Campus News

Celebrating 100 Years at Garrett Park

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Georgetown Preparatory School's move from the Georgetown University campus to its present location in Garrett Park. To celebrate the centennial anniversary, we will share a series of posts to offer a glimpse into the 1919-1920 school year.

December 18, 1919

Thursday, December 18, the day before the students' departure for the Christmas holidays, was a free day at the New Prep during which students prepared for the Christmas party and banquet scheduled for that evening in the dining room. "With an air of great secrecy," a "Christmas Committee," composed of Ernest Doelger, Thomas J. O'Reilly, Jr., and George W. Towle, the officers of the student government, took over the dining room. (The dining room was located in the space now occupied by the Headmaster's office complex.) The committee decorated it with pennants, banners, and appropriate Christmas decorations, including a large Christmas tree in the center of the room that dominated the scene.

Following supper at 5:00 p.m., movies in the basement at 6:30 p.m., and a skit presented by the committee, the students entered the hall at 9:15 p.m. The House Diarist noted that "The dining room was very beautiful indeed and fairly took the boys' breath away." The boys enjoyed themselves "with song and cheer" until interrupted by the sound of sleigh bells coming from outside the hall. Suddenly Santa Claus (George Towle) entered "with a huge pack" that contained a small present for each of the boys and for the faculty. Each of the faculty members spoke briefly, as did Ernest Doelger. Fr. Morning complimented the students on the success of the first three months at the new school and wished them all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The boys did not get to bed until 11:00 p.m. and left the next morning for their homes. By dinner time, the Jesuit House diarist wrote "How quiet the House!" He might have continued, "Not a creature was stirring, not even a... Hoya!!"

Merry Christmas to all!

December 13, 1919

On December 13, 1919, at the New Prep's recently completed temporary gym that was located at the current site of the Haas Humanities Building, the 1st team basketball squad played its opening game against Briarley Hall from Poolesville, Maryland. At the end of regulation time, the score was tied, 11-11. The captains then agreed to a 5-minute overtime period. Philip Powell of Prep sank a free throw, but in the last two minutes, a Briarley Hall player hit the game-winning basket, leaving the final score at 13-12 in favor of the visitors. Prep's leading scorer was Powell with 6 points, all from the free throw line. Lewis Rutherfurd had two baskets, and Alejandro Angel had one.

December 2, 1919

School officials hoped that an election for student body officers would promote school spirit and responsibility. On December 2, 1919, Ernest Doelger of New York, who ranked second academically among his classmates and was also a member of the Sodality, captain of the football team, and soon-to-be editor-in-chief of the Newprep News, won election as the first President of the Yard. George J. Towle and Thomas J. O'Reilly, Jr. were elected Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. The students who entered Prep as freshmen in 1919 (graduating Class of 1923) occupied a unique status at the school in that, during their four years, there never was an older class above them on campus.

November 26, 1919

Following a public reading of grades and class standing by Rev. John B. Creeden, Rector-President, students began Thanksgiving vacation at noon. The holidays would end on Monday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. Seven students remained on campus, while many caught the 12:45 p.m. train for New York City. The irate House Diarist added a note to his regular entry that read, "This number of holidays is a big mistake! One day is enough."

Ouch! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

November 13, 1919

Students had no classes in honor of the Feast Day of St. Stanislaus Kostka, the patron of Georgetown Prep and of youth. Students attended Mass at 8:15 a.m. and then most of them spent the day exploring the woods surrounding the campus. They returned by 5:00 p.m. to listen to a sermon about St. Stanislaus followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A banquet in the dining room and movies closed out the evening.

November 6, 1919

The final game of the football season at the New Prep was played at home on November 6, 1919 with Loyola of Baltimore. The Newpreps were still smarting from a close loss to the 3rd Preps (sophomores) at the Georgetown Hilltop on October 25. The key to victory against Loyola lay in a trick play executed by team captain and right halfback George Towle in combination with quarterback Ashton Devereaux that resulted in a long end run by Towle for a touchdown. The two used the play often and successfully for long gains throughout the game, which ended in a 24-0 Prep victory and a 2-2 overall record. Looking back at the season, The Newprep News, the student newspaper, judged it "a creditable showing."

October 28 - November 1, 1919

Beginning on Tuesday evening, October 28, 1919, students began a retreat on campus preached by the retreat director, Fr. W. Dwight, S.J. The retreat ended on Saturday morning, November 1, with Mass and Benediction. During the retreat, students were not allowed to talk, not even at meals. Two faculty members, Mr. Holland, S.J. and Mr. William L. Carney, read devotional literature aloud at dinner and supper. On Friday, October 31, the House diarist wrote that "the retreat is going along nicely, except for a little breaking of silence here and there." The next day, the concluding day, he judged the retreat "a great success" with almost every boy receiving Communion at Mass during the five days.

