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St. Ignatius College Preparatory

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Private, college-prep

9 - 12

21,290 USD (2016–2017)

Number of students
1,468 (2012–2013)

Religious affiliation(s)
Roman Catholic, Jesuit


+1 415-731-7500

Red, Blue

St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God)

1855; 162 years ago (1855)

2001 37th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116, USA


St. Ignatius College Preparatory (SI) is a private, Catholic preparatory school in the Jesuit tradition, serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1855. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, in the Sunset District of San Francisco, St. Ignatius is one of the oldest secondary schools in the U.S. state of California.



St. Ignatius was founded as a one-room schoolhouse on Market Street by Fr. Anthony Maraschi, a Jesuit priest, just after the California Gold Rush in 1855. Maraschi paid $11,000 for the property which was to become the original church and schoolhouse. The church opened on July 15, 1855, and three months later, on October 15, the school opened its doors to its first students.

SI was the high school division of what later became the University of San Francisco, but it has since split from the university and changed locations five times due to the growth of the student body and natural disaster. In the 1860s, the school built a new site, adjacent to the first, on Market Street in downtown San Francisco. In 1880, SI moved its campus to a location on Van Ness Avenue in the heart of San Francisco, and by 1883, SI had become the largest Jesuit school in the nation.

Within 26 years of the relocation, however, St. Ignatius would be completely destroyed. Though the school would survive the tremors of the 1906 earthquake with only moderate damage, the subsequent fires destroyed the school and church, forcing SI to find a new location near Golden Gate Park, a hastily constructed "temporary" wooden building, affectionately known as the "Shirt Factory", which housed the school for more than 20 years, from 1906-29.

In 1927, the high school was separated from the university, becoming St. Ignatius High School. Two years later, SI relocated its campus once more, this time to Stanyan Street, where it remained for 40 years. In the fall of 1969, Father Harry Carlin moved SI to its current Sunset District campus, whereupon the current name, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, was adopted.

Though founded as an all-boys school, SI became coeducational in 1989 and is home to over 1,400 male and female students. The school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005.

Academics and student body

SI values three different characteristics: academics, co-curriculars (clubs, sports and activities) and campus ministry. The Jesuits have experience with excellence in education. They opened their first school in 1548, and Saint Ignatius was founded in 1855. Since 1855, Saint Ignatius has been preparing students for selective universities all across the world.

In 2004 the faculty was one of 12 schools nationwide to be honored by Today's Catholic Teacher magazine for excellence and innovation in education.

St. Ignatius offers honors courses and Advanced Placement classes. In 2010, students took 1,422 Academic Placement tests and passed 1,142, breaking the school record. Students scored more than 700 4s and 5s on these tests. This performance ranks SI among the top 150 schools in the nation, or top 2/3 of 1 percent.

Additional information:

  • Student body: 33% students of color, 50% girls/50% boys
  • For the 2013-14 school year, SI distributed more than $3.1 million in financial aid to approximately 25% of their students (an average grant of over $9,000 per student)
  • Current ethnic diversity: 59% Caucasian, 13% Asian American, 11% Latino, 5% African American, 12% decline to state or other
  • 80% of the faculty have master's degrees, 7% have doctorates, 11 from the Jesuit community
  • A top-60 prep school as per the Exemplary Private School Recognition Project of the Council for American Private Education
  • A top-150 school in the nation for AP scores, with 1,478 exams administered in 2013 and a 79.3% pass rate
  • SAT scores more than 150 points above national and state average
  • Financially stable: $75 million in endowment
  • 62 clubs, with more than 1,000 members
  • Campus of 20 acres on two sites
  • Student-to-teacher ratio is 14 to 1; average class size is 25
  • Rivals with Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory
  • Athletics

    The school has 66 athletic teams with over 70% of students participating. The Wildcats generally participate in the Western Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) in the Central Coast Section of California, though for some sports teams belong to other leagues.

    The men's rowing team won the US Rowing Youth National Championships in 1997, 2005, and 2006. In addition, the crew competed in the Henley Royal Regatta in England, where St. Ignatius won Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 2006.

    The boys' lacrosse team won the state championship and was ranked nationally in 2008.

    The school's soccer team has been nationally ranked by ESPN. The boys won the WCAL championship in 2009, 2010, 2011, and the CCS championship in 2009.

    The SI football team was WCAL champions in 1967 and 2006, as well as CCS Division III champions in 2006 and 2011. In 2012 St. Ignatius placed first in the WCAL and competed in the CCS Division I playoffs.

    SI Swimming - 2014 Boys placed 3rd CCS Div I and had a 200 Free Relay team break the CCS Record and then was ranked 10th nationally in the All-American rankings. 2015 Placed 4th in CCS Div I with a CCS champion in the 200 Freestyle, who place also 6th at the Inaugural California State Championship.

    Rivalry with Sacred Heart Cathedral

    St. Ignatius' traditional rival is Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, also located in San Francisco. The SI-SH rivalry began with a rugby game on St. Patrick's Day in 1893. SI and SH compete against each other in football, basketball, and baseball for the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy, which is named after one SI and one SH alumnus who died in World War II. SI has a significant edge over SH, with a winning record of 45-20 for the trophy.

    Notable alumni

  • Dirk Beijen - last descendant of the tsar
  • Jacqueline Toboni-Actress
  • Derek Lam - fashion designer
  • Jerry Brown - 32nd and 39th Governor of California
  • John Joseph Montgomery - aviation pioneer
  • George Moscone - former Mayor of San Francisco
  • Paul Otellini - President and CEO of Intel
  • Bob Portman - Creighton University basketball player, NBA player
  • Kevin Shelley, 1973 - California Secretary of State from 2003-2005.
  • Al Madrigal - comedian (Daily Show)
  • Levy Middlebrooks - former professional basketball player
  • Richard Egan - actor
  • John Paul Getty, Jr. - philanthropist
  • Gordon Getty - billionaire and businessman
  • Francis Jue - actor
  • Laurence Yep, 1966 - author
  • Igor Olshansky, 2000 - NFL football player, defensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins
  • Darren Criss, 2005 - musician, actor, singer-songwriter, composer
  • Daniel J. Callaghan - Medal of Honor recipient
  • William Callaghan, 1914, military, first commanding officer of USS Missouri (BB-63)
  • Dan Fouts - NFL Pro Bowl quarterback, played for the San Diego Chargers. NFL Hall of Fame
  • Danielle Brunache - soccer player
  • Dan Salvemini - professional soccer player and member of 1980 US Olympic team
  • References

    St. Ignatius College Preparatory Wikipedia