Our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, inspired the mission of the Academy more than 200 years ago. Her vision was to educate students with academic standards for excellence. She created an environment attentive to the development of the whole person, preparing each child to assume leadership roles in professional, civic and academic careers.
This vision was brought to North America by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, who founded the first Sacred Heart school in the U.S. in St. Charles, Missouri. In 1821, Father Gabriel Richard proposed establishing a Sacred Heart school in Detroit. The proposal was initially rejected by St. Philippine, but came to fruition 30 years later, in 1851, with the assistance of the Beaubien family.
The Academy was located on Jefferson Avenue between St. Antoine and Beaubien Streets, in the area where the Renaissance Center stands today. In 1918, the school moved to Lawrence Avenue due to increasing industrialization in the area. In 1958, the school moved to its present location in Bloomfield Hills.