St. Louis University High School (SLUH), the oldest U.S. high school west of the Mississippi River, will celebrate 200 years of academic excellence on Saturday, April 21. The on-campus event will feature an outdoor Mass and a variety of fun, engaging activities that incorporate the school’s anniversary theme of gratitude. The school expects 5,000 students, alumni, family, friends and other guests.
ABOUT THE EVENT
Gratitude was the inspiration for St. Ignatius and his legacy in Jesuit education. And it's how SLUH celebrates 200 years of excellence – with deep reverence for its proud past and renewed commitment to fulfill its mission for future generations.
The bicentennial event begins at 4:00 p.m. with Mass celebrated by V. Rev. Ronald Mercier, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province, and concelebrated by alumni priests and Jesuits. A brief program will follow, with remarks from Rev. Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus; Tom Santel '76, SLUH board chair; and David Laughlin, SLUH president.
After the program, food and drinks will be provided, along with a variety of programs and live performances by the school’s many clubs, teams and musicians throughout campus. The evening will conclude with a balloon Gratitude Glow, live music and a fireworks display.
Families are welcome, with several kid-friendly activities offered. This is a free event and open to the public with RSVP via the school’s website. Click here to register.
The oldest high school west of the Mississippi River, St. Louis University High began in 1818 as a Latin school for boys in a one-story house on the riverfront. Since then, it has experienced four name and five location changes, ever growing and adapting to meet the needs of intellectually gifted young men and their total formation.
With a resounding commitment to its city location, SLUH elected years ago to remain on Oakland Avenue and contribute to the revitalization of the City of St. Louis. In doing so, it has partnered with organizations like Forest Park, St. Louis Public Schools, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.
SLUH’s commitment to the City of St. Louis is also reflected in its legacy of admitting qualified young men based on their ability to succeed and not their family’s economic circumstances. All of SLUH’s scholarships are need-based with 40 percent of students receiving financial assistance of $4.1 million this year alone. This accessibility makes SLUH unique not only in St. Louis, but in private education on a broad scale. More importantly, it allows the student body to reflect the geographic, socio-economic and ethnic diversity of the area, with students coming from 92 zip codes and 182 middle schools.
Today SLUH continues to instill the knowledge, as well as the spiritual, moral and aesthetic values needed to prepare young men for a life of high achievement, community service and personal fulfillment. About 15,000 alumni represent leadership in all levels and disciplines, nationally and internationally. Of these, 8,000 reside in the St. Louis area, with graduates leading many aspects of our community, from academic institutions and civil service to non-profits and leadership at Fortune 500 companies.
St. Louis has embraced SLUH throughout its two centuries and currently provides education, service and internship opportunities to students through more than 100 organizations. In gratitude to the St. Louis community, SLUH conducted a city-wide Day of Service on October 20, 2017, with the entire student body and faculty/staff contributing more than 3,000 service hours to Forest Park Forever and 20 other area organizations (this is in addition to more than 50,000 service hours SLUH provides the area each year).
Looking ahead to its third century, SLUH, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and consistently ranked in the top tier of schools nationally, will continue to adapt and innovate, just as it has since 1818. In doing so, it will continue inspiring young men to accept extraordinary challenges while preparing them to be ‘Men for Others’ and community leaders working for the Common Good.
St. Louis University High School, founded in 1818, is a private, Jesuit secondary educational institution located in the City of St. Louis. The school provides a premier education infused with the five-century-old tradition and philosophy of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus. SLUH’s student body mirrors the geographic and socio-economic diversity of the entire metropolitan area, on both sides of the river.