La Salle Academy is an independent, co-educational Roman Catholic college preparatory day school located in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1871, the Academy currently enrolls 1,478 students in sixth through twelfth grade, with the majority of students coming from the Providence metropolitan area.
The Academy was established by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Roman Catholic religious teaching religious institute, founded by Frenchman Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. Originally known as the Brothers' School, the school's name changed to La Salle Academy when its status changed from an elementary school to a secondary school. When the student population grew too large for its first location at the beginning of the 20th century, the Bishop of Providence authorized the building of a new school on more suitable premises near city limits. The present 60-acre (240,000 m2) campus in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence was dedicated in 1925. The area of downtown Providence that had housed the Academy is now known as La Salle Square.
In 1983, the Bishop of Providence announced plans to merge the Academy, still an all-male secondary school, with two all-girls secondary schools, ushering in the co-educational era of the school that continues to the present.
In 1989, full administration was transferred from the Diocese of Providence to a non-profit, independent Board of Directors comprising six De La Salle Christian Brothers. The Academy is overseen by a Board of Regents, composed of not less than nine nor more than twenty-one voting members.
More recent developments include the 1993 establishment of the PEGASUS 6th, 7th, and 8th program, a middle school for exceptional students. Significant campus improvements were undertaken by the former president of La Salle, Brother Michael McKenery, at the turn of the 21st century. Construction included a new Athletic Center, Arts Center, Science and Student Center, and tennis courts, as well as improvements to the existing athletic fields.
La Salle Academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.Main Building - The largest and oldest academic building on campus, dedicated in 1925 when the Academy moved from its location in downtown Providence to the current location in the Elmhurst neighborhood. It houses most of the classroom facilities as well as the library, computer labs, administrative offices, and the college counseling center. The first floor of one wing is devoted to the De La Salle Middle School (6,7,8).
Brothers' Chapel - The campus chapel in which daily mass is celebrated.
Brothers' Residence - Home to the members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers who teach at the school as well as the brothers who have retired from teaching. The Brothers' Residence also includes the Office of the President and the Alumni Center.
McLaughlin Athletic Center - Includes a field house with three multi-use courts, men's and women's locker rooms, weightlifting facilities, a dance studio, and classrooms. (completed in 2000)
Brother Michael McKenery Arts Center - Includes a state-of-the-art theatre, as well as studio and rehearsal space for the fine and performing arts. It also has a photography lab, television studio, and video editing facilities. (completed in 2000)
Shea Science and Student Center - Connected to the main building by a two-story footbridge, it houses all of the laboratory classrooms for the sciences, a dining hall, school store, and campus ministry office. (completed in 2004)
Cimini Stadium - Home to the men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams as well as the men's football team.
Cronin Field - Home to the men's baseball team.
Other athletic facilities include the softball field, practice fields for football and lacrosse, and six tennis courts. The golf team's home course is Alpine Country Club in Cranston, Rhode Island. The fields were fully completed in fall of the 2011–2012 school year.
La Salle's 64 teams in 18 sports are referred to as the Rams for men's sports, and the Lady Rams for women's sports. Nearly all teams compete in Division I of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL). La Salle Academy was noted in May 2005 by Sports Illustrated magazine for having the best athletic program in Rhode Island.
Especially dominant in Rhode Island high school sports are the men's soccer team, which won six consecutive state championship titles from 2000 to 2005, and the women's soccer team, which won five consecutive titles from 2001 to 2005. In addition, the gymnastics team has secured ten consecutive state titles (2003–2012), with New England Championship titles in 2003 and 2009. The men's lacrosse team is especially dominant, winning the state championship in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In 2008, the Rams football team won the State Championship. Since 2013, the men's cross country team has won three consecutive New England Championship titles, including a berth to compete at the 2014 Nike Cross Nationals event in Beaverton, Oregon, in which they finished 18th. The women's team has had equal success, winning eight states cross country titles and going to Nike Cross Nationals in 2009, 2015 (9th), and 2016 (18th). The women's track teams won the 4x1Mile relay at New Balance Nationals in 2015 indoors, 2015 outdoors, 2016 indoors, and was runner up in 2016 outdoors.
In 2008, La Salle produced the first woman ever to capture the RIIL Singles Golf Championship, Juliet Vongphoumy.
La Salle's sports rivals are other Rhode Island independent, Roman Catholic schools including Hendricken, Mount Saint Charles Academy, and St. Mary Academy - Bay View. East Providence High School is La Salle's traditional opponent in a Thanksgiving Day football rivalry that dates back to 1929.
Notable La Salle Academy alumni include: