Loyola Academy is a private, Catholic, co-educational college preparatory high school run by the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus 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. It was founded by the Jesuits in 1909.
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 a military officer in the army of a Duke, 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 was 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. The priests left for a variety of reasons. Some left due to the child abuse cases surrounding the Catholic church.
Loyola Academy affiliated with Saint Louise de Marillac High School, an all-girls high school from Northfield, Illinois and became co-educational in 1994. The affiliation 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. 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, near 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.
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 Arrupe Service Program allows students to in participate in Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity International, and various other community outreach programs. Programs include children and refugee opportunities such as Catholic Charities Tutoring, elder care opportunities such as Maryhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, individuals with disabilities opportunities such as Our Place, and soup kitchens such as A Just Harvest. 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. Students can participate in the Kairos retreat during their junior or senior year.
Loyola Academy offers 16 women's sports and 17 men's sports. Its varsity teams are called the Ramblers, which copied from the nickname of the varsity teams at Loyola University. The school competes as a member of the CCL.
On 24 March 2018 the Loyola boys hockey team won the State Championship at the United Center, beating Stevenson High School 4–2. They were also State Runner Ups in 2019. The Loyola girls hockey team went to the State Championship at the United Center each year 2013–2017, beating Barrington High School 5–3 to win the State Championship in 2016.
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. Template:Fix/category
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, 2015, 2018 and 2022 and was runners-up in 1992, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017. 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. On November 24, 2018 Loyola won the 2018 IHSA 8A Football Championship by beating Brother Rice High School 13–3. In 2022, Loyola won the IHSA Class 8A State Football Championship by beating undefeated Lincoln-Way East High School 13–3. This was the school fourth state championship win.
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.
The girls lacrosse team won the 2023 IHSA state championship over Hinsdale Central.
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- ² Did not graduate from Loyola; left after second year to play in the minor leagues.
- ³ Did not graduate from Loyola; transferred to Fossil Ridge High School in Texas after second year.
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The coach is John Holecek, a former Marian Catholic and University of Illinois star who played Kelly's middle linebacker position in the NFL from 1995 through 2002.
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