The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

Notre Dame Installs New Head of School Dr. Laura Hotchkiss

Notre Dame Installs New Head of School Dr. Laura Hotchkiss

The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur officially welcomed new Head of School Dr. Laura Hotchkiss with an Installation Liturgy and Ceremony on Wednesday, October 6. The Liturgy, led by Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of Villanova University, and Ceremony took place on Notre Dame's campus, with over 800 people in attendance.

After the Liturgy, Notre Dame Student Council President Kyleigh Calvert '22 began the Installation Ceremony. Calvert shared, "We are so excited to welcome someone who inspires us. Someone who empowers us to be confident, female leaders each and every day. Someone who is approachable and works hard to ensure that our voices are heard. It is evident that Dr. Hotchkiss views us as more than academic students; she has a genuine care for us as young women who will grow to embody the hallmarks of Notre Dame. She strives to create personal connections and treats us with respect as we look up to her to become the best versions of ourselves. Her deep understanding of our values of sisterhood and community is evident every day. Dr. Hotchkiss shares a true appreciation for our traditions while also fostering a progressive mindset that encourages us to better our community."

Anne Schoemaker Vazquez, Notre Dame Class of 1999 alumna and Chair of Notre Dame's Board of Trustees, officially installed Dr. Hotchkiss as Head of School, presenting her with the medal of St. Julie. Vazquez said, "As Head of School, you will ensure that Notre Dame perseveres and makes available to all students the heritage of the past while preparing them for the future. As the leader of our independent, Catholic girls' academy, it rests upon you the responsibility of ensuring that Notre Dame accomplishes its mission, in keeping with the charism of St. Julie, of teaching our girls 'what they need to know for life.' On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Notre Dame community, I welcome you and appoint you as the fifth Head of School of the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur."

After her official installation, Dr. Hotchkiss shared the following remarks, "St. Julie once said, 'We must have courage in the times we live in. Great souls are needed, souls having the interest of God at their heart.' I pray for each of you and for our community that we become women and people with 'hearts as wide as the world.' Thank you for this amazing day and the welcome I've received in the almost 100 days I've been at Notre Dame. I look forward to what's to come, to getting to know each of you, and to being in community as we do this great work at Notre Dame." 

Dr. Hotchkiss began her tenure as the Academy of Notre Dame’s fifth Head of School on July 1, 2021. A distinguished, experienced independent school leader and educator, Dr. Hotchkiss spent over 25 plus years at The Marlborough School in Los Angeles, California, most recently as the school’s Associate Head of Academics. In this role, she helped to guide Marlborough through strategic and academic planning, leadership transition, fundraising and operations. Dr. Hotchkiss also serves on the Boards of the National Coalition of Girls’ School and One Schoolhouse, sharing her experience and expertise to further the mission of these organizations. As a girls’ school graduate, she is committed to positively impacting the lives of young women.