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St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory
2001 37th Avenue, San Francisco, California
Type Private, College-prep
Motto AMDG: "For the Greater Glory of God"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic, Jesuit
Established 1855
Principal Patrick Ruff
Grades 9 - 12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,468[1]
Campus Urban
Color(s) Red and Blue         
Mascot Wildcats
Average SAT scores 1690
Publication The Quill (Literary magazine)
Newspaper Inside SI
Yearbook Ignatian
Tuition $19,100 (2014-2015)

St. Ignatius College Preparatory is a private Catholic preparatory school in the Jesuit tradition, serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1855. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, in the Sunset District of San Francisco, St. Ignatius is one of the oldest secondary schools in the U.S. state of California. It is known also as S.I.


  • History 1
  • Academics and Student Body 2
  • Athletics 3
    • Rivalry with Sacred Heart Cathedral 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


St. Ignatius was founded as a one-room schoolhouse on Market Street by Fr. Anthony Maraschi, a Jesuit priest, just after the California Gold Rush in 1855. Maraschi paid $11,000 for the property which was to become the original church and schoolhouse. The church opened on July 15, 1855, and three months later, on October 15, the school opened its doors to its first students.

SI was the high school division of what later became the University of San Francisco, but it has since split from the university and changed locations five times due to the growth of the student body and natural disaster. In the 1860s, the school built a new site, adjacent to the first, on Market Street in downtown San Francisco. In 1880, SI moved its campus to a location on Van Ness Avenue in the heart of San Francisco, and by 1883, SI had become the largest Jesuit school in the nation. Within 26 years of the relocation, however, St. Ignatius would be completely destroyed. Though the school would survive the tremors of the 1906 earthquake with only moderate damage, the subsequent fires destroyed the school and church, forcing SI to find a new location near Golden Gate Park, a hastily constructed "temporary" wooden building, affectionately known as the "Shirt Factory", which housed the school for more than 20 years, from 1906 to 1929.

In 1927, the high school was separated from the university, becoming St. Ignatius High School. Two years later, SI relocated its campus once more, this time to Stanyan Street, where it remained for 40 years. In the fall of 1969, Father Harry Carlin moved SI to its current Sunset District campus, whereupon the current name, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, was adopted.[2]

Though originally founded as an all-boys school, SI became coeducational in 1989 and is home to over 1,400 male and female students.

SI celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005.

Academics and Student Body

SI values three different characteristics: academics, co-curriculars (clubs, sports and activities) and campus ministry. The Jesuits have experience with excellence in education. They opened their first school in 1548, and Saint Ignatius was founded in 1855. Since 1855, Saint Ignatius has been preparing students for selective universities all across the world.[3]

In 2004 the faculty was one of 12 schools nationwide to be honored by Today's Catholic Teacher magazine for excellence and innovation in education.[4]

St. Ignatius offers honors courses and Advanced Placement classes. In 2010, students took 1,422 Academic Placement tests and passed 1,142, breaking the school record. Students scored more than 700 4s and 5s on these tests. This performance ranks SI among the top 150 schools in the nation, or top 2/3 of 1 percent.[5]

Additional information:

  • Student body: 33% students of color, 50% girls/50% boys
  • For the 2013-14 school year, SI distributed more than $3.1 million in financial aid to approximately 25% of their students (an average grant of over $9,000 per student)[6]
  • Current ethnic diversity: 59% Caucasian, 13% Asian American, 11% Latino, 5% African American, 12% decline to state or other[7]
  • 80% of the faculty has master's degrees, 7% have doctorates, 11 from the Jesuit community
  • A top-60 Prep School as per the Exemplary Private School Recognition Project of the Council for American Private Education[8]
  • One of the 12 best Catholic schools in the nation for professional development
  • A top-150 school in the nation for AP scores, with 1,478 exams administered in 2013 and an 79.3% pass rate)[6]
  • SAT scores more than 150 points above national and state average[9]
  • Financially stable: $75 million in endowment
  • 62 clubs with more than 1,000 members
  • Campus is 20 acres on two sites
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 14 to 1; average class size is 25
  • Rivals with Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, which are known as the 'Fighting Irish'


The school has 66 athletic teams with over 70% of students participating. The Wildcats generally participate in the Western Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) in the Central Coast Section of California, though for some sports, teams belong to other leagues

The men's rowing team won the US Rowing Youth National Championships in 1997, 2005, and 2006. In addition, the crew competed in the Henley Royal Regatta in England, where St. Ignatius won Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 2006.[10]

The boys' lacrosse team won the state championship and was ranked nationally in 2008.[11]

The school's soccer team is nationally ranked by ESPN. {ESPN Rise Feb 2009} They boys' won the WCAL championship in 2009, 2010, 2011 and the CCS championship in 2009.[12]

The SI Football team has been WCAL champions in 1967 and 2006, as well as CCS Division III champions in 2006 and 2011. In addition, in 2012, St. Ignatius placed first in the WCAL and competed in the CCS Division I playoffs.

Rivalry with Sacred Heart Cathedral

St. Ignatius' traditional rival is Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, also located in San Francisco. The SI-SH rivalry began with a rugby game on St. Patrick's Day in 1893.[13] SI and SH compete against each other in football, basketball, and baseball for the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy, which is named after one SI and one SH alumni who died in World War II. SI has a significant edge over SH winning the trophy with a victory record of 45-20.[13]

Notable Alumni

See also


  1. ^ St. Ignatius College Preparatory website. "School Statistical Profile". Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ St. Ignatius College Preparatory website. "About SI". Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FOR TOMORROW AWARD". Today's Catholic Teacher Magazine. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Genesis V" (PDF). Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "SI at a Glance". "Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Genesis Magazine - Fall 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). "Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Spiritus Magis:The History of St. Ignatius College Preparatory". "Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Statistical Profile Academic Data". "Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup#2000 onwards
  11. ^ [6]
  12. ^ [7]
  13. ^ a b [8]
  14. ^ Office of the Governor - About Retrieved April 11, 2011
  15. ^ John Joseph Montgomery
  16. ^ [9] 'Genesis IV: The alumni magazine of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory', Spring 2005, pp. 34–36. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  17. ^ History Supplement: Admiral William Callaghan '14, Genesis IV: The alumni magazine of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory (2005), pp. 34–35. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  18. ^ "Official Site of the Dallas Cowboys; Bios; Players". Retrieved January 13, 2011. (Olshansky) Was a first-team all-league at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, Calif. 
  19. ^ Hirsley, Michael (January 26, 2002). "Bay Area school generates athletes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ [10] 'Bay Area athletes get CIF All-Century honors', San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2015. Retrieved on April 3, 2015.

External links

  • St. Ignatius College Preparatory website
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