Jesuit High School (New Orleans)

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Jesuit High School
4133 Banks Street


United States
CoordinatesCoordinates: 29°58′23.0″N 90°6′12.5″W / 29.973056°N 90.103472°W / 29.973056; -90.103472
TypePrivate, all-boys
MottoAd Majorem Dei Gloriam
For the Greater Glory of God
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Society of Jesus
Established1849; 171 years ago (1849)
FounderJean Baptiste Maisonabe, SJ
PresidentFr. John Brown, SJ
ChairpersonBrian W. North,
DirectorHelen B. Swan, B.S.
(Director of Student Affairs)
Ardley R. Hanemann III, ’85 (Director of Admissions)
David A. Moreau, B.A.
(Director of Athletics)
Mary U. Favalora, B.A.
(Director of Guidance)
Sharon S. Hewlett, M.S.
(Dir. of Information Technology) Daniel A. DiRosa, M.A. ’81 (Director of Alumni Service Corps)
Malcolm H. Villarrubia, Jr. ’66 (Dir. of Professional Development)
Matthew P. Orillion, M.A. ’98 (Director of Student Activities) Peter J. Flores, B.A. ’09 (Director of Campus Ministry) Kevin B. Murphy, M.P.A. ’00 (Director of Community Service) Thomas V. Bagwill II, B.A.
(Dir. of Institutional Advancememt)
Christian M. Bautista, M.Ed. ’06 (Director of Communications) Michael R. Prados, M.Ed. ’83 (Director of Alumni)
PrincipalPeter S. Kernion, M.Ed. ’90
Prefect of DisciplineMark C. Sprongr, B.A.
ChaplainFr. Kevin Dyer, SJ
Age range12-19
Enrollment1,372 ((2018-19))
Average class size24
Student to teacher ratio12:1
Hours in school day7
Campus size7 acres
Campus typeUrban
Color(s) Blue  and White 
SloganMen of Faith / Men for Others
SongJesuit Fight Song[1]
Athletics conferenceLHSAA NOCL
SportsVarsity Sports
Baseball Basketball Football Bowling Cross Country Golf Lacrosse Rugby Swimming Soccer Tennis Track & Field Wrestling
Team nameBlue Jays
RivalHoly Cross Tigers
Archbishop Rummel Raiders
Brother Martin Crusaders
Warren Easton Eagles
PublicationCalliope (literary magazine)
NewspaperThe Blue Jay
YearbookThe Annual
School feesRetreats, computer class, graduation
Tuition$ 9,150 (2017–2018)
Graduates275 (2018)
WebsiteJesuit High School New Orleans

Jesuit High School is a private, non-profit, Catholic college-preparatory high school (grades 8-12) for boys run by the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus in Mid-City New Orleans Louisiana. The school was founded in 1847 by the Jesuits and serves students of all religious faiths.


The mission of Jesuit High School as a Catholic, college preparatory school is to develop in its students the competence, conscience, and compassion that will enable them to be men of faith and men for others.[3] A service program is an integral part of the Jesuit High experience.[4]

More than 99% of graduates go on to colleges and universities. Jesuit ranks among the top private schools in the nation in number of National Merit semifinalists.[5] Of the 286 seniors in the Class of 2018, 35 of them were named National Merit Semifinalists and eight were named in the National Hispanic Recognition Program.[6]

Selective admission to Jesuit is based on previous academic performance, recommendations of teachers, principals, and/or church parish pastors, promise of future development, and the desire of the student to profit from the moral, spiritual, academic, and physical programs offered by the school. For students who qualify for admission, but whose families cannot afford the tuition, Jesuit has a financial assistance program. In the 2012–13 academic year, Jesuit provided families with more than $650,000 in tuition assistance, based on financial need only. Jesuit does not award academic or athletic scholarships.[7] Tuition is near the lowest among private schools in the New Orleans area,[8] $9,150 in 2017–2018. Fees are assessed for retreats ($6–$100, varies by grade), for computer class ($50), and for graduation ($100).

