Published : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | 9:07 PM
This week’s announcement that American actress Meghan Markle was officially engaged to England’s Prince Harry brought a flurry of media attention to Markle’s alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School, the all-girls Catholic college preparatory school in the Los Feliz foothills of Los Angeles.
In response to the breaking news, Immaculate Heart President Maureen Diekmann said in prepared remarks, “Over 10,000 women of great heart and right conscience have graduated from Immaculate Heart – and we are proud to count Meghan Markle, Class of 1999, among that number.”
Praising Markle’s philanthropic work and humanitarian efforts, Diekmann said, “As a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, Markle has campaigned for clean, safe drinking water. Additionally, as the UN Women’s Advocate for Political Participation & Leadership, she has spoken up for women’s rights and gender equality.”
“Today, we at Immaculate Heart extend our best wishes to Markle on her engagement to His Royal Highness, Prince Harry,” the administrator added.
Within minutes of Monday’s morning bell calling students to class, Immaculate Heart’s phone lines were buzzing with media inquiries about the alumna’s academic and extra-curricular history. In short order, camera crews and news vans squeezed into the campus lot and reporters vied for student reactions to the breaking news.
The guest visitors turned heads in the crowded corridors as students and their backpacks moved between classes. By the afternoon, however, even the youngest of Immaculate Heart’s middle school students knew the drill. Asked where Markle’s senior photo hung with those of her classmates in the auditorium building, several sixth graders jumped from their seats, rushed to a nearby wall, and pointed their fingers upward at the picture. “There she is!” they exclaimed.
Some brief facts about Markle: She attended both Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School. During her high school years, Markle performed in theatrical productions at both Immaculate Heart and Loyola High School. Additionally, during her senior year, she was selected to serve as a student leader for the senior class Kairos Retreat, a coveted role typically reserved for students known for their empathy as well as their abilities to listen and guide students in reflective conversations during the four-day retreat.
Although many IH students described news of the engagement as “exciting,” Mia Speier, the high school’s student body president, said she was most impressed with Markle as a “strong” woman and model humanitarian. “The fact that she has walked through our hallways here and is an advocate for women is very inspiring,” Speier said.
About Immaculate Heart
Founded in 1906, Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School educates young women in grades sixth through 12th from its central location in the Los Feliz foothills near Griffith Park in Hollywood. The school has a long and distinguished history, with more than 10,000 graduates. Today’s student body of more than 700 young women is both geographically and ethnically diverse, drawing on students from throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, virtually 100 percent of Immaculate Heart graduates matriculated to colleges, including the most prestigious schools in the country.