Regis High School (New York City)
|Regis High School|
As seen from 84th Street (2019)
55 East 84th Street
|Motto||Deo et Patriae Pietas Christiana Erexit|
(Built by Christian Piety for God and Country)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Patron saint(s)||St. John Francis Regis|
|Founder||Julia M. Grant|
|President||Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ|
|Principal||Rev. Anthony Andreassi, CO|
|Student to teacher ratio||10:1|
|Color(s)||Scarlet, Silver and White|
|Song||Regis Alma Mater|
|Rivals||Xavier High School|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
Regis High School was founded in 1914, through the financial bequest of a single formerly anonymous benefactress: Julia M. Grant, the widow of Mayor Hugh J. Grant. She stipulated that her gift be used to build a Jesuit high school providing a free education for Catholic boys with special consideration given to those who could not otherwise afford a Catholic education. The school continues that policy and does not charge tuition. The Grants' former home is the residence of the Vatican Observer to the United Nations, where the pope stays when he visits New York City.
Following the death of her husband in 1910, Julia Grant met with Father David W. Hearn, S.J. and, with a stipulation of strict anonymity, gave him an envelope with the money needed to start a school to educate Catholic boys. After Mrs. Grant died, her children took over the funding of the school. The last surviving member of the family, Lucie Mackey Grant, a daughter-in-law of Julia Grant, died in 2007. Since the 1960s, Regis has relied primarily on the Grant endowments and alumni donations to keep the school tuition free. Following Lucie Mackey Grant's death, at an auction of her estate, Regis bid successfully for the original golden chalice used during Mass when the school was founded in 1914. The identity of the school's founding benefactor was officially kept secret for decades, though the large portrait in the school's first floor conference room titled "Julia Grant" contradicted the official policy. The online announcement, of an auction that included items related to the school's founding, did so as well. Finally, on October 26, 2009, a documentary film revealed her identity and detailed the circumstances of her gift.
On Saturday, May 14, 2011, a two-alarm fire destroyed the school's principal gymnasium and caused some peripheral damage. The school re-opened the following Tuesday.
A prospective student is any 8th-grade, baptized Roman Catholic male who has demonstrated superior academic ability, and first completes an application that includes the composition of multiple short essays and then sits for Regis's own admission test. Of the approximately 1,000 students who sit for this test each year, about 230 are selected for two interviews with one faculty member and one alumnus, and approximately 135 students are admitted.
The debate team competes on state and national levels in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Student Congress, Extemporaneous speaking, Declamation, Duo Interpretation, and other forms of dramatic interpretation of literature. The team's most notable achievements include: 28 state championships in the past 34 years, 5 national collegiate debate champions and one world collegiate champion, including first place in the World Schools Debate in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2017. A $2.5 million endowment was created in 2008 for the debate society's exclusive use.
There are also various publications that students can work on, such as the newspaper (The Owl) and yearbook (The Regian) as well as several literary publications such as a sports magazine (The Falcon), a journal of opinion (The Crow), a movie review magazine (Flix Pix), and a literary magazine (The Raven). Regis Repertory stages a musical in the fall and a drama or comedy in the spring, relying on the efforts of over 90 students in the cast, stage crew, business staff, and band, as well as talent from neighboring girls schools. Recreational clubs include the Flag Football League, Billiards Club, Games Club, Comedy Club, Rock Music Club, Tennis Club, Foreign Affairs Club, Yoga Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club and various cultural and special interests/political clubs. The Regis Historical Society, in addition to being a forum for general and school-specific historical debate, publishes its own journal, Cliographia. The Owl interviewed CIA leak case prosecutor and alumnus Patrick J. Fitzgerald in 2006. Its article was linked on the Drudge Report and quoted by the Associated Press.
In popular culture
- Lady Gaga, while a high school student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, performed in several student musical productions at Regis.
