Category: Founding Traditions: 1920-1929

  • Tom Brady ’31

    Tom Brady ’31, father of Kevin Brady ’68, transferred to SI in 1928 after his freshman year when his family moved from Seattle. He was not happy to learn that his sophomore year would begin August 16, three weeks earlier than in Seattle. “I felt cheated to have my summer cut short,” he noted in […]

  • Ken Atwell ’29

    Ken Atwell ’29 recalls the nuns in grammar school warning students that they had a choice: either be good students and go to SI or be bad students and end up at reform school. Atwell also recalls one SI teacher who always wore a black three-piece suit. “He was renowned for his aim. If he […]

  • Jack O’Dea ’28

    Jack O’Dea ’28, a longtime supporter of SI who, at the time of this writing, still attends many SI events, recalls performing as a devilish imp in the Pageant of Youth in his freshman year at SI. The plot revolved around the devil tempting a youth, and the youth successfully resisting. “In addition to being […]

  • Enrollment Rises as the Old School Falls

    In the years before the Depression, enrollment at the high school climbed steadily. In 1909, the high school held 198 students. By the fall of 1922, high school enrollment topped 500 for the first time in the school’s history and climbed to 852 in 1931–32. The following year, enrollment fell to 680, but by the […]

  • James D. Phelan

    One generous gift of $100,000 made the Stanyan Street campus possible and paid for nearly a third of the $342,000 construction cost of the school. The donor was former U.S. Senator James D. Phelan, considered by many to be “the foremost citizen of California.”9 Phelan, who received his A.B. degree in 1881, was one of […]

  • One School Becomes Two

    In the 1920s, both students and teachers felt ready to move to new quarters, as the “temporary” Shirt Factory never proved truly satisfactory. Around 1925, Miss Mary Horgan died, leaving the school $25,000 in her will. The Jesuits hoped to ask 300 individuals to donate $1,000 each to help SI begin construction of a new […]

  • Parent Nights

    In 1926, SI seniors held a reception to honor their mothers in what was most likely the first mother-son dinner. The Ignatian of that year noted that “all semblance of formality was omitted and the meeting was a success as all present entered into the spirit of the occasion. Fr. President spoke in honor of […]

  • The Pageant of Youth

    In 1925, the Jesuits looked to another venue to help repay their debt: The Pageant of Youth — a lavish play involving 1,000 students from SI and other San Francisco Catholic schools, all under the direction of Fr. T.J. Flaherty, SJ, and written by Fr. Daniel Lord, SJ, a talented young Jesuit of the Missouri […]

  • Extracurriculars

    The Red and Blue The high school launched a new tradition October 14, 1920, with the publication of its first newspaper, The Red and Blue, with Eustace Cullinan, Jr. ’21, as the first editor. (Cullinan would later serve as a San Francisco Superior Court judge.) In his inaugural editorial, he sounded a refrain familiar to […]

  • Athletics

    Basketball: SI Wins its First State Title SI’s basketball teams enjoyed great success in the 1920s. By 1921, SI took first in the city in the 145-pound division with a 67–1 victory over Mission. The unlimited (or varsity) team of 1922, led by “Scotchy” Hamilton and “Goat” Turner, went undefeated to win the league title. […]