COURTESY OF SAINT LOUIS SCHOOL
Saint Louis students gathered Jan. 19 for a Chaminade Day assembly in the school gym in preparation for class community service projects the next day. Service plays a key role in the school's curriculum.
Saint Louis emphasizes faith and fulfillment that unites generations
Thousands of students and alumni have passed through Saint Louis School's hallways and classrooms over the years. Whether to gain a unique educational experience or to pass knowledge of that experience on to the next generation of students, many are closely connected to the school through family, faith and commitment.
Saint Louis School
3142 Waialae Ave.,
Upper School Dean
Saint Louis is well known as a Catholic Marianist school for young men; perhaps this is what sets it apart from fellow private schools. Brother Jim Dods, class of 1957, believes that the tenets of Marianist education are what unites the alumni and students of Saint Louis. All have experienced the discipline of generations of Marianist brothers and laypersons dedicated to the school's mission.
Dods believes the faculty's interest in students helps affirm the school's place in the hearts of many.
Richard "Scotty" Gonsalves, who graduated from the school in 1984 and now serves as the school's student life director, takes another view. One of his most vivid memories is of the camaraderie and brotherhood that are part of attending this all-male school. Cementing ties with his fellow classmates helped forge the bonds that they continue to maintain as alumni today.
The Saint Louis Alumni Association helps keep far-flung individuals bonded through newsletters, meetings, family nights and sports long after graduation.
While these certainly distinguish Saint Louis School, they only touch upon the intangibles that have contributed to the school's longevity and viability for the last 160 years. The school has transferred campuses and has even served for a time as a military hospital and an adult night school. Facilities have grown larger and better as the faculty has expanded.
Despite these changes, one thing remains the same. Lt. Col. Chuck Lee, a 1962 graduate and senior Army instructor for Junior ROTC, validates the school's emphasis on religious aspects of its curriculum, particularly the religion classes. It is this emphasis throughout the years that has helped unite the students into an ever-growing family.
This last trait can be categorized into five broad areas: formation in faith; family spirit; education of the whole person; adaptation and change; and service, justice and peace. They are the cornerstone in the Saint Louis School curriculum.
Collectively known as the Characteristics of Marianist Education, they form the philosophical foundation for the school's mission, emphasized in classes and the athletics program and through community service requirements.
While it was only recently that these characteristics were formally articulated, they have existed at Saint Louis throughout its history. Generations of students and teachers have taken these traits out of the classroom and into the world as they applied it to their varied walks of life. They form the cohesive bond that has united the Saint Louis family and will serve to influence future generations just as profoundly and permanently.
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Legacy points to bright future
This year marks the 160th anniversary of Saint Louis School. Here in Hawaii, when you hear the words "Saint Louis," your first reaction is to picture that lush green campus on that rugged mountain in Kaimuki, the clean-cut gentlemen who walk the campus, and, of course, the athletics program.
But how many of us really know the true nature of Saint Louis?
The history of Saint Louis goes back to the origin of Ahuimanu College in Windward Oahu, established by followers of the Sacred Hearts. The people of Hawaii were enamored by the mission of Ahuimanu College, so much so that two relocations were necessary to accommodate the growing numbers of students wishing to further their education at Saint Louis, a name adopted in 1881. The current campus commenced classes in the fall of 1928.
Saint Louis has gone through many changes in recent years, from becoming a campus exclusively for high school students, to introducing a middle school for sixth- through eighth-graders by 1990, and expanding even further after that into the fourth and fifth grades. Further expansion is expected in years to come.
People might know Saint Louis as a football school, but attending Saint Louis is a privilege that goes much deeper than that.
Yes, the school has an amazingly successful athletic dynasty in football and has many other sports on the rise. But while those things are worth their weight in gold, seeing past that will bring you to the diamonds in the rough.
The faculty and staff at Saint Louis are equally dedicated to furthering more than an athletics resume. Saint Louis exists to develop the whole person in all aspects of life.
Although the curriculum is based on Marianist values, there is no discrimination included in the policies of Saint Louis. The only requirement is the desire to educate the whole person not only in mind, but in body and spirit as well. Countless individuals can trace their Saint Louis roots by generations, as many graduates of Saint Louis are proud to send their sons to learn where they did.
But no matter how many changes our school encounters, one thing will remain constant: Saint Louis School will be the same gateway it has been for the thousands of men who came before -- a gateway to a future with endless possibilities.
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"How have the Characteristics of Marianist Education benefited or helped you in life?"
"They have helped me concentrate. They help me become smarter. Education of the whole person -- I try to use it and learn something every day."
"They can help me get a job and go through life. I'd understand what to do in the future."
"It helps me become a better, whole person. Change into a new, whole person to adapt to school and community. Change is always better because it helps me see a better, whole picture of myself."
"Allowed me to grow as a student and a person. It has also set guidelines on how I should act."
"When you are feeling in doubt, it sets you straight and serves as a way of thinking, helps in life and lets you know where you come from."