“Every day I remind myself of how I felt those first few weeks, and how I longed for someone to grab my hand and pull me through it.” – Jason Gonzalez ’96 Big Brother (The Roundup Sept. 1996)
“When former Student Council President, Pat Walsh [’73] introduced the [Big Brothers] program to Jesuit, he was looking for a way to introduce the Freshmen to Jesuit, so that they might themselves be able to contribute to the community” (The Roundup 9/13/74).
In September of 1974 Student Council president John Capello ’75 expanded the program with help from Randy Kucera ’75, chair of the Freshmen Activities Board. The freshmen and seniors were matched by zip codes in the hopes that they could ride together to games and other activities.
The 1990 yearbook notes: “The Big Brother’s example of self-discipline in academics, athletics, socialization, and spirituality provides an excellent model for the young freshman.” This description continues in yearbooks through 1997.
By 1993 – 1994 the Council had 32 seniors divided among eight homerooms.
Co-presidents, Scott Ortiz ’94 and Kiko Zavala ’94 planned homeroom potluck dinners as the first activity to help the freshmen meet each other and their Big Brothers.
The October 1994 Roundup notes that the “year triumphantly ends with Freshmen Superstar Day, when the homerooms battle it out [through competitive games] to discover who’s the best.”
Many pictures throughout the years show the freshmen wearing beanies. The style changed from having a bill or not, from solid color to two color. Minutes of the National Honor Society from 1955 suggest this tradition began then in that organization. The freshmen were required to wear their beanies “at all times below the first floor through the last football game.” Freshmen “caught breaking the beanie rule [would be] forced as a group to pick up paper around the school grounds or to write compositions after school.”
After 1975 the beanie tradition ended.
The Archives owns one beanie donated by the Dietemann family who found it at a neighborhood garage sale. If you would like to add additional information or memories about the Big Brother Council, please contact the Jesuit Archives.