishments of all.

Traditions Padua students have to look forward to are:  Class Days, Spirit Week, Big Sister / Little Sister, Freshman Convocation, Sophomore Lily Mass, Junior Ring Mass, Halloween Parade, Christmas Tree Trim, Catholic Schools Week, Encounter, Senior Spirit Week, Moving Up Ceremony / Closing Liturgy, and Baccalaureate to name a few.

As part of our spirit week, each grade is assigned a specific color that represents their collective identity and participation in the festivities.

List of 4 items.

  • Freshmen

    Class color - Green
  • Sophomores

    Class color -  Blue
  • Juniors

    Class color - Red
  • Seniors

    Class color - Gold

List of 4 items.

  • Colors

    The traditional school colors are Franciscan Brown and Gold. The addition of black and yellow was due to manufacturing issues, specifically the difficulty in purchasing brown materials and the need for special orders. Black was more readily available.
  • School Seal

    The school seal includes symbols of all the founding charisms, incorporating elements of St. Anthony of Padua Parish (lily), Oblate (Vive Jesu, translated Live Jesus), and Franciscan traditions (crossed arms of Christ & St. Francis of Assisi). 
  • Logos

    The school logo includes the school name (or simply the capital P) with a cross aligned with the first letter of Padua. The athletic logo is a capital P split diagonally with black and gold and proudly displayed on our athletic uniforms.
  • School Mascot

    Our mascot is the Panda.  You never know when the Panda will make an appearance at school or games.  We are #PandaProud of our students and alumnae, and often use this phrase / hashtag along with #PaduaProud.

Our Alma Mater

The Alma Mater that is currently sung at our school today is not the original school song. Our school song was rewritten two times, most recently in the early 2000s due to it containing several high notes that the students found difficult to sing.  All three versions are below.

The original school song, titled "The Brown and The Gold," was first performed in public on June 1, 1958, during Padua's 1st Commencement Exercises. The lyrics and music of this song were created by Sister Mary Bonagratia, who served as the Supervisor of Schools for the sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, Philadelphia Foundation. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were the first to staff Padua Academy.

"Hail, Padua!", the second school song was arranged by Jo McKee Travers, with words and music by Sister Francis Marie, OSF. 


Acknowledging our Graduates

We want to acknowledge all of our Padua Academy graduates, past and present. The school song will vary depending upon your graduation year. It's not uncommon for schools to have variations or updates to their songs or colors over time. These changes may be influenced by factors such as evolving traditions, school leadership, or student input. Please know that Padua Academy cherishes its alumnae, and each graduating class contributes to the rich history and legacy of the school.
Spirituality. Scholarship. Service. Sisterhood.