In 1967, Jesuit became the first high school in the country to have a Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. For several years this program was mandatory for all students.


The College of the Immaculate Conception was founded in 1847 and opened in 1849. It was both a secondary school and college, and both were located in the Faubourg Ste. Marie of New Orleans (now the New Orleans Central Business District), a block upriver from the French Quarter, at the corner of Baronne and Common Streets. In 1911, the high school and college divisions were split, and the college division relocated to St. Charles Avenue, eventually becoming Loyola University New Orleans. The high school remained on Baronne Street until 1926, when it was moved to its current location at 4133 Banks Street in Mid-City. The Church of the Immaculate Conception[9] remains on the original campus and plays an active role in the Jesuit community.

Since 1926, several additions have been made to the campus. In 1953 a wing was added along Palmyra Street; the addition included an auditorium, the Chapel of the North American Martyrs, a cafeteria, a library, several classrooms, and a band room. With the additions made to the school, the building, coincidentally, is now in the shape of a "J" when looking from a bird's eye view.

In recent times, Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J., (class of 1976) served as school president and was succeeded by Fr. Anthony McGinn, S.J. In May 2015 it was announced that Fr. Chris Fronk, S.J., on active duty as a U.S. Navy chaplain, would serve as the school's 30th president, and he assumed office in November 2016.[10] In January 2020, Fr. Chris Fronk, S.J. stepped down from school president. Fr. John Brown, S.J. is currently the interim president. The principal is Peter Kernion (Class of 1990).


The mascot is a blue jay posed with his fists raised, designed by cartoonist Walt Kelly of Pogo fame. A contest among students was held to name the mascot, and the name "Jayson" won. The school's colors are blue and white to honor the Virgin Mary. Student athletes wore a white sweater with a blue letter "J" on it and were referred to as the "Blue Js", hence the mascot. As with most Jesuit schools, the school's motto is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam ("For the Greater Glory of God").

The front doors of Jesuit High School, often referred to as the Mary Doors, as seen from Carrollton Ave.
Jesuit's main building seen from Carrollton Ave. and Banks St., traditionally the description of the school's location since 1926
Central section of Jesuit's main building seen from Carrollton Ave.


Since 1933, Jesuit has won numerous state championships in football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and soccer. The 1946 athletic year yielded undefeated state champions in baseball, basketball, track and field, and football all coached by G. Gernon Brown.[11][12][13] It has been said that Jesuit had "All the Tricks in '46." In the 2004–2005 school year, Jesuit won state championships in baseball, cross country, soccer, tennis, wrestling, rugby, and swimming, and went to the state playoffs in football with an undefeated regular season. In 2012 Jesuit built Ryan stadium, a state of the art facility accommodating football, baseball, and soccer on a field covered entirely with artificial turf.[14] In 2015, Jesuit was the first prep school in the States to get a germ-zapping robot, gift of an alumnus.[15]

Cross country: In 2005, Jesuit became the first 5A school in Louisiana history to win three state championships in a row in the sport of cross country. In 2006 they continued with an unprecedented 4th cross country state championship.

Swimming: Jesuit swimming holds the LHSAA record for most consecutive state championships in any sport, with 18 straight. As of November 20, 2010, Jesuit Swimming has captured 36 state championships. The streak was broken in 2005 when the team, still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina, was only able to field 12 swimmers, yet managed to take second place, only a few points out of first. In 2006, however, the team was able to recapture the state championship.

Wrestling: In wrestling within the state of Louisiana, Jesuit's rival Holy Cross was the perennial state champs under Br. Melchior Polowy in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Then in 1969 Jesuit hired Surachai "Sam" Harnsongkram as its new wrestling coach. In 1972 the Jesuit High School Blue Jays won the first of 18 State Championships under Coach Sam, including 11 in a row from 1988–1998. Prior to that 1972 win, Jesuit's only state championship was in 1951. And since that string-of-11 (ending in 1998) Jesuit has won 4 more state wrestling championships, with the last being in 2009. High School wrestling in Louisiana has become much more visible starting in the 1990s, resulting in other schools developing programs to challenge the "leaders". From 1999-til-2015, Jesuit has won 4 more state championships, and has been runner-up in the other years.

