University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy

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University of Detroit Jesuit
High School and Academy
U of D Jesuit Seal.jpg
8400 South Cambridge Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48221
United States
Coordinates 42°25′58″N 83°9′18″W / 42.43278°N 83.15500°W / 42.43278; -83.15500Coordinates: 42°25′58″N 83°9′18″W / 42.43278°N 83.15500°W / 42.43278; -83.15500
Type Private
Motto Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
("For the Greater Glory of God")
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) St. Ignatius Loyola
North American Martyrs
Established 1877; 141 years ago (1877)
President Theodore Munz
Principal Anthony Trudel
Grades 712
Gender Boys
Enrollment 900 (2016)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Maroon and white         
Slogan Men for Others
Athletics conference Catholic High School League
Nickname Cubs
Rivals Brother Rice
Catholic Central
Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Accreditation AdvancED commission[1]
Publication Inscape (literary magazine)
Newspaper Cub News
Yearbook Cub Annual
Tuition $12,375

The University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy (commonly referred to as U of D Jesuit, The High, Detroit Jesuit, or UDJ) was founded in 1877, and is one of two Jesuit high schools in the city of Detroit, Michigan, the other being Loyola High School. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, the school is rooted in the Ignatian tradition. It is an all-boys school with an academy for grades seven and eight. The school's mascot is a tiger cub and its teams are dubbed the Cubs. Its colors are maroon and white.

Jesuit education[edit]

Approximately 500 Jesuits have taught at UDJ since its founding in 1877, with eight Jesuits assigned there in 2016. Lay faculty first joined the staff during World War I and by the school's 100th anniversary in 1977 the lay-to-Jesuit ratio stood at nearly 3 to 2.[2] In 2017 the school celebrated its 140-year anniversary, making it the oldest Catholic high school in the city of Detroit.


U of D Jesuit is a college preparatory school. Students may take advanced placement (AP) courses in American History (sophomore year), Government, Modern European History, or Chemistry (junior or senior years), and English, Calculus, Physics, or Biology (senior year). Chinese, Latin, and Spanish are offered as foreign languages.


In the winter of 1876-1877, Thomas O'Neill, Jesuit provincial superior in St. Louis, sent retired Bishop John Baptiste Miege to found the school and serve as its first president. Caspar Henry Borgess, who had come to Detroit from Cincinnati on May 8, 1870, was cofounder of the school.[2]

Originally located at the Trowbridge Mansion on Jefferson Avenue, in 1890 the school moved across the street to Dowling Hall to accommodate a growing student body. In 1923 news began circulating that the school would move to what was then the city's edge. Then in the late 1920s construction of the new building began at 8400 S. Cambridge near Seven Mile Road, under Jesuit John P. McNichols, president of the University of Detroit. This new building was designed by Malcomson and Higginbotham. Classes at the new campus were scheduled for September 9, 1931, but a polio epidemic kept schools in the Detroit area closed until September 23.[2]

In 1950 Detroit Jesuit acquired a new gym, the largest in Detroit at the time.[2] In 1992 under president Malcolm Carron a science center was built, with labs and departmental office space.

In 2001 the school celebrated the completion of a $25 million fund-raising campaign "Reclaiming the Future" under Timothy Shannon.[3] Funds raised paid for restoration of the original chapel (which had become a library in 1968 after Vatican II) and the addition of several classrooms, a spacious art room, and two new gymnasiums. The faculty endowment, student financial aid, and scholarships also benefited from the campaign..

