Boston College is Founded
In 1863, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed an Act to incorporate a new school rooted in the sixteenth century teachings of St. Ignatius and fashioned on the European model—a seven-year program combining college and secondary school. Twenty two pioneering students ranging in age from 11 to 16 years of age enrolled that first year in a curriculum of rudiments (Latin and Greek) and humanities (philosophy and theology) in what was called “Boston College.”
September 5, 1864
The School Opens its Doors
Made possible by the determination and vision of Rev. John McElroy, SJ, the school was founded to educate a burgeoning population of Irish immigrants during a period of bitter racial and religious hatred in the City of Boston. Rev. John Bapst, SJ was selected as the first president of the school and its first home was on Harrison Avenue and James Street in Boston’s South End.
September 6, 1864 — 1910
The College and the
For the first fifty years, the college and the preparatory school occupied the same quarters, twice enlarged, and their histories became inseparable.
The College Relocates
By 1913 there were more than one thousand students enrolled in what was called, by this time, the “High School” and some three hundred enrolled in the “College.” That year the college relocated to its present site in Chestnut Hill. Boston College High School remained in the South End at the original site.
The Schools Legally Separate
For fourteen years the two schools continued to share the same administration, but by 1927 they were divided into two legally separated institutions.
Rev. Robert A. Hewitt, SJ Purchases 70 Acres on Columbia Point
Rev. Robert A. Hewitt, SJ purchased 70 acres on Columbia Point for $240,000. This site would be the new home of BC High and would realize Father Hewitt’s vision of “a modern high school with a full range of scholastic facilities.” This included, “science laboratories, and a library; the necessary ecclesiastical facilities, including a Jesuit faculty residence and a chapel; a wide range of athletic facilities, including a gymnasium, field house, and outdoor areas for a variety of sports, both interscholastic and intramural, and areas for general recreation, faculty walks, parking and campus landscaping.”
November 13, 1950
New Campus Opens Its Doors
McElroy Hall opened its doors to 600 juniors and seniors. The entire student body moved to the new campus by 1954 but members of the Jesuit Community remained at the James Street Residence.
Cushing Hall is Dedicated
On September 11, Cardinal Richard Cushing, Class of 1913, was present at the dedication of BC High’s newest building. On hand, was Boston Mayor, John B. Hynes, who wrote a letter congratulating BC High as it began to build on Columbia Point and thanking it “for believing in the future of the City of Boston.”
Loyola Hall, the Jesuit residence, was completed.
The Walsh Hall Science Center was dedicated.
The Student Training, Athletic and Recreation Complex (S.T.A.R.) was dedicated.
Following the completion of a successful $3,000,000 capital campaign, the school dedicated the 37,000 square foot multi-use McNeice Pavilion, in honor of the schools largest donor, John A. McNeice, Jr. ’50.
Cocoran Library Opens
With an unprecedented gift from Rose & Joseph Corcoran ’53, the Corcoran Library was opened, a fully automated and networked reading, study, and research center occupying the first floor of Cushing Hall.
Meet McQuillan Hall
President William J. Kemeza – the school’s first lay president – opened the school’s newest building, the largest in the school’s history, a 63,000 sq/ft addition, including a student commons, science center and cafeteria, calling it “a physical demonstration of our renaissance, a new birth, a new affirmation of our commitment to academic excellence.” It was named McQuillan Hall, to recognize the generosity of John McQuillan’s ’83, at the end of the school’s highly successful $51 million Renaissance campaign in 2008.
September 7, 2007
The Arrupe Division Is Established
BC High’s Arrupe Division for seventh and eighth graders opened its doors in the fully renovated Walsh Hall. Named after Rev. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the former superior general of the Society of Jesus, the Arrupe Division extends the rigorous Jesuit educational experience offered at BC High to a younger generation of students.
Hyde Center For Global Education
The Lawrence H. Hyde ’42 Center for Global Education at Boston College High School was established through a generous gift from Mr. Hyde in 2012. The gift signified his commitment to Jesuit education at BC High and the continuous pursuit of promoting “internationalism among young people.”
Cadigan Hall Dedication
With the largest single gift in school history, $12 million from Patrick Cadigan ’52, Cadigan Hall was built. It encompasses 28,000 square feet of space dedicated to music, fine and performing arts and athletics.
Monan Baseball Park
The collaboration between BC High and UMass Boston is the result of a public-private partnership anchored by a $2 million commitment from the Yawkey Foundation named in honor of Reverend J. Donald Monan, SJ.With the exact dimensions of Fenway Park, Monan Park is home to students from BC High, UMass Boston, and beyond.