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De La Salle Institute is a Catholic, Lasallian, coeducational, secondary school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States.

De La Salle Institute
3434 South Michigan Avenue


Coordinates41°49′53″N 87°37′28″W / 41.83144°N 87.624474°W / 41.83144; -87.624474
TypePrivate, secondary, parochial, Co-educational
MottoSignum Fidei
((Sign of Faith))
DenominationRoman Catholic
FounderSt. John Baptist De La Salle
OversightArchdiocese of Chicago
PresidentFr. Paul Novak, OSM
PrincipalDiane Brown
Enrollment1,100 (2013)
Average class size15
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)Royal Blue and Gold          
Fight songDe La Salle Men
Athletics conferenceChicago Catholic League
Girls Catholic Athletic Conference
Team nameMeteors
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
NewspaperThe Victory
20070906 De La Salle Institute Sign.JPG

The school is considered a historic institution on Chicago's South Side. It is located three blocks east of Guaranteed Rate Field, the home of MLB's Chicago White Sox. While located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, it has very strong ties to the nearby Bridgeport neighborhood. The school is separated from Bridgeport and Guaranteed Rate Field by the Dan Ryan Expressway.

While coming from a commemorative book published by the school, the authors of American Pharaoh:Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation note the following about the school's impact on the history of Chicago:[3]

"The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" but "the business leaders of Chicago were trained in the Counting Rooms of De La Salle."



De La Salle Institute was founded by Brother Adjutor, a former director of St. Patrick High School, in 1889, after being chartered by the State of Illinois the previous year.[4] The laying of the cornerstone on May 19, 1889 was a major event which began with an hour-long parade through the streets of Chicago. The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Patrick Feehan, the first archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.[5] Classes and graduation ceremonies were held elsewhere until the building was complete, opening for students on 7 September 1891.[6]

The school started as a two-year commercial school.[6] The area which the school catered to was a poor area of the city, and many of the students were children of recent immigrants. As Br. Adjutor was quoted to have said: I made up my mind to leave nothing undone in the direction of fitting the boys of the masses for the battle of life, morally as well as educationally. As times changed, the school grew to emphasize a college preparatory curriculum.

On 11 April 1925, the school was severely damaged by an early morning fire causing US$35,000 in damage (unadjusted 1925 dollars). Two of the four floors were lost.[7]

1926 saw plans for the addition of a new gymnasium behind the school at a cost of US$100,000 (unadjusted).[8] These plans were later adjusted with a larger gym built on Michigan Avenue for US$175,000 (unadjusted).[9]

The 1953–54 school year saw the school purchase the remainder of the block on which the school is situated. In March, ground breaking occurred for an addition to the school.[10][11] In October, 1955, ground was broken on an addition to the brothers' residence attached to the school.[12][13]

By 1960, more room was needed to handle the increase in student population. A new addition was built north of the extant building, adding a gymnasium and more classrooms.[14] Groundbreaking occurred in late September, 1960, with the cornerstone being laid in June, 1961.[15] The US$850,000 (unadjusted) addition was dedicated in May, 1962.[16]

After decades of not having an outdoor sports stadium of its own, plans were made in 1967 to construct a stadium and sports complex. In a rare move, the fundraising for the stadium, estimated at US$250,000 (unadjusted) was not headed by an alum, with the honorary chair of the development committee being given to George Halas, owner of the Chicago Bears.[17][18]

In June, 1984, with no more room for expansion, and the need for new facilities, the original four story school building was demolished.[19]

The school has a history of diversity, dating back to its first class of nine students which included two Jewish students. Today roughly 28% of the school is African–American, 32% is Latino, and nearly 25% are non–Catholic.[20]

In 2002, the school opened the Lourdes Hall Campus, a collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. The school claims to be unique in the United States in that it is a co-educational institution, while still offering single-gender campuses.[21]


Coursework is divided into three areas: Social Sciences (which includes religious studies), Language Arts (which includes foreign languages and fine arts), and Applied Sciences (which includes the natural sciences, mathematics, and physical education). Students are required to take a minimum of six credits of course work for their freshman and sophomore years, and at least 5.5 credits as upperclassmen.

