Welcome Home, Carey!

Published in the Fall 2022 issue of Inscape

Third Time's a Charm!

Headshot of a young Carey Harrington on a brown backdrop

Almost 40 years ago, Carey Temple  Harrington ‘86 walked through the doors of Mother McAuley to take the entrance exam as a St. Cajetan eighth grader; little did she know that her time at McAuley would well extend the typical four-year high school experience.

Carey recalls her nerves when she took the test on that cold winter day, and the sigh of relief she felt when she received her acceptance  letter shortly thereafter. Carey’s mother, Margie Temple, attended an all-girls school and instilled the importance of signer-gender education in Carey and her sister, Coleen Temple Barkmeier ‘90. Her love for single-gender education only continued to grow as the years went on.  

Group of women gathered around one side of a table, smiling at the camera

McAuley creates a supportive environment that allows every student to have many successes, and some soft failures. Carey jokes that she was the last one cut from the volleyball team, but without that setback she would not have auditioned for the fall play, which led her to continue to be active in the theatre program and chorus for the next four years. Each soft failure opens up new opportunities for McAuley girls, including Carey, to explore new passions and experiences, and create new friendships and fond memories.

One of the most treasured gifts she received from McAuley was the strong friendships she created with in the school walls. This sisterhood of women is still comprised of her closest friend and they are always supportive of one another, no matter the season of life. Like McAuley, these friendships pushed Carey to be the best version of herself.

A family of five - three young adults kids and two parents - stand in the shade of trees, smiling at the camera

Carey with her husband, Tom, and children, Thomas, Margaret, and Mary Clare


McAuley helped Carey grow deeper in her faith and fostered the importance of Catholic education in her life. After graduating from McAuley, she continued her higher education at Marquette University. In 2018, she received a mini-MBA from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business Executive Education Program. Carey has been very active in her parish, Notre Dame, in Clarendon Hills, where she and her  husband, Tom, raised their three children, Thomas, Margaret, and Mary Clare. 

Carey returned to McAuley for the second time to assume the role of Vice President of Institutional Advancement in October 2013. Since her early days at McAuley, Carey’s strong suit has been building and maintaining relationships. She was the perfect leader of the Institutional Advancement Team, guiding with mercy and leading by example. In true McAuley fashion, the teachers whom she looked up to as a student would become colleagues with whom she collaborated. As Carey put it, “what a beautiful turn of events.”

In her first few months back at McAuley, she witnessed the  increased opportunities for Mother McAuley students, compared to her time as a student. Nowadays McAuley students have the chance to be involved in so many areas, including music, art, and athletics. The academic and curricular structure Mother McAuley had established was of a high caliber and Carey is proud to share all the good in the halls of 99th street to prospective donors, alumnae, and the greater community.

Outside of the halls of McAuley, Carey was in awe and wonder of what McAuley alumnae were doing in the world. Her goal was to be a “gong” to amplify humble McAuley women, and be their “speaker” to share where Mighty Macs were going and what they were accomplishing. And she did just that! Looking back, Carey shares that her proudest moment on the Institutional Advancement team was to connect and communicate with alumnae, donors, parents, families and friends, and to share the good news McAuley had to deliver. She also valued the opportunity to improve McAuley’s programs, facilities, scholarship, and financial assistance.  

Carey Harrington stands smiling with three students in the hallway of Mother McAuley

Carey pictured with Natalie McKenna '23, Maeve Howley '25 and Naiyah Taylor '24

During her tenure as Mother McAuley’s Vice President of  Institutional Advancement, Carey co-led the “Future Ready”  capital campaign to raise more than six million dollars, becoming the largest fundraising initiative in school history. After eight impactful years at McAuley, Carey took a leap of faith to serve as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana, where she developed donor opportunities and stewarded sustainable relationships with corporate partners.

Carey’s belief in the mission along with her passion and  unmatched love for Mother McAuley has brought her back for round three. This past July, she began her next chapter as  President. Carey is ignited with a bold vision for the future of McAuley, ready to grow again in the environment that has always been so welcoming and supportive.

Carey describes Mother McAuley as a three-legged stool with academic excellence, leadership, and spirituality as the legs and community and collaboration as the seat. All of these key  components create the Lifetime Advantage that a McAuley woman will carry with her throughout her life.

In Carey’s bold vision, she envisions Mother McAuley as a  destination for people around the world. The McAuley campus may reside on the Southside of Chicago, but Carey’s hope is to reach young women all across the Chicagoland area and bring  the all-girls culture to the forefront of the world.

Carey’s vivacious energy, strong integrity, welcoming spirit, and mercy charism are all ingredients to the great recipe of her leader-ship. Mother McAuley is stronger with Carey leading its students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and community into this new, exciting era.