About Saint Ignatius High School

History and Heritage

Founders

Mr. and Mrs. Murphy were named Founders of Saint Ignatius in 1998; Fr. Robert J. Welsh, S.J. '54 was named a founder the following year.

 

A Founders' Wall, on the south side of the Narthex of St. Mary's, will be dedicated in their honor. 

In addition, each year, the school honors a member of the alumni community for his outstanding service to the school.

 

To futher honor Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and Fr. Welsh, this award was named the "Founders' Award" with the hope that the names of future founders will one day be included as well. 

MURLAN J. MURPHY, SR., ’36

On November 25, 1998, Murlan J. Murphy, Sr. ’36, chairman of the board of JTM Products, Inc., became the first person to be designated a Founder of Saint Ignatius High School. Mr. Murphy, familiarly known as Jerry, was named a Founder because of his extraordinary loyalty, support, and positive influence on the future of his alma mater.

As a major benefactor, he has enhanced the Saint Ignatius experience by improving the school’s intramural, spiritual, and academic facilities. When he provided for the construction and endowment of the Murphy Field House, dedicated to intramural sports and completed in 1993, he said, “Competitive sports teach some of life’s important lessons. The competition teaches not only how to win, but how to lose, and how to come back the next day to work at it again.” He made it possible for every student at Saint Ignatius High School to have that opportunity coining Murphy’s Law, ‘Everybody Plays’.

Through his benevolence, ground was broken in 1998 for the construction of St. Mary’s Chapel. In providing for the chapel, he said, “It is my hope that under the roof of St. Mary’s Chapel many young men will hear the call of God and answer ‘Yes’.”

He provided for the 1999 renovation of an addition to the science building so that both teaching and learning are strengthened by a state-of-the art environment. The Clavius Science Center was dedicated in 2001.

Jerry Murphy was truly a dedicated man for others who, through his generosity and insight, continually found ways to empower the mission of Saint Ignatius High School.

Mr. Murphy passed away on April 18, 2009 at the age of 90. He is survived by his children, Murlan J. "Jerry" Jr. (Molly), Raymond (Mary Kathleen), Paul (Frances); Rita Carfagna (Peter '71) and Brian (Cynthia); 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

ROBERT J. WELSH, S.J., '54

History and HeritageOn November 24, 1999, Robert J. Welsh, S.J., ’54, president of Saint Ignatius High School (1979-2000), became the second person to be designated a Founder of Saint Ignatius High School. Father Welsh was named a Founder because of his devotion to Catholic education and his insistence that Saint Ignatius High School be an instrument in the apostolate of the Society of Jesus to bring Christ’s light to the world.

Father Welsh’s leadership, vision, allegiance, perseverance, and sensitivity have enabled the Saint Ignatius community to strengthen the school mission, ensure the existence of a diverse student body, increase endowment, expand campus facilities, and maintain a strong academic curriculum that includes service and religion. His charismatic way of involving people in the mission of the school has inspired students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and others to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and to understand the importance of loving Christ. Father Welsh initiated the Loyola Society Mothers’ Club, the Sophomore Service Program, and the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership Program. Before becoming president, he was a theology teacher, counselor, moderator of cheerleaders, director of religious formation, and the school’s first director of development.

Father Welsh introduced innovative fundraising techniques, conducted the first capital campaign to keep Saint Ignatius High School at its inner city location, established the first annual fund drive to help students in need, and was instrumental in cultivating financial support for the school through endowment opportunities, capital campaigns, and fundraising events. His faithfulness and extraordinary works truly make Robert J. Welsh, S.J., an Ignatius man forever.