Vis, Viz or Visi?


Grace Keeley, Co-Executive Editor

As some of you may know, we are not the one and only Visitation School. In fact, there are not one, not two but three Visitations in the United States! Located in Georgetown, Washington DC and Saint Louis, Missouri our sister schools show that there really are Visitation girls everywhere. This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet some of the other Visitation students from both campuses and even visit the Saint Louis school. Through conversation with my “semi-peers,” I learned about what Visitation Life entails for girls at each of the schools. Although I cannot sit in on a Georgetown or Saint Louis class nor can I teleport us to the bustling streets of DC or the city of the Gateway Arch, I can give a small glimpse of what student life is like at each school.

Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School was founded in 1799, making it the oldest of the Visitations. Georgetown Visitation is an all-girls high school, offering education for freshmen to seniors. Students at this school can be spotted sporting their, “corn uniforms” as one Visitation student coined it, forest green skirts and pale yellow shirts in the fall and spring and their plaid shirts and gray pants in the winter. Similar to how Visitation is nicknamed “Vis” in Minn., students at Georgetown Visitation charmingly only call their school “Visi.” 

The official mascot of the Visi girls is the Cubs; yet they actually have two separate mascots: Ferdinand the tiger and Nicodemus the polar bear. The school has two mascots to go along with one of the largest school traditions: Gold-White. When students, faculty or teachers enter Visi, they are assigned to either White Team or Gold Team. Throughout the entire school year, Gold and White team members battle it out to be the winning team, granting them the banner and, of course, bragging rights. Although Gold-White events are happening throughout the whole school year, one of the biggest (and student favorite) events are Gold-White Weeks. Gold-White are held in the fall and winter and needless to say, Visi girls go all out. Each team chooses a theme for the special week. Each team makes an on-theme T-shirt and choreographs a cheer to go along with the pep rally. Teams dress up in elaboratly coordinated outfits and cheer on their team members in field hockey or basketball games. Visi girls even have a grand entrance into the school on trolleys!

Another fun tradition that Visi girls have is Skirt Day. While the girls at the Mendota Heights Visitation wear a T-shirt with their future college logo, Visi girls take this tradition to the next level. Channeling their artistic side, Visi seniors paint their college logo onto their uniform skirts. Another fun event for senior Visi girls is Senior Day. Very similar to a senior prank, seniors pull a light hearted joke on the school, per typical Visi fashion, each Senior Day has a designated theme that the prank encompasses. Another long-standing Visi tradition is the junior ring ceremony. Juniors are able to customize their own class ring and receive them at a special ring ceremony. Each junior receives her ring from a fellow classmate, signifying an unbroken sisterhood.

The most loved school dance at Visi is the Athletic Association (AA) Mixer. The Athletic Association at Visi is a team of students that plan and facilitate school traditions and activities. Each year the AA Mixer has a theme; this year’s theme was the GreAATest Showman and almost all of the senior Visi girls dressed as clowns. The biggest sporting event at the school is, you guessed it, the Gold White basketball game. One of the fan favorite lunches at Georgetown Visitation is the tropical smoothie!

Moving down to Saint Louis, Visitation Academy takes on the nickname “Viz.” Viz has students from Montessori to grade 12. Visitation Academy is co-ed for montessori and all-girls from first grade and up. Upper School students at Viz show up in style wearing their plaid skirt and navy polo, and a blazer on mass days. It’s Spirit Day every day at Viz; Viz girls can wear any Visitation sweatshirt whenever they like. 

The mascot of Visitation Academy is an owl and in sports and competitions the Viz girls are known as the “Vivettes.” One of the favorite traditions at Visitation Academy is Just Because Day or JBD as the Viz girls call it. Once a year the Student Council secretly plans a special day for the Viz girls. Students are surprised with a day of fun and bonding. Why, you may ask. Well, just because! Every JBD, Viz student gets a themed T-shirt and participates in a variety of fun activities. Another Viz tradition is Maypole. Maypole is a special ceremony that happens at graduation. Seniors wear a monogrammed sash and perform a dance with their peers around a maypole. Seniors also get to choose one underclassman that plays a special part in their ceremony. These specially-appointed underclassmen hold the ribbons for the seniors while they process to the maypole. 

No different from our very own Visitation, inarguably the best school dance at Viz is the father-daughter dance. Viz and Vis girls alike know how to tear it up with their dads on the dance floor. Some favorite lunches in the Viz cafeteria include the corn dog or chicken tenders. The biggest sports game at Viz is the homecoming basketball game. Viz girls go all out to support their fellow Vivettes. Additionally, within the school the Challenge Cup is a pretty big deal. Rotating between basketball and volleyball each year, the Challenge Cup is a huge success! 

Although distance separates us and our uniforms and traditions may look different, all of the Visitation Schools around the U.S. share the same sense of sisterhood and community. From the Houses in Minnesota to Gold-White in DC and JBD in Saint Louis, Visitation students share the same unbreakable bond, community and  value of Salesian Spirituality. Whether you are a Vis, Visi or Viz girl, we all have our our special moment wearing our white dresses at the end of our senior year and proudly wear our crescents after graduation.