When Saint Ignatius opened its doors in 1886, Grover Cleveland was President of the United States and George W. Gardner was the city of Cleveland’s Mayor. With a growing population of more than 250,000, the city was prosperous. Civic and industry leaders included John D. Rockefeller, Samuel Mather, John Hay and Mark Hanna. Steel mills and refineries dotted the landscape. The unskilled workforce toiling in these shops was comprised mostly of immigrants, many of whom were Catholic.
The first class of what was then St. Ignatius College (in the European educational tradition) included 76 students. By comparison, we reently welcomed 386 students in the freshman Class of 2020. Likewise, the campus has grown from the original 2-story building to 18 buildings and three athletic fields on 18.5 acres.
Throughout the years and among all the changes and evolutions, one essential element has remained constant: for 130 years, the goal of the school has been to form men of faith for the Church and the world.