Mercy mourns the passing of Sister Michelle Carroll, founding principal
August 24, 2018
Dear Alumnae and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I share the news with you that Sister Michelle Carroll, founding principal of Mercy High School, died yesterday in Savannah, Georgia. A Sister of Mercy for 73 years, she was 96 years old.
Born in Orlando, Florida on Christmas Day 1921 to Phillip and Henrietta Carroll, Sister Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Florida State University. A research chemist during World War II, she helped develop Vitamin C supplements for U.S. soldiers. Sister Michelle entered the Sisters of Mercy in Baltimore, in 1944. As a young Sister of Mercy, she taught at Mount Saint Agnes High School and College, and was a teacher and principal at St. Vincent’s Academy, a Mercy school for girls in Savannah. In 1958, Sr. Michelle earned a master’s degree in education from what was then Loyola College, with certifications in biology and chemistry.
In 1960, the Sisters of Mercy appointed Sister Michelle founding principal of Mercy High School Baltimore. On September 26, 1960, the new principal and her enthusiastic faculty welcomed 315 freshmen to their beautiful, bright and modern school. With a gentle demeanor and a soft southern accent, Sister Michelle oversaw the rapid growth of Mercy, which by 1963 enrolled more than 1,000 girls. Sister Michelle guided the faculty—almost all Sisters of Mercy in those early days— and led the development of an innovative curriculum. Her focus on academic excellence and rigor are hallmarks of a Mercy education today. Sister Michelle served as Mercy’s principal until 1966, when she became assistant provincial of the Baltimore Province of the Sisters of Mercy. In 1971, she returned to Mercy High School for two years as a guidance counselor. In the following years, Sister Michelle served as provincial for the Baltimore Province and as vice president for sponsorship at St. Joseph’s Health System in Atlanta. Sister Michelle had lived at Mercy Convent in Savannah since 2006. Throughout her life, Sister Michelle maintained a lively interest in Mercy High School Baltimore.
Memorial gifts in her honor may be directed to:
Mercy High School
1300 East Northern Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21239
Online gifts may be made here.
As a school community, we are deeply grateful to God for Sister Michelle’s life of visionary leadership and faithful service.
Eternal rest grant unto Sister Michelle, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Mary Beth Lennon '85