Baseball: From 2007-09 Jesuit made it to the state tournament three times, and twice to the American Legion playoffs winning one championship.[16] In August 2012, Jesuit's baseball team won the American Legion World Series. Jesuit's American Legion teams also won the national championship in 1946 and 1960.[11]

Football: In football,[17] Jesuit High School vs. Holy Cross High School is the oldest continuous high school rivalry in Louisiana and one of the oldest continuous high school football rivalries in the United States.[18][19] The first game was played in 1922 (Jesuit won by 52–0) and the two teams have played every year since[11] (twice in 1963: once in regular season and another time for the state crown which Holy Cross won) Blue Jays vs. Tigers.[20] The Jesuit Blue Jays Football team went to the State Championship for the 2014 season and played against the John Curtis Patriots and for the first time since 1978 against St. Augustine. Jesuit defeated John Curtis 17–14 to win the Division 1 state championship. Running back Charles Jackson was voted the game's most valuable player.[21]

Basketball: In February 1965, Jesuit's all-white basketball team played a secret game against St. Augustine, the city's all-male, all-black high school. The Purple Knights won the game, which was the basis for the 1999 motion picture Passing Glory. That same year, Jesuit won the 1965 Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championship in Class AAA (at the time the state's highest classification) while St. Augustine won the championship of the Louisiana Interscholastic and Literary Organization, the sanctioning body for the state's black schools. In the fall of 1967, St. Augustine joined the LHSAA and became a rival for the Blue Jays in the New Orleans Catholic League through the 2010–11 school year, when the Purple Knights were reclassified Class 4A by the LHSAA.

Soccer: In the 1998–1999 season, 2006–2007 season, 2008–2009 season, and also the 2009–2010 season, Jesuit fielded one of the best soccer teams in the nation, winning the Louisiana state title and in all four cases ending the season undefeated. This record gave the Jesuit team a #3 (1998–99), a #2 (2006–2007), a #1 (2008–2009), and a #3 (2009–2010) rank in the nation. The 2006–2007 team is considered the best high school soccer team in LHSAA history. In the three seasons from 2009–2011, the soccer team had a 94-game unbeaten streak, which is the fourth longest unbeaten streak in the country.[14]

Rugby: In the 2007–2008 season, the rugby team won the State Championship for the sixth consecutive year with an undefeated season, only allowing 12 points while scoring over 300. Because of a conflict with the senior prom, the team was forced to play in the more difficult multi-school division at the Southern Regionals in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The team swept regionals and moved on to become 8th in the country in the multi-school division at the USA Rugby Boys High School National Championship.[22] In 2017, the Blue Jays reclaimed the State Championship, winning the title for the first time since 2011, with an overtime victory over the Bayou Hurricanes, 25–22. In 2018, the Blue Jays remained the State Champions with a victory over the Brother Martin Crusaders, 22–12.

Lacrosse: In 2014, Jesuit New Orleans won the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Classic, with 14 schools competing from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama.[23]

Golf: Jesuit won the state championship twice in the late 1990s.[24]

Rear view of Jesuit from corner of Banks & S. Solomon

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

When the flooding following Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Jesuit High School was inundated, five feet (1.5 m) of water ruining the ground floor. When the school announced that it was closed indefinitely, many students enrolled in schools in cities to which they had evacuated. The largest concentration of students attended a satellite school at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston; at one point, approximately 420 displaced students attended classes at night with their own teachers and classmates.[25] In mid-October, Jesuit opened another satellite school at St. Martin's Episcopal School in Metairie in unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, which about 500 students attended until Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, Jesuit's students and faculty returned to their own campus, becoming the first flooded school in New Orleans to reopen – albeit with an unusable first floor. The school held its annual Thanksgiving Drive for the poor living in the surrounding neighborhoods. On 23 January 2006, 1285 of the 1450 students returned to attend Jesuit for the second semester. After the Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, Jesuit hosted students from Colegio San Ignacio in Puerto Rico.[26]

