St. Mary's was founded in 1885 on Detroit's east side by Rev. Joseph Dabrowski as a school for Polish-American boys to train for the priesthood. The school moved to the 125 acre (0.5 km²) campus of the former Michigan Military Academy on the shores of Orchard Lake in 1909 and is still there today. St. Mary's now offers a college preparatory education. The campus is shared with SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and contains some offices and classrooms for Madonna University of Livonia, Michigan. The Felician Sisters from Livonia, Michigan have served the Orchard Lake Schools since 1935.
St. Mary’s academic program is designed to meet the basic entrance requirements for any college curriculum. Requirements for graduation are: four years of theology and English; three years of mathematics, science and social studies; three years of foreign language; and a semester each of computer programming, computer applications, physical education, health, fine arts, and speech. Students are required to fulfill 28 credits for graduation.
Although students need not be Catholic to attend St. Mary’s, all students are educated in the Catholic tradition. This tradition includes four years of theology in the classroom as well as attendance at Mass twice weekly. Class retreats and other activities are available for students. The school chaplain and many campus priests can guide students regarding their individual programs.
100 percent of St. Mary’s graduates who apply to college have been accepted. A full-time guidance counselor assists students in selecting colleges and universities. The school held the national record for most students from one year to go to the U.S. Naval Academy (4).
St. Mary’s Preparatory is fully accredited and licensed by the State of Michigan’s Department of Education, the Michigan Non-Public Schools Accrediting Association (MNSAA), and is a member of the Orchard Lake Schools, the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Detroit Catholic League, the Oakland Schools Consortium, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Campus buildings include a hockey arena, volume library, a Marian grotto, a three-story residence hall, a bookstore, two gymnasiums, a science center, administration buildings, a laboratory and science building, a dining hall and the Shrine Chapel. It has a quarter of a mile of beach on Orchard Lake open only to members of the school.
About 90% of the school participates in sports. The school offers 13 varsity sports: football, basketball, baseball, track and field, cross country, golf, wrestling, rowing, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, skiing, and snowboarding. The Eaglets have won many league, district, and regional titles in its history. As of 2013 it had 31 Michigan State Championships. In 1998 the school's rowing team placed second in the Henley Royal Regatta. Since 1994 the Eaglet football team reached the state finals nine times, winning five times.
The athletic facilities include an athletic center with a hockey arena, a weight room, an indoor track, locker rooms, a banquet hall, and a basketball gymnasium. The crew team has its own boathouse just off Orchard Lake. Outdoors, St. Mary's has two football fields, two baseball diamonds, and a basketball court. The St. Mary's Ski team practices at Alpine Valley Snow Ski Area in White Lake, Michigan.
The Eaglets compete in the MHSAA Division I (ice hockey), II, and III, depending on the sport. In the Detroit Catholic League, they compete in the Central Division. St. Mary's fiercest rivals are De La Salle Collegiate High School, Birmingham Brother Rice, U of D Jesuit, and Catholic Central High School.
St. Mary's holds the largest high school fair in the country every year for fund-raising attracting thousands of people (http://www.stmaryspolishcountryfair.com/).
The "Ark Building" (#9) contains the Polish Home Army Museum. The Ark Building also houses many other museums of Polish military history and Polish history in different rooms including: Reading Room of the Central-Archives of Polonia; Museum of Fr. Józef Dabrowski; Museum of the Polish Army Second Corps; Archive and Museum of Polonia Radio and TV, Robert Lewandowski Collection; Commemorative Room of Polish Diaspora; Archive, Library, and Museum of the First Polish Armored Division; Archive, Library, and Museum of the Polish Home Army AK; Archive, Library, and Museum of the Polish Air Force; Museum of the Singers Alliance of America – Circuit 4; Museum of the Polish National Alliance, Aloysius A. Mazewski Collection; Dr. Loda and Edward C. Rózanski Collection; Museum of the Polish Falcons – Nest 31; and the Museum of the Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners.
The Galeria (Building #8) features art by Polish artists, including painting, sculpture, china, and antique furniture.
The Galeria and museums area open for tours on Polish Sundays, the first Sunday of the month.
There are seven-day and five-day boarding students.Dan Gheesling, Winner of Big Brother 10. Asst. Coach of Football team, & Teacher of Health, Biology, & Physical Education at St. Mary's.
Adam Maida, Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit (1948)
David Simon, American Olympic Rower, Sydney Olympics
Jay Penske, Cofounder of Firefly Mobile, Founder and CEO of VSI
Rev. Timothy Whalen, President/Rector of Saint Vincent Seminary
David Bowens, former Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns DE
Sean P. Clouse, former Michigan State Spartan, member of 1989 Rose Bowl Team
Scott Kowalkowski, former Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions DL (1987)
Gary Ignasiak former Detroit Tiger
Mike Ignasiak, former Milwaukee Brewer
Morgan Trent, former Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins DB(2003)
Jim Paciorek, former Milwaukee Brewer (1978)
Leonard Renfro, former Philadelphia Eagles DT
Sam Rogers, former Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, and Atlanta Falcons DE
Charles Davis, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers New York Sentinels, and Hartford Colonials TE
Josh Bourke, former Green Bay Packers and current Montreal Alouettes OL
Grant Mason, former New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, and Florida Tuskers DB (2001)
Robert Bolden, former Penn State Nittany Lions and current LSU Tigers QB
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens Defenseman
Dion Sims, Miami Dolphins TE (2009)
Kalin Lucas, Memphis Grizzlies PG, former Michigan State Spartan (2007)
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars WR (2010)