Loyola Academy is a private, co-educational college preparatory high school located in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, it is one of 47 Jesuit high schools in the United States and is a member of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association. It is also the largest Jesuit high school in America, with over 2,000 students from more than 80 different zip codes throughout the Chicago area.
Loyola Academy was founded as a Roman Catholic, college preparatory school for young men in 1909. The school was originally located in Rogers Park, Chicago
on the campus of Loyola University
's Dumbach Hall; it moved to the current Wilmette campus in 1957. Both Loyola University and its prep school adjunct, Loyola Academy, were named after the Basque intellectual and Spanish Army General, Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
As a precondition to granting approval to move to the suburbs, the Archdiocese of Chicago required the Jesuits to stipulate that they would continue to serve the young Roman Catholic men of the city of Chicago. Consequently, Loyola Academy had a significant representation of Chicago residents, of various financial means which gave the school an economic diversity unique in the Chicago area.
During the bulk of its history, Loyola Academy maintained the strict disciplinary and academic regimen seen in most exclusive American prep schools. Students were required to wear blazers and ties, maintain silence when moving between classes, attend weekly Mass on campus, address their teachers as either "sir" or "Father," and maintain a demeanor befitting the Jesuit educational ideal of "Men for others."
Penalties for infractions were meted out in the form of demerits (inscribed on a demerit card carried by each student) or by after school detention, known colloquially as "JUG" (commonly believed to be an abbreviation for "Justice Under God"). During most of the period 1909-1975, the student body of Loyola Academy was almost 100% Roman Catholic. During this time frame, Loyola Academy surpassed all other schools in the Chicago Catholic secondary system in terms of SAT scores and percentage of student body admitted to 4-year universities.
One of Loyola's "sister schools" was Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls Academy located less than a mile away in Wilmette. Beginning in 1970, small groups of select Regina students began commuting to Loyola to take selected advanced science and computer science classes, as these classes were unavailable on their campus at the time. Prior to its controversial decision to go co-educational, Loyola had a significant Jesuit presence among its teachers and administrators, although this had begun to slowly erode beginning in the early 1970s.
In 1994, Loyola Academy merged with Saint Louise de Marillac High School, an all-girls high school from Northfield, Illinois, which was on the verge of bankruptcy and became a co-educational school In 2003, Loyola Academy opened a new 60 acre campus in Glenview, Illinois. The property, once part of the abandoned Glenview Naval Air Station (NAS Glenview), was purchased by Loyola in 2001 and now houses several athletic fields for lacrosse, baseball, softball, and soccer, a cross country path, and a wetland preserve area that has been used as a natural laboratory for science classes.
While Loyola Academy is a Jesuit, Catholic school, it has always welcomed non-Catholics seeking a Loyola education.
Academics at Loyola Academy
offers a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum
with over 110 courses in language arts
, fine arts
, visual arts
, and architecture
), foreign languages
, Mandarin Chinese
and Ancient Greek
, physical education
, social studies
, and theology
. (As it is a college-preparatory high school, it does not offer any true vocational
courses.) The school has two competitive honors programs (the Dumbach Scholars and the Clavius Scholars), and a plethora of students enrolled in AP classes
. Loyola also offers the O'Shaughnessy Program, which assists students who show the potential for success in college but may require smaller classes and extra help from teachers. Annually, about 99% of students are accepted by four-year universities
Loyola has a particularly strong tradition of educating students in the classics. The school fields a Certamen team, and in 2005, six students received perfect scores on the National Latin Exam while 44 others were named Gold Medalists. In addition, Loyola Academy is one of only three high schools in the Chicago area to offer Ancient Greek as a language course. Loyola is also very active in forensics, Scholastic Bowl, and Science Olympiad competitions.
- For more detailed information about academics at Loyola, see the http://www.goramblers.org/OnlineDocs/Admissions/Viewbook.pdf
Sports at Loyola Academy
Loyola Academy has a highly competitive athletics program, offering 16 women's sports and 17 men's sports. The Ramblers (borrowing their nickname from the teams at Loyola University
) have been particularly successful in Football
. Loyola won the state championship in football in 1993 and were runners-up in 1992. Other successful sports programs include lacrosse
and ice hockey
. Each of these programs have won state championships within the last ten years in both the men's and women's programs. Additionally, the crew program was named national champions. The men's hockey
team has reached the State Finals four times from 2001-2006, and the State Final Four every year since 2000, with the exception of 2005. The men's lacrosse team has the most state championships in Illinois, including three straight from 2002 to 2004. The women's cross-country
team has competed at the state finals each year from 2005-2007. The men's golf
and women's basketball
teams are also traditional Chicago-area powerhouses. The men's and women's swimming teams are on the rise as well, placing in the top 15 in the state in each of the past 3 years. The 2007 Ramblers' men's soccer team was undefeated in winning the Chicago Catholic League
championship. Loyola's greatest athletic rival is widely considered to be New Trier Township High School
, as well as St. Ignatius College Prep
, its Jesuit rival within the Chicago Catholic League
Many Chicago-area sports figures have sent their children to Loyola Academy. These include former NBA superstar Chicago Bull Michael Jordan, former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, Matt Suhey, former Chicago Blackhawk Jack O'Callahan, and former Chicago Bulls player Bill Wennington. Recently, Loyola Academy hired John Holecek, former NFL linebacker, to be the head coach of the football program. The team competes in the blue division of the Chicago Catholic League, one of the top high school football conferences in the country.
