LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Loyola High School of Los Angeles announced today that it is kicking off its milestone Sesquicentennial on Sunday, November 16, 2014 as the oldest continually operated educational institution in Southern California. Founded in 1865 as St. Vincent's College, the Jesuit preparatory high school is dedicated to educating the leaders of tomorrow while giving back today. Chaired by Jack Girardi '65, the 12-month celebration will showcase 150 years of educating Los Angeles' past, present and future men for others as well as their contribution to the city whose history is so closely intertwined with its own. Day One of the year-long celebration commences at 11:00 a.m. with an Inaugural 150th Anniversary Mass concelebrated by President Fr. Gregory M. Goethals, S.J. '73 and three former Loyola presidents, as well other clergy who are associated with the school. During the Mass, a special apostolic blessing from Pope Francis on Loyola's Sesquicentennial will be shared with the congregation. A celebration lunch will follow for students, faculty, parents, alumni and Jesuits.
Concurrent with its 150th kick-off announcement, Loyola is unveiling:
- In-depth academic and far-reaching community service initiatives
- California award-winning historian Dr. Kevin Starr's definitive book on Loyola's 150-year history and contribution to Los Angeles
- The launch of its 150th website on November 16 and 400 citywide street banners
- The debut of the Sesquicentennial historical video
- A calendar of events that includes its May 30 all-day mega celebration
"1865 saw some of our nation's most historic moments. Slavery was abolished and an end to the Civil War was close behind. Three thousand miles away from these defining events, in the emerging small frontier town of Los Angeles, Southern California's first educational institution of higher learning was established by the Vincentians," said Fr. Goethals, S.J. "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. Our graduates are an essential part of the backbone that makes this great city of ours work. 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."
Fr. Goethals, S.J. continued, "We are truly fortunate to have our good friend and alumnus Jack Girardi '65 helm our 150th. His leadership has been pivotal in overseeing the wide-ranging academic, community service, athletic and marketing initiatives of our landmark celebration."
In addition to its many 150th programs and events, Loyola is integrating the Sesquicentennial into its academic year through its faculty and students. Included among the different disciplines are:
- Science—Student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) challenge on sustainability and Loyola's impact on the future of Los Angeles
- Theology—a 150th prayer crafted by students and teachers as well as in depth studies of the developments within the Church that have formed Loyola's religious curriculum and retreat and service programs
- English—an essay contest on Sesquicentennial themes
- History—a student collection of alumni stories
- Music—an original 150th song composed by Loyola faculty
- Language—a Spanish-language poetry collection
- Art— a student T-shirt design contest incorporating 150th and Loyola elements.
- Journalism—two reporters dedicated to the 150th on the school's award-winning newspaper the Loyalist
- Film—Loyola Film Festival
Community service, long a hallmark of a Loyola education, will add two different initiatives to its extensive calendar. Based on the Corporal Works of Mercy (feed, clothe, shelter, counsel and teach), the April 11, 2015 150 Sites Day of Service will have Loyola students, parents, faculty and alumni fanning out across metro Los Angeles to work on 150 projects. They will include Habitat for Humanity houses, area Catholic parochial schools and shelters, hospitals, homes for battered women as well as Skid Row and Hollywood youth missions. In addition, Loyola will inaugurate the Adopt-a-School program where it will take on year-long priority projects at four area Catholic parochial schools including tutoring, mentoring, refurbishing and reaching out to families in need.
At Sunday's November 16th kick-off, the Loyola community and history aficionados will have a first look at Dr. Kevin Starr's 369-page book Loyola High School of Los Angeles*A Sesquicentennial History*1865-2015 that brings to life and gives vivid detail of the school's 150-year history in tandem with Los Angeles'. The preeminent historian's all-encompassing opus chronicles not only the school's beginnings at the Plaza as St. Vincent's College to its present location at 1901 Venice Boulevard as Loyola High School but demonstrates how Loyola has left and continues to leave its imprint on Los Angeles.
"The Loyola High School community is made up of Angelenos from all walks of life, living here and in far-flung places. As we started planning our Sesquicentennial five years ago, we reached out to them on how to celebrate 150 years of men for others," said Sesquicentennial Chair Jack Girardi '65. "The response was overwhelming. The input from students, alumni, parents, faculty and Jesuits is the blueprint for this celebration."
Founded as St. Vincent's College at the Lugo House at the old downtown Plaza in 1865, Loyola is the oldest continually operated educational institution in Southern California. The establishment of St. Vincent's, which in today's terms was founded primarily as both a high school and a college, would become a turning point in the civic development of Los Angeles. From the Plaza, St. Vincent's moved to South Hill Street, then to Washington and Grand Avenue. In 1911, members of the Society of Jesus took over the reins, and, in 1915, the state charter, from the Vincentians and the school was relocated to Highland Park. In 1917, St. Vincent's moved to 1901 Venice Blvd. and was rechristened Loyola College in 1918. In 1926, Loyola University and Loyola Law School moved off campus and Loyola High School of Los Angeles has remained in Pico Union to this day.
About Loyola High School
Celebrating its 150th anniversary as the oldest continually operated educational institution in Southern California, Loyola High School of Los Angeles will launch a year-long, event- and initiative-driven commemoration of its past, present and future starting on November 16, 2014. The academically rigorous Jesuit college preparatory is located just west of downtown Los Angeles and counts with more than 14,000 alumni. Ninety-nine percent of Loyola graduates go on to college or university. Loyola's student body of 1,255 young men represents a remarkable geographic diversity, drawing on 220 zip codes from throughout and beyond Los Angeles County. The school is also ethnically diverse with 48 percent of the student body of Latino, Asian-Pacific or African-American descent. To enable students to achieve the goal of being "men for others," Loyola students must complete at least 150 hours of community service work before graduation. Over the past two decades, Loyola students have donated more than 1.3 million hours of community service, primarily to inner-city schools, neighborhoods and agencies. Please visit us at http://www.loyolahs.edu, and starting on November 16, 2014, at http://www.lhs150.org.
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SOURCE Loyola High School of Los Angeles