October 18, 1919

The New Prep won its first football victory of the 1919 season and also gained a Coach/Athletic Director. Following the New Prep's loss to Briarley Hall on October 11, John D. McQuade, quarterback and captain of the Georgetown University football team, came out to the Prep campus to help Mr. Robert Holland, S.J., the head coach and a Jesuit scholastic. McQuaid was known at Georgetown as a fierce competitor and a charismatic leader. His coaching produced almost immediate results on Saturday, October 18, as Prep registered their first victory, defeating Chevy Chase by a score of 19-12. In December, McQuade was appointed Prep's first Athletic Director.

October 15, 1919

Students gathered at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15 in the dining room for the "Welcome to Alma Mater" banquet. The Rev. John B. Creeden, S.J., president of Georgetown University and, therefore, also of Georgetown Preparatory School, attended. This would be the first of five major banquets throughout the year. Wednesday was chosen for the event because students had no classes on Wednesday (or Saturday) afternoons. The accompanying photo shows the dining room. The dining room was located in the space now occupied by the Headmaster's Office.

October 11, 1919

The New Prep played its first football game on the recently laid out football field at Prep's campus against Briarley Hall Military Academy from Poolesville, Maryland. The much bigger Cadets defeated the "Newpreps" by a score of 36-0. The accompanying photo shows the Junior (8th Grade) Prep team. Unfortunately, no photo seems to have survived of the first team.

September 27, 1919

Fr. Cornelius Shyne founded the Sodality, the first student activity at the New Prep. The Sodality had as its objective "the cultivation of a spirit of piety among its members and the practice of devotion to the Blessed Mother." At the weekly meetings of the Sodality, the spiritual direction given aimed "at the making of the inner man, not the surfaceman."

September 25, 1919

The rector or superior of each Jesuit house (community) designated one of its members to act as the House Diarist whose duty it was to record the happenings of the day. Depending on the day and the diarist, the notes could range from detailed to brief, and from mundane to significant. But they do provide a glimpse into the daily life and rhythm of the School. Most of the "100 Years Ago Today" moments are drawn from the Georgetown Prep House Diary. Below are examples from September 23 and 24, 1919. These noted the installation of "strong lights" for the study hall, and "firsts" involving the boys testing the fire hose and watching "moving pictures." Notice that the diarist recorded nothing for September 25 and 26.

September 23, 1919

Prep Curriculum, September 1919

The Georgetown Preparatory School Catalogue (Bulletin) declared, "The school is a classical High School, in which studies have been so arranged as to offer thorough preparation for entrance to a classical college."

*Students would begin the study of Greek in sophomore year.
*Dr. Edward P. Donovan (Piano) and Dr. Anton Kaspar (Violin) taught private piano and violin lessons to interested students.

The 8th graders studied English, Arithmetic, Geography of North and South America, Penmanship, and Elocution.

September 20, 1919

While the Rev. John B. Morning, S.J., served as Headmaster of Georgetown University Preparatory School, he reported to the Rev. John B. Creeden, S.J., Rector-President of Georgetown University, pictured here. Fr. Creeden was an enthusiastic booster of the New Prep and took a hands-on approach to its administration. Known for his friendliness to students and his ability to remember their names, Fr. Creeden frequently visited the campus, holding meetings with Fr. Morning to establish school policies and attending school assemblies and celebrations. One of Fr. Creeden's fellow administrators at Georgetown University complained that "Fr. Creeden is more interested in being Headmaster of Georgetown Preparatory School than President of Georgetown University."

September 19, 1919
The Weekday and Sunday Schedules at the New Prep

Students had no classes on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. On Saturday evenings, a one-hour study hall preceded dinner. A second study hall, during which students could also go to Confession, followed dinner.

Weekday Schedule

Sunday Schedule

September 18, 1919

Students at the new campus of the Georgetown University Preparatory School gathered for a photo on the steps of the Main Building (later renamed Boland Hall). Those wearing knickers were 8th grade students; those wearing pants were first-year high school students (Freshmen). Sophomore, Junior, and Senior students remained back at the Georgetown University campus to complete their high school years.

September 17, 1919

Classes began with an abbreviated schedule (schola brevis). In the afternoon, the students, accompanied by their parents, or Mr. Robert Holland, S.J., a Jesuit Scholastic, went into the city. There, they joined a crowd of 400,000 in viewing the parade honoring General John J. Pershing, who had commanded the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) in France during the recently concluded Great War.

September 16, 1919
Four Jesuits, including the Rev. John A. Morning, S.J., Headmaster (pictured right), and William L. Carney, a lay teacher from Boston, welcomed the first resident students to the new Georgetown Prep campus. By the end of the day, 32 students had arrived. This first class was composed primarily of freshmen along with a few 8th graders.