Notable alumni[edit]

In chronological order:

Notable students (attended but did not graduate)[edit]

  • Dr. John aka. Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., asked to leave because he was playing at clubs while underage
  • Louis Prima (Class of 1930 would-be, expelled two weeks before graduation for cursing a priest)[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An MP3 of the song on the school's website
  2. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement" Check |archive-url= value (help). Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  3. ^ "Jesuit HS New Orleans in the Dominican Republic - Courts for Kids". Courts for Kids. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  4. ^ "Community Service | Jesuit High School of New Orleans". Jesuit High School of New Orleans. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  5. ^ "2011 JayNotes" (PDF). Jesuit High School. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Class of 2018 Yields 35 National Merit Semifinalists and Eight National Hispanic Scholars | Jesuit High School of New Orleans". Jesuit High School of New Orleans. 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  7. ^ "2011-2012 Admission Brochure" (PDF). Jesuit High School. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Tuition Comparison | Jesuit High School of New Orleans". Jesuit High School of New Orleans. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  9. ^ Immaculate Conception Church, New Orleans, LA. Retrieved on 2011-05-28.
  10. ^ Fronk
  11. ^ a b c Lou, Widmer, Mary. New Orleans in the Forties. Pelican Publishing. p. 165. ISBN 9781455609512.
  12. ^ New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 20, 2003
  13. ^ "Gernon Brown, 1946". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Special Renovation Section: Jesuit High School - Coach and Athletic Director". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  15. ^ "Jesuit High School Alumnus Donates Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot to His Alma Mater". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  16. ^ "University of North Florida - 2018 Baseball Coaching Staff". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  17. ^ Gems, Gerald R. (2013). Sport and the Shaping of Italian-American Identity. Syracuse University Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780815652540.
  18. ^ Longman, Jere (2005-11-12). "Homecoming Isn't a Game This Season". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  19. ^ "Jesuit High School (LA) | Great American Rivalry Series | Page 3". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  20. ^ "Athletics". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  21. ^ "Year-by-Year Results - Jesuit Bluejays Football (New Orleans, LA)". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  22. ^ "USA Rugby". USA Rugby. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  23. ^ "Jesuit High School Takes Varsity Title at Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Classic - Official Site of the Allstate Sugar Bowl". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  24. ^ "Peter Rivas Bio :: Notre Dame Men's Golf :: UND.COM :: The Official Site of ND Athletics". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  25. ^ "Jesuit High School New Orleans Info/Links". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  26. ^ Krieger, Rob. "Puerto Rican baseball players find home away from home at Jesuit". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Famous Jesuit High School Alumni". Ranker. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  28. ^ "Lot Detail - 1946 Tookie Gilbert Jesuit High School New Orleans "The Sporting News Collection Archives" Original 8" x 10" Photo (Sporting News Collection Hologram/MEARS Photo LOA)". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  29. ^ Porter, David L. (1995). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992-1995 supplement for baseball, football, basketball, and other sports. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 50. ISBN 9780313284311.
  30. ^ "Gambit's 40 under 40 (2001)". Gambit. Gambit. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  31. ^ HARRY (2017-02-22), Harry Goes Home: Jesuit High School in New Orleans, retrieved 2017-12-31
  32. ^ Ham, Robert, "Gregory Agid Chases an Idealistic Goal." DownBeat, June 25, 2018
  33. ^ "Kyle Keller Bio". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  34. ^ "Tanner Lee, Jesuit , Pro-Style Quarterback". 247Sports. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  35. ^ Dabe, Christopher (April 28, 2018). "Former Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee goes to Jaguars in 6th round". The Times-Picayune.
  36. ^ Jesuit High SchoolNew Orleans, LA. Retrieved on 2011-05-28.

External links[edit]