- Vito Acconci, performance artist and architect
- Norberto Barba, TV/Film Director
- Adrian Basora, U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic (1993-1995)
- Michael Bérubé, Paterno Family Professor in Literature, Pennsylvania State University
- Kevin Burke, Chairman, President, and CEO of Consolidated Edison
- Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Thomas Cahill, scholar and writer, author of the Hinges of History series
- Timothy Chorba, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore (1994-1997)
- Bill Condon, director and Academy Award-winning screenwriter
- Edward Conlon, NYPD police officer and bestselling author
- John M. Corridan (1911-1984), Jesuit priest and organized crime fighter on the NYC waterfront, inspiration for Fr. Barry in On the Waterfront
- John D'Agostino, exchange markets expert and subject of Ben Mezrich's Rigged
- John D'Emilio, academic, historian, and activist
- Lou DiBella, boxing promoter
- John Donvan (born 1955), journalist, ABC News Nightline correspondent
- Anthony Fauci, head of the NIAID, HIV/AIDS researcher
- John D. Feeley, diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to Panama (2016-2018)
- Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney and CIA Leak Investigation Special Prosecutor
- Steve Fuller, founder of social epistemology, professor at University of Warwick, UK
- Greg Giraldo (1965-2010), comedian and television personality
- Robert Giroux (1914-2008), publisher at Harcourt, Brace & Company and Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Frederick Gluck, Managing Director of McKinsey & Company from 1988-1994
- Pete Hamill (born 1935), writer and columnist, did not graduate, attended until age 16, awarded honorary diploma in 2010
- Charles Harbutt (1935-2015), photographer
- Donald J. Harrington, former president of St. John's University, former president of Niagara University
- Andrew P. Harris, Member of Congress
- Timothy S. Healy (1923-1992), president of Georgetown University and the New York Public Library
- Robert Hilferty, filmmaker, journalist, and noted HIV/AIDS activist 
- Steve Hirdt, Executive Vice President, Elias Sports Bureau
- Colin Jost, Head Writer and Weekend Update co-anchor at Saturday Night Live, stand up comedian
- John F. Keenan (born 1929), U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York
- Thomas C. Kelly (1931-2011), Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky
- Tom Kelly (1924-2008), Boston Celtics basketball player
- Phil Klay, winner of the National Book Award for fiction in 2014 for Redeployment
- John Koeltl, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York
- David Lat, founder and Managing Editor of legal blog, Above the Law
- John Leo, author and former columnist, U.S. News & World Report
- Thomas Lippman, journalist and author, Middle East specialist
- Chris Lowney, Christian author and speaker
- Gerard E. Lynch, circuit judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- John Maguire (1904-1989), Bishop, New York archdiocese
- Eugene T. Maleska (1916-1993), editor, New York Times crossword puzzle
- Robert Marasco (1936-1998), playwright[a]
- Mark Mazzetti, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times writer
- Ken McCarthy, Internet commercialization pioneer, educator, activist
- Mac McGarry (1926-2013), host of the Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville, Virginia, versions of It's Academic
- John McGiver (1913-1975), motion picture and television character actor
- Joseph M. McShane (born 1949), president of Fordham University
- William J. McSherry (born 1947), Executive Director of USFL
- Ronald J. Mellor, scholar of ancient history and religion
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- Alexander J. Motyl (born 1953), political scientist at Rutgers University
- Thomas Francis Murphy (1906-1995), government official, in the perjury trials of Alger Hiss.
- John Nonna (born 1948), 1972 Summer Olympics fencer
- Frank S. Nugent (1908-1965), New York Times film critic, screenwriter (The Quiet Man, 1952; The Searchers 1956)
- Edward J. O'Donnell '49, Bishop, Diocese of Lafayette, LA
- Joseph A. O'Hare (1931-2020), President of Fordham University, Chairman of New York City Campaign Finance Board, editor at America Magazine.
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- William Braucher Wood (born 1950), diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia (2003-2007) and Afghanistan (2007-2009)
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