For many years, SI published a Catalogue (also referred to as the Prospectus, though it bore no official name), offering a listing of the school’s philosophy, organizational structure for the following year and the awards given and student names from the previous year. In July 1951, the document still listed St. Ignatius High School as the “Preparatory Department of the University of San Francisco, Founded October 1855, Conducted by the Jesuit Fathers.”
As for its “Educational Aims,” the school offered this in the way of a mission statement:
“To mold manhood, to develop the entire man, mind and heart, body and soul; to form as well as to inform;
“To train the mind to analyze rather than memorize, so that it may distinguish truth from error; to strengthen the will that it may have the grit to practice virtue and reject vice; to cultivate the heart that it may love the worthwhile things;
“To instill culture; to stimulate ambition; to disdain mediocrity and develop leadership; to train citizens for times and eternity;
“To maintain high academic standards; to encourage research; to present the technical phases of various fields of knowledge, yet to integrate and make vital education; to present the current and complex problems of modern life, yet assisting youth to solve these problems with principles as eternal as the God that promulgated them — the eternally vital principles of truth and justice;
“To instill into youth the neglected doctrine that morality must govern economics and politics, and that modern ills cannot be cured merely by shifting economic systems and changing political structures: pointing out that every system must be administered by men over men, and that selfishness, greed, dishonesty and lust for power are moral evils which cannot be eliminated by civil legislation but only by moral restraint;
“To rivet to the minds of youth the truth that all hatreds, whether of class or race or creed or foreign nations, rot civilization, and that, irrespective of one’s belief, the sole and ultimate solution of economic, political and social ills was epitomized by Him Who said: ‘Thou shalt love thy Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and with thy whole mind; — thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
That mission statement was at once an ideal and a reality — something evidenced by students and teachers, though certainly not at all times. To help guide the young men toward this goal, the Prospectus included sage advice in a section entitled “Methods of Study,” listing these six steps:
1. Have a fixed period of study each day….
2. Study in a quiet, well-lighted room…. You cannot concentrate in the face of distractions that come from the blare of a radio or the conversation and laughter of other people.
3. Plan your study according to your needs….
4. Aim at understanding what you study…. Knowledge must be digested and assimilated like food before it becomes a part of you….
5. Use pencil and paper….
6. Review what you have learned. Memory is an elusive thing and sometimes plays tricks on us….”
The Catalogue also listed the courses offered for the 1951–52 school year as follows:
First year: religion and public speaking, arithmetic and grammar review, Latin, English, algebra, ROTC.
Second year: religion and public speaking, Latin, English, geometry, world history, ROTC. (Students aiming for the “Honorary Classical” diploma would substitute Greek for ROTC.)
By junior year, in addition to taking the requisite religion, public speaking, Latin, English and ROTC classes (Greek for honors classes), students had the freedom to choose two of four options: physics, chemistry, algebra or U.S. history-civics.
Seniors likewise had choices to make. Everyone studied religion, public speaking, Latin and English. In addition, they could choose three from the following: U.S. history-civics, chemistry, physics, trigonometry-solid geometry, algebra, economics, ROTC, study hall and Greek for honors classes. Students could also sign up for a typing course.
These courses resembled those at Jesuit schools throughout the U.S. and still reflected the school’s roots in the Ratio Studiorum. For this education, students paid $140 in tuition and $60 in fees in addition to books. The school advertised its policy “not to exclude any Catholic boy because of his inability to meet tuition requirements.” To help meet that promise, the school offered many students financial aid including eight named scholarships established by generous patrons and organizations.
Students continued to compete for 13 academic honors and awards, much like in past decades. These included the General Excellence Award, the Sodality Award, the Sanctuary Award, the Shakespeare Award (for the “best portrayal of a piece from Shakespeare”), the Freshman Elocution Award, the Sophomore Oratorical Award, the Gentlemen’s Sodality Debating Award (given to the best debater in the public debate between representatives of the senior and junior classes), the Fathers’ Club Debating Award (given to the best debater in the public debate between representatives of the sophomore and freshman classes), the Senate Debating Plaque, the Martin Latin Award, the Washington Essay Award, the Science Award and the ROTC Awards.