There are three program levels: Honors, College Preparatory, and General Studies.

Community service is required as a component of the religious studies courses, with the number of required hours dependent on the course and year in school. The service is a component of the course grade.

The following seven Advanced Placement courses are offered: U.S. History, Government and Politics, Spanish Language, French Language, Studio Art, English Literature, and Calculus (AB). There is also a course entitled "Honors Calculus BC" which is a follow up for students who have taken AP Calculus AB, but is not offered as an AP course.

There are also technical courses offered at various levels (including honors) in electronics and small engines. A course in Computer System Management requires students to aid in computer maintenance at the school.[22]

Tablet PC programEdit

De La Salle Institute at the corner of 35th Street and Michigan Avenue

In 2006, De La Salle began requiring incoming freshmen to lease or purchase an IBM X41 Tablet PC. The Tablet PCs allow students to take notes electronically and make use of the included textbook in e-books.Both De La Salle campuses are equipped with a WiFi network, allowing teachers and students to wirelessly access the Internet and print to network printers. De La Salle also has a computer repair center at each campus to deal with any computer problems or malfunctions. This year (2018) they are using the Lenovo YOGA Thinkpad 380.[23]

Tolton CenterEdit

The Tolton Center (named for Fr. Augustine Tolton), is an adult education outreach program founded by De La Salle in 1991. Currently spread around to five locations, the Center provides classes for low–income adults on topics related to literacy and employment skills. Child services are also provided. While begun by the Institute, the courses are non–religious in nature.[24]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


The De La Salle Meteors men's teams compete in the Chicago Catholic League (CCL), while the women's teams compete in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference (GCAC). The school also competes in state championship tournaments sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

In 1961, De La Salle joined some schools in leaving the Chicago Catholic League in order to form a new conference (the Chicagoland Prep League) and participate in the IHSA.[18][25] At the time, the Chicago Catholic League members were not IHSA members, and under IHSA guidelines, schools in the IHSA could not play schools outside the organization, nor could schools outside the organization compete for state championships.

The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA state tournaments:[26]

  • basketball (boys) •• 3rd place (1976–77)

In the era before De La Salle came under the auspices of the IHSA, De La Salle won a National Catholic Basketball Championship in 1928–1929, defeating St. Stanislaus High School of St. Louis, Missouri.[27]

On October 24, 2008, De La Salle took part in Toyota Park's first ever American football game as opponents to Fenwick. De La Salle won the game, 17–10.

On February 22, 2014 the De La Salle basketball team won the first ever Inaugural Catholic League Tournament Championship against Mount Carmel High School with a score of 67-62.

Performing artsEdit

The school offers an introductory course to learning a musical instrument, as a pathway for novice musicians to enter the concert band. The concert band is a full year course, with an honors option involving research in addition to performance.[28]

In addition to courses in introductory and advanced Drama,[28] students may participate in such activities as improvisation, stage combat, one act plays and slam poetry. During the second semester, students are in charge of directing their own plays, and in some cases, writing and producing them as well. Students who participate in the theater program for an extended amount of time may be inducted into the International Thespian Society.

Other non-athletic activitiesEdit

De La Salle Institute offers 15 sports for boys and girls, as well as many clubs such as Mock Trial, Chess Club, Weight Lifting, Boxing, Guitar Club, Science Club, Spanish Club, French Club, Web Design, and Drama.

Financial informationEdit

The tuition for the 2007–08 school year is US$9,125, however the school has an educational scholarship open to "most" domestic students, which is worth $1,825. The school also claims that about 55% of students receive additional financial aid through an application process.[29]

Students must also have their own Tablet PC. There is the option to "lease-to-own" at $56–per–month for 46 months. There is also the option to purchase the computer outright at $2,200.[30]

Notable alumniEdit

Government and politicsEdit

Five mayors of Chicago are among the alumni. For only ten years (1979–89) between 1947 and early 2011, has the Mayor of Chicago not been an alumnus of this school.

