Loyola Academy

For other places with the same name, see Loyola Academy (disambiguation).
Loyola Academy

Women and Men for Others
1100 Laramie Avenue
Wilmette, Illinois 60091
United States
Coordinates 42°5′1″N 87°45′39″W / 42.08361°N 87.76083°W / 42.08361; -87.76083Coordinates: 42°5′1″N 87°45′39″W / 42.08361°N 87.76083°W / 42.08361; -87.76083
School type Private, parochial, secondary
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1909 (1909)
Authority Archdiocese of Chicago
Oversight Jesuits
CEEB code 144403[1]
President Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ[2]
Principal Dr. Kathryn Baal[2]
Grades 912
Gender Coeducational
Campus type Suburban
Color(s)      Maroon
Athletics conference Chicago Catholic League
Girls Catholic Athletic (GCAC)
Team name Ramblers[3]
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [4]
Publication Menagerie Arts[5]
Newspaper The Prep[6]
Yearbook The Year
Affiliation Jesuit Secondary Education Association
Website goramblers.org

Loyola Academy is a private, co-educational college preparatory high school, located in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, and in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. It is a member of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association and the largest Jesuit high school in America, with over 2,000 students from more than 80 different zip codes throughout the Chicago area.


Loyola Academy was founded as a Roman Catholic, Jesuit, college preparatory school for young men in 1909. The school was originally located in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, on the campus of Loyola University Chicago's Dumbach Hall; it moved to the current Wilmette campus in 1957. Both Loyola University and its prep school adjunct, Loyola Academy, grew out of St. Ignatius College Prep, a Roman Catholic, Jesuit college preparatory school in Chicago that was founded in 1870 as St. Ignatius College, with both university and preparatory programs for young men. While St. Ignatius transitioned to being solely a preparatory school and remained in the same location, Loyola Academy and University were established in Rogers Park. All three institutions were named after the Basque intellectual and Spanish Army General, St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits.

As a precondition to granting approval to move to the suburbs, the Archdiocese of Chicago required the Jesuits to stipulate that they would continue to serve the young Roman Catholic men of the city of Chicago. Consequently, Loyola Academy has had a significant representation of Chicago residents of various financial means, giving the school an economic diversity fairly unique in the Chicago area. This as achieved through the use of various scholarships and forms of financial aid.

Loyola Academy maintained the strict disciplinary and academic regimen seen in most of the exclusive American prep schools during the bulk of its history. Students were required to wear blazers and ties, maintain silence when moving between classes, attend weekly Mass on campus, address their teachers as either "sir" or "Father", and also maintain a demeanor befitting the Jesuit educational ideal of "Men for others."

One of Loyola's "sister schools" was Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls Academy located less than a mile away in Wilmette. Beginning in 1970, small groups of select Regina students began commuting to Loyola to take selected advanced science and computer science classes, as these classes were unavailable on their campus at the time.

The Jesuit presence has fallen off from what it once was, with some 40 priests teaching and working at the school in 1961, down to 11 out of roughly 200 staff members in 2007.[7] Several priests have left due to disagreements with the policies of Pope Francis, while several others left for touching students inappropriately, although the Jesuits covered it up for a long time.[8]

Loyola Academy merged with Saint Louise de Marillac High School, an all-girls high school from Northfield, Illinois and became co-educational in 1994. The merge was done for financial reasons. The President of Marillac was approached by Loyola to consider a co-ed option on the North Shore as requested by the Archdiocese.[9] About that same time, Loyola added on to their existing building. In 2003, Loyola Academy opened a new 60-acre (240,000 m2) campus in Glenview, Illinois. The property, once part of the decommissioned Glenview Naval Air Station (NAS Glenview), was purchased by Loyola in 2001 and now houses several athletic fields for lacrosse, baseball, softball, and soccer, a cross country path, and a wetland preserve area that has been used as a natural laboratory for science classes.

While Loyola Academy is a Jesuit, Catholic school, it has always admitted non-Catholics seeking a Loyola education.


Loyola Academy offers a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum with over 110 courses in language arts, fine arts (dance, music, theater, visual arts, and architecture), foreign languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Ancient Greek), mathematics, physical education, science, social studies, and theology. (As it is a college-preparatory high school, it does not offer any true vocational courses.) The school has two competitive honors programs (the Dumbach Scholars and the Clavius Scholars) and a plethora of students enrolled in AP classes. Loyola also offers the O'Shaughnessy Program, which assists students who show the potential for success in college but may require smaller classes and extra help from teachers. Annually, about 99% of students are accepted by four-year universities.

The school fields a Certamen team and in 2005 six students received perfect scores on the National Latin Examination. Loyola is also very active in forensics, Scholastic Bowl, and Science Olympiad competitions. In 2013, Loyola's scholastic bowl team placed third at both NAQT HSNCT and PACE NSC, the best performance of a team from Illinois at both national championship tournaments.[10][11]


Loyola places a strong emphasis on community service, encouraging students to be "Women and Men for Others, Leaders in Service." During the summer, many students join service sites across the United States and around the world, and during the school year Loyola's "Life! Be In It!" program allows students to in participate in Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity International, and various other community outreach programs. One of Loyola's stated objectives is that every graduate be "committed to doing justice", and thus it encourages students to contribute to their communities and learn more about the world around them. These service programs are complemented by a series of religious retreats. During a student's junior or senior year, he or she can choose to participate in the Kairos retreat.


Loyola Academy

Loyola Academy offers 16 women's sports and 17 men's sports, the Ramblers (borrowing their nickname from the teams at Loyola University). The school competes as a member of the CCL.

In 2009, the women's softball program won their first IHSA state championship, beating Edwardsville 2-0 in the championship game.

In 2009, the men's cross country team was ranked #1 in the nation for a week by Dyestat, was state runner-up, third at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional, and received an at-large bid to join York and Neuqua Valley at the national meet in December. They continued to earn fourth place at the Nike Cross Nationals meet, the best of any team in the Midwest that year.

The men's lacrosse team won three straight championships from 2002 to 2004, with its most recent in 2016.[12]

Prior to the IHSA Football Championships (1974), Loyola won the Prep Bowl in 1965, 1966, and 1969. Loyola won the IHSA State Championship in football in 1993 and 2015 and was runners-up in 1992, 2011, and 2013. LA football coach John Holecek has led Ramblers to the state playoffs every year since 2006, including three of the last five Illinois State 8A Finals. In November 2011, the Loyola Academy football team lost to Bolingbrook in the class 8A Illinois State championship. In August 2012, the Loyola Academy football team, along with Loyola students, faculty, families and alumni, traveled to Dublin, Ireland to participate in a football tournament. The Ramblers played a Jesuit high school powerhouse from Texas. In a thrilling game with a last minute field goal, the Ramblers fell to the Rangers 30-29. In the Semifinals of the IHSA playoffs, a valiant comeback by the Ramblers fell short. They were upset 27-24 by Glenbard North, finishing the season with a record of 11-2. In 2013, Loyola lost to Naperville Central, 13-10, in the 8A State Football Championship. Loyola beat Marist 41-0 to claim the 2015 IHSA 8A Football Championship on November 28, 2015.

In 2014 Loyola won the Illinois State Girls Swimming Championship and defeated Fenwick 11-10 (OT) to capture the IHSA Boys Water Polo State Championship. The Ramblers were also State Water Polo Champions in 1978.

Notable alumni


Politics and public service

Arts and letters

Business and technology


Notable staff



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