Service at Loyola Academy
Loyola places a particularly strong emphasis on community service
, encouraging their students to be "Women and Men for Others, Leaders in Service." During the summer, many students join service sites across the United States
and around the world, and during the school year, Loyola's "Life! Be In It!" program allows students to in participate in Amnesty International
, Habitat for Humanity
, and various other community outreach programs. One of Loyola's stated objectives is that every graduate be "committed to doing justice," and thus it encourages students to contribute to their communities and learn more about the world around them. These service programs are complemented by a series of religious retreats
- President: Rev. Theodore G. Munz, S.J.
- Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs: Mr. David K. McNulty '67
- Dean of Academics: Dr. Mary M. Kearney
- Dean of Student Life: Mr. Charlie Heintz
- Director of Ignatian Identity: Rev. Richard H. McGurn, S.J.
- Dean of Students: Mr. Kenneth S. Maziarka
- Director of Admissions: Mr. Lesley J. Seitzinger '88
- Director of Athletics: Mr. Patrick M. Mahoney '90
- Jamie Baisley, professional football player
- George Bon Salle, professional basketball player
- Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat video game series
- John Dee, basketball coach at the University of Alabama and the University of Notre Dame
- Richard A. Devine, Cook County State's Attorney
- R. Jerome Dunne, Olympic decathlete
- Colin Falls, former Notre Dame basketball player, currently playing in Italy
- Dave Finzer, professional football player
- John Fitzgerald, Olympic pentathlete
- Paul Florence, professional baseball player
- Pat Foley, sportscaster
- Tim Foley, Pro-Bowl NFL football player, 1972 Miami Dolphins team
- Neil Hartigan, Illinois politician
- Gilbert V. Hartke, social activist and founder of the Catholic University of America's drama department
- Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts
- Jeffrey Jordan, basketball player and son of NBA MVP Michael Jordan
- Neal Katyal, lead counsel in Supreme Court case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
- Dan Kotowski, Illinois State Senator
- Jay Lavender, writer and producer of The Break-Up
- Charlie Leibrandt, professional baseball player
- Brendan Leonard, filmmaker 1
- Mike Leonard, author and correspondent for The Today Show
- Freddie Lindstrom, professional baseball player 2
- David Marconi, screenwriter
- Lucas McGee, United States National Rowing Team member
- Bert Metzger, member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Al Montoya, professional ice hockey player 3
- Jim Mooney, professional football player
- Bill Murray, actor and comedian
- John Musker, animated film director (The Little Mermaid, etc.)
- Richard L. Newhafer, novelist and teleplay writer
- Jonathan Nolan, writer
- George M. O'Brien, United States Representative
- Timothy L. O'Brien, New York Times journalist
- Chris O'Donnell, actor
- Westbrook Pegler, newspaper columnist4
- William Petersen, actor 5
- Bill Plante, journalist with CBS News
- Gregory Qaiyum (GQ), actor and writer of The Bomb-itty of Errors
- Jeffery Ameen Qaiyum (JAQ), beatboxer and contributor to The Bomb-itty of Errors
- Steve Quinn, professional football player
- Nick Rassas, professional football player
- Todd Rassas, professional lacrosse player
- Robert Ryan, actor
- Eddie Shin, actor
- Bob Skoglund, professional football player
- Peter Steinfels, author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America
- Dan Sullivan, Illinois State Senator
- John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal Kombat
- Charles Whittingham, PBS executive and former publisher of Life and Fortune magazines
- 1 Did not graduate from Loyola; transferred to North Shore Country Day School after sophomore year.
- ² Did not graduate from Loyola; left after sophomore year to play in the minor leagues.
- ³ Did not graduate from Loyola; transferred to Fossil Ridge High School in Texas after sophomore year.
- 4 Did not graduate from Loyola; dropped out after a few semesters to take a job as a reporter.
- 5 Did not graduate from Loyola; moved to Idaho when he was 15 and transferred to Bishop Kelly High School.