  • Frank J. Corr (class of 1895) was the interim mayor for a few months in 1933 after the assassination of Mayor Anton Cermak by a bullet that was assumed to be intended for Franklin D. Roosevelt.[31]
  • Martin H. Kennelly (class of 1905) was mayor from 1947 to 1955. He was the first alum to be elected mayor. When he proved to be too "reform" oriented for the Democratic Party, Richard J. Daley was supported to run against him, defeating him in the primary election. Prior to being mayor, Kennelly briefly served as general chairman of the De La Salle Golden Jubilee fund campaign.[32][33]
  • Richard J. Daley (class of 1919) was mayor from 1955 to 1976, winning seven mayoral elections in total.[34][35]
  • Michael A. Bilandic (class of 1940) was mayor from 1976 to 1979. He was selected as interim mayor in the wake of Richard J. Daley's death, and subsequently won a special election to the office. In 1990, he was elected to a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court (serving 1990–2000, and as Chief Justice 1994–96)[36]
  • Richard M. Daley (class of 1960) was the mayor of Chicago from 1989 to 2011. He was the longest-serving mayor of Chicago, surpassing his father on December 26, 2010, and was succeeded by Rahm Emanuel the following year.[37]


Sports and entertainmentEdit

Notable staff membersEdit


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ 2007-08 tuition
  3. ^ from chapter one of American Pharaoh Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation By Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor
  4. ^ Church school to hold jubilee, 19 November 1911, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 7; accessed 13 September 2008
  5. ^ De La Salle Institute; laying of the corner-stone by Arch Bishop Feehan yesterday..., 20 May 1889, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 1–2; accessed 13 September 2008
  6. ^ a b New school in Chicago; The De La Salle Institute to be opened Monday, Sept. 7, 30 August 1891, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 25; accessed 13 September 2008
  7. ^ De La Salle Institute Is Swept By Fire, 11 April 1925, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 1; accessed 13 September 2008
  8. ^ De La Salle High to build new $100,000 gym 4 April 1926, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. a2; accessed 13 September 2008
  9. ^ Chase, Al, De La Salle to build big gym on Boul Mich, 30 December 1926, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 20; accessed 13 September 2008
  10. ^ Ground broken for addition to De La Salle, 18 March 1954, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. B2; accessed 14 September 2008
  11. ^ De La Salle to start on new building, 14 March 1954, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S1; accessed 14 September 2008
  12. ^ Ground broken for addition at De La Salle, 1 October 1955, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 3; accessed 14 September 2008
  13. ^ De La Salle to construct new building, 22 June 1961, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S3; accessed 14 September 2008
  14. ^ De La Salle to Get Addition, 21 August 1960, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S4; accessed 14 September 2008
  15. ^ Break Ground for School Addition, 29 September 1960, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S A3; accessed 14 September 2008
  16. ^ De La Salle to Dedicate $850,000 Wing Tuesday, 20 May 1962, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S4; accessed 14 September 2008
  17. ^ De La Salle Plans New Stadium, Sports Complex, 23 March 1967, Chicago Tribune, p. G2; accessed 14 September 2008
  18. ^ a b Mammoth Sports Complex Planned by De La Salle, 30 March 1967, Chicago Tribune, p. G18; accessed 14 September 2008
  19. ^ Presecky, William, Wrecking ball awaits a long school tradition; De La Salle, 1 May 1984, Chicago Tribune, p. A1; accessed 14 September 2008
  20. ^ Good schools color blind, 8 January 1976, Chicago Tribune, p. F1; accessed 14 September 2008
  21. ^ History of De La Salle Institute
  22. ^ Curriculum guide
  23. ^ Tablet PC Program
  24. ^ Tolton Center
  25. ^ Marist joins Chicagoland Prep League, 11 April 1967, Chicago Tribune, p. C2; accessed 14 September 2008
  26. ^ IHSA record page for De La Salle Institute
  27. ^ Rohm, Harold, De La Salle wins U.S. Catholic cage meet, 25 March 1929, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 23; accessed 14 September 2008
