To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of St. Ignatius College, USF and St. Ignatius High School held a centennial week in October 1955. SI celebrated a solemn Mass on October 13 sung at St. Ignatius Church by Fr. William Tobin, SJ, with a sermon delivered by Fr. Charles Casassa, SJ ’28, then president of Loyola University in Los Angeles. SI students also took part in USF’s celebrations, which included an October 14 University Memorial Mass for deceased students and an October 16 Mass celebrated by Archbishop John J. Mitty, who was assisted by a former SI religion teacher, the Right Rev. Msgr. Harold Collins.
In the 1955 yearbook, SI Principal Robert Leonard, SJ, asked Ignatians to commemorate the centennial by referring to the key image of the 1950s — the Atom. “This is an Atomic Age: of fusion and fission; of unbounded energies harnessed and exploded; of contracting and scattering; of elements merged and particles ejected. An analogy may be drawn between the atomic process and your lives. Remember, however, it is a resemblance, not a parallel. During your days at St. Ignatius there was a building up of, a search for unity — a fusion — with God, with truth, with one another; in a word, the fusion of faith, hope and charity. Now is the zero hour of fission. You are divided and hurled forth, not to dissipate your substance nor to lose your character in the world, as atomic particles are hurled forth never to return. For you, the bond of these earlier years will never be broken. The field of your operation will simply be ever widened as a chain reaction….”7
The modern Alumni Association started in 1956 with the celebration of the school’s centenary, and the school gathered 58 graduates to put together a roster for a general alumni reunion to be held June 2, 1956. At that event, alumni gathered by year in classrooms. “These rooms became pretty lively places, and some men who had not seen their classmates for quite a few years were having a field day,” reported the Ignatian Bulletin, the precursor to the Genesis alumni magazine. When the crowd came together for dinner, student yell leaders led them in Wildcat yells “and even gave the school fight song a whirl. Then former yell leaders took over under the leadership of Danny Galvin ’42. Dan still [had] the touch, and the alumni responded long and loud.” Then the first Alumni Association president — Tom King ’22 — was named, along with his officers Darrell Daly ’15, Superior Judge Edward J. Molkenbuhr ’18, Charles Creighton ’30, Richard B. Doyle ’21 and Dan O’Hara ’35.8