The Founding of St. Ignatius College: 1849–1861

Six years after the Jesuits arrived in California, St. Ignatius College appeared on Market Street as a one-room schoolhouse with the mixed blessing of Archbishop Alemany. What makes the history of SI so remarkable is that six years after the construction of this small school, SI built an impressive college right next door and attracted an impressive faculty, as some of the best Jesuit minds of Europe, fleeing anti-Catholic sentiment, found their way to teach at this outpost college on the edge of the continent. The school quickly earned the respect of the citizens of San Francisco who sent their sons to learn from the good Italian fathers. These first few years also saw SI acquire a staggering debt that would cast a cloud over the school until the middle of the 20th Century.

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