The Jesuits Establish St. Ignatius College

Time: Autumn, 1870.

The Chicago Tribune, in its 24th year of operation, continues to give the citizens of the city of Chicago news from around the world and the nation. Some of the news is global, some of it very parochial.

  • The French Council of Ministers has just acknowledged the surrender of Emperor Napoleon III and Marshall MacMahon. There are rumors of capitulation of Bazaine at Metz. Prussia plans to rectify the French frontier and Napoleon is to be escorted to Magdeburg.
  • A report obtained from the London Economist relates the many complaints in the English press concerning the remoteness of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. There are hints of a possible Regency.
  • On the national level, there are numerous stories about the reactions to and implementation of the recently passed 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • There are announcements that Edwin Booth is appearing at the McVicker's Theatre. During one particular week he is doing his interpretations of the roles of Brutus, Shylock, Iago, Sir Giles Overreach and Benedict. Seats are still available.
  • One item is captioned "A rare chance for men of capital." For $35 (several hundred dollars by today's standards), one can obtain the newly patented never-failing Potato Digger and Cultivator. A full half-column is devoted to extolling its virtues. This includes a glowing testimonial from a group of citizens of Coldwater, Michigan.
  • Under the heading of Educational, there appears a long column devoted to the new Jesuit College on West Twelfth Street. The article contains a detailed description of the building, its cost, and the expectations. The article says, in part:
    In connection with this church [Holy Family] several parish schools were established. ... Over 4,000 children receive in these schools a sound, practical English education. But a simple English education, though excellent in itself, is not always sufficient to fit men for what are known as the learned professions, in which a knowledge of the ancient languages, all of the higher mathematics, and of special subjects are requisite. To meet this want the reverend gentlemen [the Jesuits] decided to establish a college, fully equal, in all respects, to the many institutions of learning which flourish in other parts of the country under the auspices of the able and scholarly members of the fraternity.

    ... The high standard of learning which must be reached by the members of the Society of Jesus guarantees that, in point of scholastic ability, the faculty will be in nowise inferior to that of any college in the land. One of the best educators in the society has been brought here to preside over the institution, and, under the supervision of the Rev. J. S. Verdin, it promises soon to attain a high place and character. ... [Father Verdin] has been thirty-two years in the educating business, and ought to know all about it.

    ...The college will be opened for students on [Sept. 5, 1870], and doubtless it will confer upon many yet unborn the inestimable benefits of a good education.

St. Ignatius College even has a Public Relations Department -- 1870's style, of course.

In 1909 St. Ignatius College adopted the style, "Department of Arts and Sciences of Loyola University." In subsequent years various professional and graduate divisions were added. The school was relocated to the Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago in 1922.