A Glimpse of the Future

Posted April 28, 2014 / Last updated June 2, 2014

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20/20 vision is a desirable thing — just take the word of someone who has worn corrective lenses since age 8. The year 2020 also now looms in our future. Looking ahead to that year, I find reason for much gratitude. Those who have brought Jesuit to 2013 have set the school on a firm and strong foundation from which to reach for ever-greater heights. Moreover, throughout the last year, literally hundreds of people have served as “corrective lenses,” sharpening and highlighting the important goals for Jesuit as it moves into the next decade of service — and beyond.

Jesuit High School began its process of strategic planning in the fall of 2012. In every respect, the school did so from a position of strength but with the understanding that it is necessary to build well on these strengths so as to enhance the school’s ability to fulfill its mission to form “men of competence, conscience, and compassion” who are “men of faith and men for others.”

In September of 2012, Jesuit made email contact with alumni, parents, faculty, parents of alumni, and spouses of alumni, asking them to participate in an online questionnaire. The survey was intentionally open-ended, asking for what they saw as Jesuit’s three greatest strengths and three greatest needs at this time. In late October and early November of 2012, current parents, local alumni, and local parents of alumni were invited to evening input sessions, which were facilitated by faculty and staff. In May of 2013, the board of directors and the senior staff met for a day-long session to prioritize the most important points in moving forward to 2020.

Five major areas stood out as key strategic points in Jesuit’s mission: Catholic and Jesuit identity, academic excellence, student life, facilities, and finance. Again, the key consideration here is that each of these areas of Jesuit’s life is poised to take advantage of opportunities to build on current strengths. I thus offer brief portraits of Jesuit High School in 2020 and some of the long-range goals to bring the school and its community to these points.

I: As a ministry of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit exists for the greater glory of God and the good of souls.

I suggest to you that as the civil society in which we live is less supportive of Jesuit’s religious mission, it is all the more important for the school to redouble its efforts to foster the following of Christ through all the days of our lives. Faith formation of young men in their adolescent years requires openness on their part to the calls they receive from God, but it also requires both strong support of the school’s structures and solid examples of adults who themselves seek to find and to do God’s will in their own lives.

In 2020, Jesuit High School is as well known for a solid Catholic and Jesuit formation as for any other area of excellence. Key strategic goals include:

  • A solid and sequential theology curriculum that highlights the combination of faith and reason
  • A comprehensive sequence of student retreats that draws its content and spirit from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola
  • A vibrant liturgical and devotional life that is an ordinary part of the school’s rhythm of the day and year
  • Chapel facilities that reflect the centrality of faith in Jesuit’s life
  • A coordinated campus ministry program that oversees and organizes both faculty and student faith formation and leadership
  • A faculty development program that includes formation in the spiritual foundations of Jesuit education
  • Student formation for discerning one’s vocation and participating actively in his faith community
  • Development of habits of service and justice as key elements of one’s faith life
  • A community that supports its members’ growth in holiness and moral integrity
II: Academic excellence is a key feature of Jesuit’s historic reputation and current reality.

I invite you to consider those teachers who touched your lives most profoundly and positively. I suggest that at the heart of this experience was a strong personal bond, whereby you recognized in that teacher someone for whom you, your learning, and your personal growth were important. For more than 450 years, through a lengthy list of curricular and technological changes, Jesuit schools have maintained a focus on the human interactions that lie at the core of a full and integral education.

In 2020, Jesuit High School’s academic life focuses on the personal connections and interactions that are necessary for an excellent education. Key strategic goals include:

  • Intentional emphasis on the human interactions (student-student and teacher-teacher as well as teacher-student) at the heart of all teaching and learning
  • Student mastery of the human skills of listening, communicating, questioning, evaluating, and adapting
  • Student responsibility for both individual and collaborative learning
  • A faculty and administration committed to the mission of Jesuit
  • A faculty and administration committed to ongoing personal and professional development
  • Systematic exploration of and evaluation of technology and other curricular tools as means to the educational goals of the school
  • Coordinated information about and preparation for college choice appropriate to class levels
  • Appropriate support for each student to rise to the demands and challenges of a rigorous Jesuit education
III: Student Life: Many of the most important features of Jesuit education take place outside of the classroom.

These activities are essential co-curriculars, drawing from the bonds formed in regular school hours and enriching the personal connections among students, coaches, and moderators. These fields of endeavor are also the “lab,” if you will, practical arenas in which students develop their own individual skills and grow into leaders who are men of competence, conscience, and compassion.

In 2020, Jesuit High School forms its students through a rich combination of coordinated and cooperating segments of student life. Key strategic goals include:

  • Well-staffed and well-guided sectors of athletics, campus ministry, co-curriculars, discipline, guidance, service programs, student activities, and student development
  • Alignment of each of these programs with Jesuit’s formational goals for students, teachers, and staff
  • Mutual support of one another by the various sectors of student life [e.g., service projects and Masses/prayer services by clubs or teams; student leadership in campus ministry and peer guidance support]
  • Programs for ongoing improvement of each sector of student life [e.g., ProActive Coaching in athletics]
  • Comprehensive student leadership formation connecting both class levels and co-curricular activities
  • Outreach to families through all sectors in support of Jesuit’s formational goals for students
IV: Facilities: Jesuit’s main facility at Carrollton and Banks is a venerable and vigorous octogenarian that in 2020 will be eyeing its centennial celebration in 2026.

Some of our newer sections of the Mid-City campus (e.g., the 1953 wing) could now qualify for membership in AARP and have seen decades of service on nearly a daily basis. Jesuit’s buildings bespeak a tradition and dignity that honors our past, and this part of the plan aims at ensuring a building that simultaneously reflects a century of service and that shows itself equipped and fit for another century.

In 2020, Jesuit High School’s physical facilities clearly support and advance the religious, academic, and co-curricular elements. Key strategic goals include:

  • An updated master plan [following on the work of the 1999 master plan] for annual maintenance of and improvements to the physical plant
  • The 1926 facility upgraded and readied for its centennial; items include [but are not limited to] the following:
  • Renovation and restoration of Holy Name Chapel [small chapel]
  • Upgrade of electric and plumbing infrastructure
  • Upgrade and enhancement [including technology infrastructure] of classrooms
  • Upgrade and enhancement of hallways
  • Completion of 1999 master plan items for administration/residence wing [HVAC, window changes]
  • Climate control and upgrade of gym
V: Finance: If there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there is certainly no such thing as a free Jesuit education.

The past 150 years have witnessed a powerful combination of the commitment of the Society of Jesus, the generosity of major benefactors, the outstanding annual support of parents and alumni that enables Jesuit currently to charge a tuition that is only 75% of the cost of operations and to work with every family of qualified students in assuring that they will be able to afford to send their sons to Carrollton and Banks. At the same time, though, every improvement — be it in personnel, services, technology, or facilities — adds to the overall cost of operating a school of excellence.

In 2020, Jesuit High School enjoys the financial resources to support and advance its educational and formation mission, to maintain excellent physical facilities, and to ensure an education accessible to all. Key strategic goals include:

  • Moderated rate of tuition increase
  • Maintained commitment to financial aid for students otherwise unable to attend
  • Robust financial support of faculty and staff in salaries, benefits, and professional development opportunities
  • Sufficient annual financial resources for enhancement of Jesuit’s programs for religious formation, academic excellence, and student life
  • Annual maintenance/upgrade of facilities [$1-1.5 million]
  • Substantial endowment increase in order to meet the goals listed above
  • Formation of a formal planned giving program
  • Expanded invitation of extraordinary giving for endowment


Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, Jr., S.J. ’76