  28. ^ a b Curriculum guide
  29. ^ Financial aid application process
  30. ^ Tablet PC program finances
  31. ^ De La Salle students graduated, 15 June 1895, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 3; accessed 13 September 2008
  32. ^ History of Bridgeport Politics
  33. ^ Calling a Strike for De La Salle, 13 June 1939, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 21; accessed 14 September 2008
  34. ^ excerpt from American Pharaoh:Mayor Richard J. Daley by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor
  35. ^ Political History of Bridgeport
  36. ^ Biography and inventory of Michael A. Bilandic Papers; Special Collection, University of Illinois, Chicago Library
  37. ^ Biography
  38. ^ 2 Democratic units endorse Geo, W. Dunne, 24 December 1953, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 9; accessed 14 September 2008
  39. ^ Igoe appointed U.S. Attorney; to quit House, 16 May 1935, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 7; accessed 14 September 2008
  40. ^ Wood, Percy, Igoe--A leader in fat and lean years of party, 28 March 1938, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 12; accessed 14 September 2008
  41. ^ Healy, Paul, Note to Irish: It's De La Salle next on W-G-N; Citizens' program to feature school, 9 March 1941, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. S1-S2; accessed 14 September 2008
  42. ^ National Sports Review Interview, naming Dan Ryan as alumnus
  43. ^
  44. ^ Condon, David, Comiskey: 'SOX WILL WIN!'; Baseball has been Chuck's life for most of his 30 years..., 11 March 1956, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. I33; accessed 14 September 2008
  45. ^ American League Team Presidents; accessed 14 September 2008
  46. ^ Healy, Paul, Note to Irish: It's De La Salle Next on W-G-N, 9 March 1941, Chicago Daily Tribune', p. S1; accessed 14 September 2008
  47. ^ Biography @Chicago
  48. ^ Cook County Board Resolution (#2) of condolence on George Connor's death
  49. ^ a b Shnay, Jerry, De La Salle's scars are healing slowly, 2 December 1983, Chicago Tribune, p. C2; accessed 13 September 2008
  50. ^ A sportscaster's career is rooted in a love of hometown teams: FINAL EDITION, C Greg Gumbel was interviewed by Chicago-area free-lance writer Norma Libman.. Chicago Tribune (pre-1997 Fulltext) Chicago, Ill 14 July 1991: 4.
  51. ^ Libman, Norma, A sportscaster's career is rooted in a love of hometown teams, 14 July 1991, Chicago Tribune, p. 4; accessed 15 September 2008
  52. ^ Nidetz, Steve, Gumbel Feels At Home With White Sox, 4 October 1993, Chicago Tribune, p. 15; accessed 15 September 2008
  53. ^ Kennedy to Manage A's; Finley to Tap Former Cub Head Coach Kennedy to Manage Athletics, 20 October 1967, Chicago Tribune, p. E1; accessed 14 September 2008
  54. ^ Bob Kennedy:Obituary, Institute, June 2005, p. 12; accessed 14 September 2008
  55. ^ Jack Kerris stats & bio;; accessed 1 January 2009
  56. ^ Chicago loses to Notre Dame quintet, 39-26, 5 February 1933, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. a1; accessed 13 September 2008
  57. ^ De La Salle alumni plan banquet Friday, 20 November 1977, Chicago Tribune, p. B23; accessed 13 September 2008
  58. ^ Myslenski, Skip, A lifetime beneath the Golden Dome, 28 December 1980, Chicago Tribune, p. H8; accessed 13 September 2008
  59. ^ LaRue Martin stats & bio;; accessed 1 January 2009
  60. ^ Calling a Strike for De La Salle; Ormsby Backs $100,000 Drive, 13 June 1939, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 21; accessed 14 September 2008
  61. ^ Ormsby, Ex-Umpire, Dies of Heart Attack, 12 October 1962, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. C1; accessed 14 September 2008
  62. ^ Lou Pote stats & bio at The Baseball Cube
  63. ^ "De La Salle retains Catholic League junior hoops title". Suburbanite Economist. 28 March 1956. p. 18. Retrieved December 28, 2014 – via  
  64. ^ Renaldo Wynn stats & bio
  65. ^ Meteors to Play on Chet Bulger Field, January 2008, De La Salle Magazine, p. 12; accessed 14 September 2008
  66. ^ Bulger helps football coach at De La Salle, 13 September 1951, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. D5; accessed 14 September 2008
  67. ^ Bulger moves up as coach at De La Salle, 21 February 1958, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. C3; accessed 14 September 2008

External linksEdit