When you think of the Sacred Heart Convent, what comes to mind?
For many, it’s a prestigious all-girls school with an impressive alumnae list. Located in New York City, the convent has educated some of the most influential women in history. From politicians and attorneys to actresses and journalists, these alumnae have made their mark on the world.
Here are a few of the most influential and accomplished Sacred Heart Convent alumni.
Lady Gaga is one of the most famous alumni of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. She is a singer, songwriter, and actress who has achieved massive success in her career. Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in New York City, and she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart from kindergarten until she graduated from high school in 2004. She then studied at the Collaborative Arts Project 21 at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Gaga began her musical career as a member of the rock band Mercy Beats before going solo in 2006. She released her debut album, The Fame, in 2008, which was a success both commercially and critically. Her follow-up album, Born This Way, was released in 2011 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Gaga has won numerous awards throughout her career, including five Grammy Awards and an Academy Award. She is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with over 150 million records sold worldwide.
Despite its prestigious reputation, the Convent of the Sacred Heart is perhaps best known for its unexpected connection to pop culture: Paris Hilton. The socialite and reality TV star attended the school from kindergarten through ninth grade before transferring to a public high school. Hilton has spoken fondly of her time at the convent, saying that it instilled discipline and respect in her.
“I loved going to school at the convent,” she said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “It was rigorous, but it also instilled great discipline and respect in me.” Hilton isn’t the only famous face to come out of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Other notable alumni include Nicki Hilton Rothschild (Paris’s sister), actresses Grace Kelly and Olivia Palermo, fashion designer Carolina Herrera, and model Christy Turlington.
The school has a long history of educating the children of New York’s wealthy and elite families. Founded in 1881, the Convent of the Sacred Heart is one of the oldest private schools in the city. Located on the Upper East Side, the school has been attended by some of the most famous names in American society.
Maria Shriver graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland. She then attended ‘Georgetown University and got her BA in American studies in 1977. She is an American journalist, author, and former first lady of California. She is the daughter of Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith, and cousin of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
After graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Shriver worked as a television news producer for NBC in Los Angeles. She worked as a particular anchor and correspondent for ABC News before co-anchoring NBC’s Emmy Award-winning primetime newsmagazine Dateline NBC with Stone Phillips from 2004 to 2009.
Shriver has also served as a producer for three Olympic Games: Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, and Sydney in 2000. As the first lady of California, she also founded the annual Women’s Conference, which features inspiring speakers and workshops on topics such as health, business, education, and politics.
She has since become an active supporter of numerous causes, including early childhood education and Alzheimer’s research. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International.
—– Academy of the Sacred Heart Grand Coteau
Two of the top 10 on our influential list, actress Salma Hayek and attorney Catherine Rodriguez, attended Sacred Heart Grand Coteau, a single-gender school for girls that can trace its history back to France, where it began with Madeleine Sophie Barat founding an order called “The Society Of The Sacred Heart.”
Salma Hayak is a famous Mexican-American actress that attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart Grand Coteau, Lousiana.
She began her career in Mexico, starring in the telenovela Teresa. She starred in the film El Callejón de Los Milagros (Miracle Alley), for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award. In 1991, Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in films such as Desperado (1995), From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Wild Wild West (1999), Dogma (1999), and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003).
Hayek’s breakthrough role was in the 2002 film Frida as Frida Kahlo, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Hayek has also starred in successful films such as Ugly Betty (2006), Takin’ Over the Asylum (2007), Puss in Boots (2011), and The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017). She has produced films such as In the Time of the Butterflies (2001) and Ugly Betty (2006) through her production company Ventana Sur.
Hayek is an active philanthropist, working with various charities, including UNICEF, where she served as a member of their Global Initiative to End Violence Against Children. She also promotes awareness of violence against women and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Salma Hayek has received numerous awards and nominations throughout her career, including an Academy Award nomination, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Daytime Emmy Award. The French government awarded her the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2012. Salma Hayek has married businessman François-Henri Pinault since 2009, with whom she has two children.
Catherine M. Rodriguez
Catherine M. Rodriguez is an influential Miami attorney who attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart Grand Coteau, Louisiana. She was recognized as one of the Top 5 Divorce Attorneys of South Florida in 2021. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
As a litigator, she represented President George W. Bush in Bush V. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), the United States Supreme Court decision that settled a recount dispute in Florida’s 2000 presidential election. As a prosecutor, she orchestrated a change in the zoning laws that forced ten strip clubs to flee the county.
Cokie Roberts was a convent-educated journalist and author who has been recognized for her contributions to the field of broadcast journalism.
A graduate of the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York, Roberts began her career as a political reporter for National Public Radio. She became co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week” from 1996 to 2002 and was a contributor to ABC News until she died in 2019.
Roberts was known for her straightforward reporting style and commitment to accuracy and fairness. She won multiple awards during her career, including three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
Jordana Brewster is a famous actress who attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. She has starred in movies such as The Fast and the Furious and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Brewster was born on April 26, 1980, in Panama City, Panama. Her mother, Maria João Leal de Sousa, is a former swimsuit model from Brazil who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1978. Her father, Alden Brewster, is an American investment banker. Jordana has two sisters: Isabella and Jamila.
Brewster began her acting career when she was just 12 years old. She made her debut in an episode of All My Children in 1995. She became a guest star in several popular TV shows, including As the World Turns, Malcolm & Eddie, and Nip/Tuck. In 2001, Brewster made her feature film debut in The Fast and the Furious. She has since appeared in several films, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Annapolis (2006), and Fast & Furious 6 (2013).
Christa Miller is a famous alumnus of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. She is an actress and model in numerous films and television shows. Christa Miller was born in New York City and attended the convent school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. After graduation, she went on to study at Sarah Lawrence College. Christa Miller’s career began in the early 1990s when she appeared in several commercials and music videos. She made her film debut in the 1995 comedy Clueless and has since gone on to appear in such films as The Mask, Batman Forever, and The Brady Bunch Movie. Christa Miller has also had roles on several popular television shows, including Seinfeld, Friends, and Scrubs. In addition to her acting career, Christa Miller is a successful model. She has appeared in campaigns for such brands as Gap, Old Navy, and Tommy Hilfiger. Christa Miller is married to actor Bill Lawrence, with whom she has two children.
Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt
Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt is one of the most famous alumni of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. She was born into a wealthy family, and her father was a successful businessman. She attended the convent as a young girl, and it was there that she developed her love for art and fashion. After she graduated, she moved to New York City and became a model and an actress. She also married one of the wealthiest men in America, Reginald Vanderbilt. Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt was a very fashionable woman known for her unique style. She also had a strong interest in philanthropy and worked with many charities throughout her life.
Leah McSweeney is a famous alumna of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls Catholic school in New York City. She is best known for her work as a fashion designer and reality television star.
McSweeney was born and raised in New York City. She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart for high school, where she was a member of the varsity lacrosse team. After graduation, she attended Boston College but dropped out after one semester.
She then returned to New York City and began working in the fashion industry. In 2006, she launched her clothing line called Married to the Mob. The brand quickly gained a cult following among streetwear fans and has been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj.
In 2018, McSweeney joined the cast of the reality television show The Real Housewives of New York City. She has been open about her struggles with addiction and mental health on the front and has used her platform to raise awareness about these issues.
McSweeney is a strong advocate for women’s rights and empowering other women in business. She is an active philanthropist, supporting organizations such as the Lower East Side Girls Club and Dress for Success.