Our History

Since 1947, St. Edmund’s Academy’s focus on both academic rigor and character education has served as our distinguishing trademark in Pittsburgh. Throughout the years, that reputation has evolved with our student population and now includes recognition of our diverse community as a key element of our unique identity.  

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  • 1947

    Ascension Academy, named for its home in the Church of the Ascension, is founded by a group of parents from Pittsburgh’s East End hoping to establish a small, private school dedicated to the education of boys where individual attention, intellectual achievement, and character development served as guiding principles. 
    From its founding, the school articulated a clear vision of community cohesion, seeking to elevate the issues that held people together rather than dwell on those that pushed them apart.  

Wilburn C. Campbell, Ascension Academy’s Founding Director

A sectarian school which indoctrinates students with a sense of ‘differentness,’ of ‘exclusiveness’ is a harmful influence in a democratic nation.

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  • 1951

    J. Robert “Sir” Izod is appointed the first Headmaster, serving for 21 years.
  • 1952

    Mrs. Edmund Mudge, the widow of a prominent Pittsburgh industrialist and a parishioner of the Church of the Redeemer, donated the site on Darlington Road, next to the Church of the Redeemer, for a new school building. 
    Inspired by and grateful for Mrs. Edmund Mudge’s generous gift, the school took the name St. Edmund’s Academy, honoring Mr. Mudge.  

Minutes, Board of Trustees, December 1952

The new name was appropriate for many reasons and would be a fitting acknowledgement of the generous gift of the adjacent property by Mrs. Mudge in memory of her late husband, Edmund W. Mudge.

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  • 1955

    St. Edmund’s Academy graduated its first class of 8th Graders. 
  • 1956

    The St. Edmund’s Day Pageant, celebrating Edmund the Martyr’s faithfulness and resolve was performed for the first time.  Generations of children have performed the St. Edmund’s Day Pageant to highlight what we believe to be true: that people of courage and conviction can influence their community and the world for ages to come. 

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  • 1972

    The Field House grand opening was held following a $1.4 million capital campaign. This space housed an ice-skating facility and gymnasium. 
  • 1983

    The Board of Trustees agreed to shift from a boys-only to co-educational program. 
  • 1993

    St. Edmund’s Academy graduated its first co-educational class of 8th Graders. 
  • 1996

    St. Edmund’s Academy’s Core Values are formalized by Headmaster David Lowry, capturing the universal idealism of the school. 
  • 1998

    The St. Lucy Field is added to the campus of St. Edmund’s Academy.  
  • 2017

    SEA launches the Reach for Excellence Campaign, its largest fundraising effort in its history, securing over $5 million in resources for curricular innovation, endowed scholarship support, and a facility expansion. 
  • 2019

    St. Edmund’s Academy celebrated the Grand Opening of the Center for Integrated Discovery, a 7,680 square foot expansion that houses classrooms for physical education, visual and performing arts, and engineering & design.  

    SEA hires its first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 
Guided by our Core Values and commitment to high standards, St. Edmund’s Academy provides a diverse, inclusive, and nurturing learning community where students are known, valued, and challenged to achieve their potential.