I entered Jesuit in 1947 as a freshman and graduated in 1951. The school was much smaller then and there were about 42 in the ninth graduating class of 1951. There is no resemblance between the school building in Oak Lawn and the present facility. I attended Jesuit because my brother Mark was already there as a member of the class of 1949.
Tuition was $100.00 per year and it did not increase at any time during my four years there. I believe that was by decree of Bishop Lynch, who I later learned required all eligible Catholic boys to attend Jaesuit and further threatened to deny the sacraments to the parents of those who did not.
There was no Senior commons. There was a small room next to the cafeteria with a few chairs and a table for the use of Seniors only, but the only privilege that I am aware of was that Seniors could smoke. I did not smoke anyway and I was only in there a few times.
Social life was somewhat sparse compared to today. During football season all games were played on Friday night, and there was usually a Victory Dance at the school afterwards. The only other social activity I remember is class Day, usually on Saturday, during which a class would have some activity. Our home room teacher freshman year was a Canadian Jesuit named Monaghan (sp?) whose passion was ice skating, so our class would go to the ice rink in the coliseum at Fair Park. There were three or four Class Days during the school year, and in the good weather we would go to one of the local parks which had lakes to boat or swim. Boats could be rented at some lakes, and the only mishap I remember was the accidental loss of an outboard motor by one of my classmates whose name I will not reveal because he is, and has been for many years, a prominent and distinguished local lawyer.
Our teachers were for the most part Jesuit scholastics who had not yet been ordained. Although not yet ordained they were what I refer to as “old Line” Jesuits who demanded that students do their best and did not accept less. I have fond memories of several and would be happy to see them again. One of them is Fr. John Edwards who is presently at Jesuit today, and a few of our class occasionally have lunch with him.
Others were priests, including Fr. Druhan (the principal), Fr. Curry (the assistant principal), Fr. Day, Fr. May, Fr. Tynan, and Fr. Schwing. And of course everyone from those days will remember Mrs. F. A. Norsch, the registrar, who could remember the name of every student from the first day until the last of her tenure.
The usual activities available were much the same as today. In addition to football, basketball and baseball there was the Roundup, Sodality, Philothespic Society, St. John Berchman’s Society (altar boys), Ranger Band and Ranger Cheerleaders, which included girls from Merici (now Ursuline), St. Edwards, L.G.C. (both now only memories), and the National Honor Society.