Mayor Lyda Krewson proclaims November 16, 2018 as “ST. LOUIS U. HIGH DAY” in the City of St. Louis!

A Celebration to remember

SLUH, the oldest high school west of the Mississippi River, celebrated its Bicentennial with an outdoor Mass and campus-wide festival on Saturday, April 21, 2018. More than 4,000 attended, including alumni, students, parents, current and former faculty/staff, benefactors, Jesuits, friends and many others.

SLUH's Bicentennial Mass & Celebration culminated with an impressive fireworks display accented by a student parade of balloons in the formation of the cross. Photo by Kathy Chott.

About the event

Inspired by St. Ignatius and his legacy in Jesuit education, SLUH celebrated 200 years of excellence in a spirit of gratitude – with deep reverence to its proud past and renewed commitment to fulfill its mission for future generations.

The event began at 4:00 p.m. with Mass celebrated by V. Rev. Ronald Mercier, S.J., Provincial of the Jesuits' Central and Southern Province, and concelebrated by alumni priests and Jesuits. A brief program followed, with remarks from Rev. Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus; Tom Santel '76, SLUH Board Chair; and David Laughlin, SLUH President.

After the program, the school's many clubs, teams and musicians provided a variety of programs and live performances. Contributors and activities included the Chinese Lion Club, Circus Club, Prep News, SLUH Archive, robotics, student fine art, pianists, pep band, alumni musicians and the Jr. Bill mascot who posed for photos. Kids participated in festival games like basketball knock out, golf putt-putt, ping pong, pool, lacrosse, volleyball, home run derby, football field goal kick, soccer penalty kick and 40-yard dash. A kids corridor featured a duck pond, face painting and prizes.

The evening concluded with a balloon Gratitude Glow, live music by the SLUH band and Blue Crew, and an impressive fireworks display.

Photos by Sulli Wallisch '19

Photos by Andy Skroska '78

Photos by Dominik Skroska ‘18

Photos by Kathy Chott

Event Video Coverage

Media Coverage

About SLUH

The oldest high school west of the Mississippi River, St. Louis University High began in 1818 as a Latin school for boys in a one-story house on the riverfront. Since then, it has experienced four name and five location changes, ever growing and adapting to meet the needs of intellectually gifted young men and their total formation.

With a resounding commitment to its city location, SLUH elected years ago to remain on Oakland Avenue and contribute to the revitalization of the City of St. Louis. In doing so, it has partnered with organizations like Forest Park, St. Louis Public Schools, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

SLUH's commitment to the City of St. Louis is also reflected in its legacy of admitting qualified young men based on their ability to succeed and not their family's economic circumstances. All of SLUH's scholarships are need-based with 40 percent of students receiving financial assistance of $4.1 million this year alone. This accessibility makes SLUH unique not only in St. Louis, but in private education on a broad scale. More importantly, it allows the student body to reflect the geographic, socio-economic and ethnic diversity of the area, with students coming from 92 zip codes and 182 middle schools.

Today SLUH continues to instill the knowledge, as well as the spiritual, moral and aesthetic values needed to prepare young men for a life of high achievement, community service and personal fulfillment. About 15,000 alumni represent leadership in all levels and disciplines, nationally and internationally. Of these, 8,000 reside in the St. Louis area, with graduates leading many aspects of our community, from academic institutions and civil service to non-profits and leadership at Fortune 500 companies.

St. Louis has embraced SLUH throughout its two centuries and currently provides education, service and internship opportunities to students through more than 100 organizations. In gratitude to the St. Louis community, SLUH conducted a city-wide Day of Service on October 20, 2017, with the entire student body and faculty/staff contributing more than 3,000 service hours to Forest Park Forever and 20 other area organizations (this is in addition to more than 50,000 service hours SLUH provides the area each year).

Looking ahead to its third century, SLUH, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and consistently ranked in the top tier of schools nationally, will continue to adapt and innovate, just as it has since 1818. In doing so, it will continue inspiring young men to accept extraordinary challenges while preparing them to be 'Men for Others' and community leaders working for the Common Good.

In gratitude

Thank you to all who contributed to the success of our Bicentennial Mass & Celebration, including V. Rev. Ronald Mercier, S.J. (Provincial of the Jesuits' Central and Southern Province), our alumni, students, parents and volunteers. Of course, everybody who attended contributed to the community and joy of our milestone anniversary. Thank you!