The Academy of the Holy Names has been a symbol of quality education in the Albany area for over a century, having first opened its doors as the Academy of Notre Dame on September 10, 1884.
The school was first located on Hamilton Street in Albany, but less than a year after its opening, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
purchased property at 628 Madison Avenue and began preparations to move the Academy. By June of 1890, Regents examinations had been given for the first time, and three students had become the first graduating class. It was not until 1899 that the Academy established by the Sisters became known as The Academy of the Holy Names.
In 1922, the Sisters purchased the Hennessey Farm on New Scotland Road, but it was not until 1957 that a school building was placed on the property. In that year, the Sisters opened a new high school building for grades 9 through 12 at 1075 New Scotland Road. The Madison Avenue building still housed the grade school and junior high.
By 1963, enrollment had increased to such an extent that the Sisters thought it advisable to maintain two high schools, one at Madison Avenue which was The Academy of the Holy Names and one on New Scotland Road christened Marylrose Academy. Eventually the high school on Madison Avenue was forced to close, but the lower and middle schools (K-8) moved to new facilities on New Scotland Road in 1968.
Because of the long tradition of excellence in education associated with the name Holy Names and because of the common heritage of the facilities located on the New Scotland Road campus, it seemed appropriate to turn to a name that would signify the quality of accomplishment and unity of vision of the campus. Hence, in 1973, the campus became known as the Holy Names Campus, and Marylrose Academy became The Academy of the Holy Names Upper School.
Today the quality of education at the Academy continues to flourish. Holy Names students have the opportunity to participate in an academic program featuring flexible scheduling, interdisciplinary courses, service, and computer science as well as extracurricular activities including student government, publications and interscholastic sports. While continuing their commitment to tradition, both schools, the Upper School and the Lower & Middle School, continue to move ahead in new directions. The 2009-2010 academic year, marked the 125th anniversary of the Academy of the Holy Names.