A Jesuit High School for the Sacramento area had been initially
envisioned by the late Bishop Robert Armstrong. It was his
successor, Bishop Joseph McGucken who invited the Jesuits of the
California Province to begin the project. In January of 1961, the
Society of Jesus purchased twenty-one acres of the Horst Ranch
property which was to be used for the new school campus.
In May of 1962, a fund raising effort was spearheaded by Mr.
Elwood Maleville, Mr. Jack Maleville, and other Catholic lay
people. The well known architect Harry Devine began work on the
plans for the first phase of the 2.5 million dollar plant. The
contracting firm of Harbison and Mahoney undertook the
construction of the buildings, having a fall 1963 target date for
On September 17, 1963, Jesuit High School opened its doors to 93
freshmen students. The faculty consisted of six Jesuit priests
and one lay person. Fr. Jack Geiszel, S.J. was appointed
Principal, and Fr. Joseph Keane, S.J., was named first Superior
and President. The school was dedicated by Bishop Alden Bell to
the Jesuit North American Martyrs.
In September of 1964 twenty-one acres, known as the Haggin
Bottomland, were acquired for athletic facilities. The faculty
residence was enlarged in 1966, and two years later the
gymnasium-little theater complex was completed.
In 1973-74, Jesuit High School was threatened with closure due to
financial and manpower difficulties. An “Ad Hoc Committee to Save
Jesuit High School” was formed to work out the serious problems
facing the school. A Board of Trustees, under the leadership of
the late Mr. James Carr, the head of the Ad Hoc Committee, was
established and assumed the financial and policy-making
responsibilities for the school. The Jesuit Order retained its
role as administrators of the school.
The Board of Trustees, which is composed of five Jesuits and
eighteen men and women, is dedicated to maintaining the high
standards of Jesuit education in the Sacramento area.
Jesuit enrollment has increased over the years to a current level
of 1,000 students. Recently there have been many improvements on
the campus. In 1978-79, the school sponsored a scholarship
development drive and provided the basis of funding for the new
library addition which opened during the 1980-81 school year; it
also provided increased scholarship aid to families needing
financial assistance to send their sons to Jesuit. In May, 1982,
the library was dedicated by Bishop Alden Bell to Rev. Joseph J.
King, S.J. In 1986, construction of a competitive swimming
facility was completed. In 1992, a new Mathematics/Life Sciences
classroom wing was completed. Construction of the new Student
Life Center which includes a cafeteria, theater, and music
rehearsal and performance space was completed in fall, 2000. Over
the summer of 2003, Alumni hall, a 5 classroom building outfitted
with the latest technology, replaced room 705. Also, new offices
were built for Campus Ministry and Christian Service in the 300
wing and new counseling offices went into the 100 wing.
Jesuit High School continues to be blessed with the strong
support of the students, alumni and their families, together with
the good will and interest of the many friends of the greater