January 9, 2015 — This year, Loyola High School of Los Angeles marks its 150th anniversary, and last November the school kicked off its yearlong celebration.
Founded in 1865 as St. Vincent’s College, the all-male Jesuit college preparatory, located west of downtown Los Angeles, is the oldest continually-operating educational institution in Southern California. Ninety-nine percent of Loyola graduates go on to college or university.
“Loyola High School’s history is Los Angeles’ history. During the past 150 years, Loyola has molded many of the city’s leaders, first by the Vincentians and then, beginning in 1911, by the Jesuits,” said Loyola High School president, Jesuit Father Gregory M. Goethals. “Our graduates are an essential part of the backbone that makes this great city of ours work.”
The Nov. 16 kickoff featured an inaugural 150th Anniversary Mass, concelebrated by Fr. Goethals and three former presidents. A special apostolic blessing from Pope Francis on Loyola’s sesquicentennial was shared with the congregation. Loyola also unveiled academic and community service initiatives; a new website dedicated to the yearlong celebration; 400 citywide street banners; and a historical video. In addition, the school presented award-winning historian Dr. Kevin Starr’s book on Loyola’s history and contribution to Los Angeles.
On April 11, 2015, the school’s community service program is planning a “150 Sites Day of Service,” which will send Loyola students, parents, faculty and alumni across metro Los Angeles to work on 150 different projects. Locations include Habitat for Humanity houses, area Catholic parochial schools, shelters, hospitals and homes for battered women.
Fr. Goethals said, “As we prepare for our next 150 years, we are committed to inspiring our students to become men of faith, scholarship, service and leadership so they will continue to lead Los Angeles.” [Sources: Loyola High School, Loyola High Sesquicentennial]