Synonymous with academic rigor, a Jesuit education prizes inquiry and curiosity as part of cura personalis—a Latin phrase meaning “care for the whole person.”
At Xavier, we want students to grow academically, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Our Jesuit roots trace back to 1548, when the Society of Jesus opened its first school in Messina, Sicily. Education soon became a cornerstone of the Society’s work around the world. In 1847, when Fr. John Larkin, S.J. traveled downtown from Fordham University to found Xavier, he carried with him a proud tradition of Jesuit education that continues to thrive on 16th Street 175 years later.
Today, more than 3,700 Jesuit schools across six continents educate nearly 2.5 million students. There are 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States as well as 50 high schools and 17 pre-secondary schools. Jesuit high schools like Xavier are guided by a shared set of seminal documents, including the Profile of the Graduate at Graduation (often called “the Grad at Grad”), which asserts that at the time of graduation a product of Jesuit education should be open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice.
This year, in addition to celebrating Xavier’s 175th anniversary, we join Jesuit schools around the world in celebrating the Ignatian Year—marking 500 years since St. Ignatius of Loyola was gravely wounded by a cannonball in Pamplona, Spain, altering the trajectory of his life and leading to the foundation of the Society of Jesus.
“In Jesuit education, the criterion of excellence is applied to all areas of school life: the aim is the fullest possible development of every dimension of the person, linked to the development of a sense of values and a commitment to the service of others which gives priority to the needs of the poor and is willing to sacrifice self-interest for the promotion of justice.”
Go Forth and Teach: The Characteristics of a Jesuit Education