St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Last updated
Saint Ignatius College Preparatory
2001 37th Avenue

United States
Former nameSt. Ignatius High School
Type Private Catholic Non-profit Coeducational college-prep education institution
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam English:
For the Greater Glory of God
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Established1855;166 years ago (1855)
FounderRev. Anthony Maraschi, SJ
PresidentRev. Edward A. Reese, SJ
ChairmanPeter J. Siggins
PrincipalMichelle Nevin Levine
Grades9 - 12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment1,508 [1]  (2018-19)
Color(s) Red  and  Blue 
PublicationThe Quill (literary)
Genesis (alumni)
NewspaperInside SI
Tuition$27,625 (2020-2021) [2]

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 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. [3]

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 to 1929. [3]

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. [4]

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. [3]

Academics and student body

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. [5]

St. Ignatius offers honors courses and Advanced Placement classes.


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. [6] In addition, the crew competed in the Henley Royal Regatta in England, where St. Ignatius won Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 2006. [7]

The boys' lacrosse team won the state championship and was ranked nationally in 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2017. The Cats have won the WCAL Championship 14 years in a row. In 2017 the Wildcats finished ranked #5 nationally with a 19–2 record, beating #6 ranked Chaminade, NY and #14 ranked Gonzaga, D.C. St. Ignatius has a powerhouse lacrosse program, known nationwide for sending student athletes to Ivy League and ACC schools. [8]

The school's men's soccer team has been nationally ranked by ESPN. The boys won the WCAL championship in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and the CCS championship in 2009, 2017, and 2018. They won the inaugural Northern California championship in 2018, and were ranked #2 nationally to end the season. [9]

The women's soccer team has also been quite successful, as the reigning WCAL champions. The team went undefeated in league play to capture the 2019 WCAL crown. [10]

The SI football team was WCAL champions in 1967, 2006, and 2019, 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.[ citation needed ]

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.

The men's and women's cross country teams recently won the 2019 CCS Division III Championship, while the men's water polo team won the Division II Championship, as well as a Northern California Championship.

The field hockey team has experienced much success over the past few years, making history this year by advancing to the CCS semifinals.

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. [11] SI and SH compete against each other in football, basketball, and baseball for the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy, which is named after Bill Bruce of SI and Jerry Mahoney of 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. [11]

Notable alumni

Jerry Brown Jerry brown (8028178642) (cropped).jpg
Jerry Brown
Darren Criss Darren criss at scream queens premiere 2015 (cropped).jpg
Darren Criss

See also

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  1. St. Ignatius College Preparatory website. about-us/si-at-a-glance/data-library-and-school-statistical-profile/2017-18-student-profile "2018–19 Student Profile" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  2. Tuition and Financial Assistance Retrieved May 16, 2020
  3. 1 2 3 St. Ignatius College Preparatory website. "Our History" . Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  4. St. Ignatius College Preparatory website. "About SI" . Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  5. "CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FOR TOMORROW AWARD". Today's Catholic Teacher Magazine. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  6. Results
  7. Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup#2000 onwards
  8. Lacrosse,; accessed February 3, 2016.
  9. Soccer Archived 2006-07-17 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed February 3, 2016.
  10. ; "CCS soccer: WCAL sweeps Open Division titles at Buck Shaw"; accessed December 23, 2019
  11. 1 2 Rugby
  12. Office of the Governor - About Retrieved April 11, 2011
  13. History Supplement: Admiral William Callaghan '14, Genesis IV: The alumni magazine of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory (2005), pp. 34–35. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  14. Hirsley, Michael (January 26, 2002). "Bay Area school generates athletes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  15. "Igor Olshansky profile" . Retrieved January 13, 2011. (Olshansky) first-team all-league at SI.