In the first five years of the new millennium, SI experienced successes that promise a bright future for the school. Those years saw a continued progression of the changes initiated in the 1990s, with the school excelling on all fronts. In 2004, students earned their highest SAT scores and passed more AP tests than ever before. The boys’ basketball team in 2004 took the league and CCS championships for the first time in 20 years. Workers put the finishing touches on the campus by tearing up the grass and installing FieldTurf and a new track. And the school announced that it would celebrate the completion, one year ahead of schedule, of the Genesis IV Endow SI campaign in December 2005.
Still, the first few years offered one major challenge. For the first time in its modern history, the SI faculty included no Jesuit scholastics, and the number of priests at SI continued to decline. The Society of Jesus, like all religious orders, does not have the manpower it once had. SI found an answer to this challenge in the Adult Ministry Program. Begun in 2001, this innovative project seeks to train lay faculty and staff in Ignatian spirituality so that SI will always remain a Jesuit school, even with fewer priests and brothers
In 2005 the school marked the 26th year of Fr. Sauer’s tenure as president. He has steered SI since 1979, for one-sixth of the school’s history, longer than any of his predecessors. He is not the only person responsible for SI’s success, but no one could lay greater claim to it than he. In 2004, the school kicked off its yearlong sesquicentennial celebration at the December 3 President’s Cabinet Dinner. Midway through the year, the school held a giant birthday party for itself with the June 4, 2005, Day on the Boulevard event for the entire SI community (thanks to the leadership of SI Regent Fred Tocchini ’66 and his Sesquicentennial Committee), and it ended the celebratory year with the December 2005 President’s Cabinet Dinner.
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