Xavier College Preparatory celebrates 75 years of education

Xavier College Preparatory has been recognized three times as an exemplary National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and is one of 600 schools worldwide to offer the AP Capstone diploma program. (Submitted photo)

Seventy-five years ago, the first and only all women’s Catholic high school in Phoenix opened its doors to its inaugural class of 11 students.

Founded in 1943 by the Jesuit fathers of St. Francis Xavier Parish and staffed by three Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the new Xavier High School was originally located in two classrooms at Brophy High School, a Catholic all-men’s school that had been shuttered during the Great Depression due to financial hardship, according to a release.

Xavier College Preparatory opened its doors to young women students 75 years ago. (Submitted photo)

Xavier has evolved from a single class of 11 into a student body comprised of 1,200 young women.

“The school has built a tradition of excellence through its commitment to the Catholic faith, innovative academic curriculum, community service, leadership development and diverse extracurricular opportunities,” the release stated, noting 100 percent of Xavier’s graduates attend post-secondary colleges and universities.

The original faculty of three has expanded to a faculty and staff of more than 200, and the school’s present campus, which opened in 1953 to accommodate Xavier’s increasing enrollment, has tripled in size from one building to 20 acres that encompass a chapel and state-of-the-art facilities.

“Despite its exponential growth, Xavier’s mission to educate young women of faith has never wavered,” the school release stated.

This year, the school began to celebrate the successes of its first 75 years with Diamond Jubilee tributes and events that included a Traditions Day that united students and alumnae at a special school assembly and an all-alumnae fete that brought hundreds of Xavier graduates from the Class of 1947 through the Class of 2017 back to the school’s campus.

In addition, according to the release, Xavier recently established multiple Jubilee Scholarships for incoming ninth-grade students from the four local elementary schools founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Francis Xavier, St. Agnes, St. Matthew, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel).

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