Founding Traditions: 1920-1929

Even though the high school found itself in the ramshackle Shirt Factory, sharing it with the college division, it thrived and began new traditions, such as the creation of the Wildcat mascot. Athletic victories came in the big three sports, with the basketball team taking the state championship in 1926 and a league title in 1927, the first year SI entered the AAA. League crowns also came in baseball (1921 and 1927) and tennis (1926 and 1928). By the end of the decade, SI left the Shirt Factory in 1929 for modern quarters up the hill on Stanyan Street, separating from the college for the first time and cementing its identity as an independent high school. It also found itself, along with the nation, at the start of the Great Depression.

Despite all these calamities, school life proceeded apace. SI started a new tradition in 1919 with its first senior prom after class president George Devine ’19 proposed that the school hold a formal graduation prom at the Palace Hotel. The Jesuits wrote to Father-General in Rome for permission, and he agreed that it was part of a young gentleman’s education.

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