In 2005, after the closing of several Metro Detroit Catholic schools, University of Detroit Jesuit waived its transfer rules for juniors coming from the closed schools and accepted students with 3.0 or higher grade point averages.[4]

On April 6, 2006, U of D Jesuit launched the public phase of a $22 million endowment campaign called "For the Greater Good," designed to support tuition assistance, faculty salaries, and other means of strengthening the school's core mission. The school's president, Karl Kiser, defined this mission as providing a quality education in a value-centered and Christ-centered environment. Kiser added that it involved recruiting and retaining the best teachers in Southeast Michigan. He explained that while "Reclaiming the Future" had tended to Detroit Jesuit's body, "For the Greater Good" was about its heart and soul.[5] CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, a 1985 graduate, served as emcee for the April 6 event, which also paid tribute to 20 former teachers.[6] Johnson told assembled students and alumni that having a chance to "come home and speak to my family" was the most special moment of his career, and defined his "family" in this context as the teachers who affected and changed his life. The $22 million endowment campaign sought to raise $10 million each to help maintain the school's faculty and to continue to provide tuition assistance. The remaining $2 million would go toward campus improvements. According to Kiser, the public phase of the campaign was to run two years.[6]

In 2011, the planning of an addition to the Science Center began. The addition would consist of three additional floors, up-to-date science equipment, computer labs, and offices such as admissions and billing. Construction started in April 2015 and was completed in August 2016.

Although U of D Jesuit was originally called the Detroit College, the registry of birth dates and registration dates shows that students were of high school age and as young as nine years old. They were placed according to their ability and background as well as their age. College level classes were added in 1879.[2] The College became the University of Detroit in 1911, and then the University of Detroit Mercy upon its merger with Mercy College in 1990.

In 2017 the school proposed to buy a shuttered recreational facility and school that the city had placed up for sale. The president of U of D Jesuit tried to reassure neighbors that some sports facilities would be available to the public in the renovated complex.[7]


The Cubs are a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and compete in the Detroit Catholic High School League with Brother Rice, Detroit Catholic Central, St. Mary's Prep, and De La Salle as their primary rivals.

Detroit Jesuit fields teams in fourteen sports: football, basketball, baseball, cross country, track and field, wrestling, tennis, golf, hockey, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, swimming, bowling.

In its history, U of D Jesuit has won five state championships:

  • The basketball team won the MHSAA Class A state championship in 2016.[8]
  • The bowling team won the MHSAA Division 1 State championship in 2014.[9]
  • The soccer team won the MHSAA Class A state championship in 2001.[10]
  • The track team won the MHSAA Class A state championship in 1993.[11]
  • The golf team won the MHSAA Open Class state championship in 1927, the school's first state title.[12]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

U of D has more than 40 student clubs. The Quiz Bowl team won the National Championship in 2012.[13] The St. Joseph of Arimathea Club was founded in 2015, placing students as pallbearers for those in need.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Keller, Fr P. Douglas; Carman, Paul; Stickford, C. James; Delaney, Sarah B. (1977). The Second Hundred Years: The University of Detroit High School And a Chronicle of the First Hundred Years 1877 - 1977. University of Detroit High School. 
  3. ^ The Michigan Chronicle (Suburban Edition), December 5–11, 2001[clarification needed]
  4. ^ Pratt, Chastity, Patricia Montemurri, and Lori Higgins. "PARENTS, KIDS SCRAMBLE AS EDUCATION OPTIONS NARROW." Detroit Free Press. March 17, 2005. News A1. Retrieved on April 17, 2011. Transferring rules waived.
  5. ^ .The Michigan Chronicle, March 29-April 4, 2006.
  6. ^ a b The Michigan Chronicle, May 3–9, 2006.
  7. ^ "Sale of Detroit rec center has some concerned". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-06-20. 
  8. ^ "Class A final: Winston stars as U-D Jesuit routs North Farmington". Detroit News. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  9. ^ "Bpwling". MHSAA. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Soccer". MHSAA. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Track". MHSAA. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Golf". MHSAA. 
  13. ^ "Quiz Bowl championship". Archived from the original on 2015-04-09. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Pallbearers". 
  15. ^ "Thomas G. Kavanagh". Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Who Was Jay Sebring?". Detroit Free Press. 18 November 2017. 

External links[edit]