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A Sacred Heart: John Vatterott

SLUH was saddened to learn of the passing of John Vatterott on October 20, 2023. Vatterott was a generous benefactor of St. Louis U. High and the Jesuit, Catholic school mission. In 2021, he was recognized by SLUH with the Sacred Heart Award, the highest honor for a non-alumnus of the school.

"John Vatterott represented the best of the many men and women who support our mission," says SLUH President Alan Carruthers. "We are very grateful for his selfless spirit and remarkable contributions in collaborating to form young men of competence, conscience, courage and compassion."

Vatterott studied at Campion High School, a Jesuit school in Wisconsin that has since closed. He was born to a large, Catholic family as one of 17 children.

His career began as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Missouri Department of Education. It was during his tenure in this position that he recognized a need for stronger trade schools. In response to this community need, he co-founded Vatterott College in 1969 and continued leading the school until 2003. 

Vatterott has been an important member of the SLUH community for many decades, and his commitment to the school’s mission continues to this day. A past SLUH parent and former member of the Board of Trustees, several years ago he and his wife Joan made the largest charitable gift to St. Louis U. High in the school’s storied history. 

Beyond SLUH, John helped to found Loyola Academy, and launched Access Academies, a network of support for students in middle schools across the metro area. He has served on numerous boards and supported a wide range of Jesuit ministries and nonprofits on both sides of the Mississippi River, throughout the country, and internationally. He is a model philanthropist in his commitment to collaboration, his passion for the mission of the Church, and his overwhelming love for the Jesuits and SLUH.

Funeral arrangements will be posted here as soon as they become available.