Frances Garneret Smith, Class of 1932, Mount Mercy Academy’s most seasoned alumna, was featured in Horizons, the academy’s alumnae magazine, back in 2014 on her time at Mercy in the 1930s. Mount Mercy Academy would like to wish Frances a wonderful milestone birthday — celebrated on Jan. 19 — and highlight her past interview for all to enjoy.
What is your best memory of Mount Mercy Academy?
“Mount Mercy Academy was called ‘The Mount’ when I attended. The Class of 1932 had 41 graduates. We did not have a prom or even a yearbook, but we were living through the Great Depression. It was a different time. My sister (Theresa Garneret Lenhard, ’36) and I were the first in my family to graduate from high school and we received an
excellent education. I worked for my aunt and that helped to pay for my tuition.”
In your opinion, what is the greatest Mercy tradition?
“The Mercy ring is one of the greatest traditions, and the friendships that I’ve made have lasted a lifetime. Many of my friends have passed but I still keep in touch with
Can you describe what Mount Mercy Academy was like in the 1930s?
“We wore light blue uniforms with detachable white collars and cuffs. We had to obtain 75 percent on our written exams or we did not pass.”
For over 50 years you have donated to MMA. Why have you continued to give to the school so generously?
“I give to Mount Mercy because the school and the Sisters of Mercy gave me and my younger sister a chance. We did not have money and the Sisters made arrangements for my sister Theresa to earn her tuition through work study. Both of us were able to receive a quality Catholic education which we value to this day.”
What advice would you give to today’s students?
“Stay in school, get a good education. Keep God in your everyday life. Treat people well. Don’t look down on anyone. Learn to give to others and volunteer when you can.”