In fact, the two other province schools that had started as combination college-high schools — Loyola and Santa Clara — both had broken off their preparatory divisions years previous, Bellarmine in 1925 and Loyola High School in 1929.
The reasons for those separations were (as Gerald Mc Kevitt, SJ, wrote about the split between Bellarmine and SCU) “as numerous as they were obvious.” In his history of SCU, Mc Kevitt noted that “as late as 1915 there were 350 colleges and universities in the United States that still retained ‘prep’ schools, but such arrangements were becoming increasingly anachronistic.” After Santa Clara adopted the title of “university,” the school’s faculty resented “the intolerable anomaly of a university frequented by boys in knickerbockers.” While that tension was lessened in San Francisco by the minor geographic separation between USF and SI, faculty and administrators at both schools saw the handwriting on the wall.
As early as 1950, the SI and USF Jesuits were seriously looking at sites for the relocation of the high school.
for many years now, it has been building up a fine reputation in the local community and it continues to merit and to enjoy this reputation.” Rooney was pleased that the school was willing to dismiss students whose grades did not measure up, but criticized the tendency of students to choose secular colleges, such as UC Berkeley, over religious universities.
He also found disturbing the shaky financial ground upon which the high school stood.
He cited the “substantial deficits,” and pointed out that USF, which in past years had been supported by the high school, was not, in turn, SI’s benefactor.
(USF in the 1950s was enjoying tremendous success thanks to the GI Bill and veterans returning to their studies.)Rooney recommended that the school adopt and follow annual budgets and raise tuition.
He warned that if USF and SI were ever to separate, the high school would be in financial straits.