Fenwick High School (Oak Park, Illinois)
|Fenwick High School|
|505 W. Washington Blvd.
Oak Park, Illinois, 60302
|Oversight||Archdiocese of Chicago|
|President||Richard Peddicord, O.P.|
|School colour(s)||black & white|
|Athletics conference||Chicago Catholic League &
East Suburban Catholic Conference
|Communities served||Oak Park, Illinois; River Forest, Illinois|
Fenwick High School is a selective private college preparatory school located in Oak Park, Illinois, founded in 1929 as part of the Province of St. Albert the Great (Dominican Friars). It is the only school operated and staffed by the Catholic Order of Dominican friars in the United States. It is named in honor of Cincinnati Bishop Edward D. Fenwick.
Fenwick enrolls approximately 1,200 students and is ranked as one of the leading preparatory schools within the greater metropolitan Chicago area. Admittance is highly selective and based on testing administered at the school. Some of Fenwick's alumni include: a state governor, a NASA astronaut, Rhodes scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, an Olympic gold medalist, a Heisman Trophy winner, professional athletes, as well as CEOs of many national and international corporations.
The school colors are black and white and the mascot is the Friar. Fenwick's president is Father Richard Peddicord, O.P. In 2009, the school's principal, Dr. James Quaid, Ed.D., left his 21-year tenure with Fenwick to become Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago.[page needed]
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Extracurricular achievements
- 4 Traditions
- 5 Chapel
- 6 Fenwick in print
- 7 Notable alumni/ae
- 8 Notable staff
- 9 References
- 10 Additional information
- 11 External links
Fenwick High School was founded as an all-boys college preparatory high school in 1929 by the Catholic Order of Dominican Fathers and Brothers of the Province of St. Joseph. Since its founding, Fenwick has maintained a strict dress code which includes slacks, dress shirts and ties for the boys and plaid skirts and knee-high socks for the girls. During assemblies, blazers must be worn. Fenwick was originally intended to be a prep school for matriculation to the University of Notre Dame in the Midwest and Georgetown University on the East Coast, similar to Phillips Academy Andover's matriculation to Yale, Portsmouth Abbey School's matriculation to Fordham University and Boston College and Phillips Exeter Academy's matriculation to Harvard. Today, Fenwick's students matriculate to many top American and international universities. In 1939, the St. Joseph Province was divided and Fenwick High School became part of the new Province of St. Albert the Great, with headquarters in Chicago. In 1992, girls were admitted for the first time. Today, Fenwick is known as a secondary school. Students use some athletic facilities, including a baseball field, two football fields, a softball diamond, and a soccer field on the campus of Fenwick's Dominican Priory in the nearby suburb of River Forest.
Fenwick has a strong academic tradition, as noted by the number of National Merit Scholars and Illinois State Scholars, high SAT and ACT scores (with averages ranked within the top 100 schools in the nation), and large numbers of students matriculating to top universities, such as those in the Ivy League and Big Ten categories. Since its founding, Fenwick has maintained a 100% college matriculation rate.
Fenwick has a highly accomplished faculty, four of which have earned the Golden Apple Award.
In 1983 Fenwick was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. On January 18, 1999, U.S. News & World Report classified Fenwick as an "Outstanding American High School", making Fenwick tied for the #1 ranked preparatory school in the Chicago area. For 2009, Fenwick's 290 student class had 211 of them receive 718 academic scholarships to top universities around the country with the monetary value of these awards in excess of $16,000,000 (up from $13,900,000 in 2008-2007, $12,555,800 in 2007-2006 and 9,370,000 in 2006- 2005). The 2009 graduating class also boasted 187 Presidential Scholars and 30 National Merit Finalists, with 22 additional receiving commendation for being named to the top 5% in the nation. Fenwick's 2010-2011 class achieved $40,000,000 in merit based scholarships.
Around the time Fenwick started admitting girls, there was a proposal to officially move classes to the school's priory in River Forest, or construct a brand new school in collaboration with nearby Trinity High School. The idea almost passed, but was dropped when Fenwick insisted on maintaining complete control over the standards of the new school. Instead, Fenwick has commenced several expansion campaigns at their present location in Oak Park based around their original Neo-gothic designed school created by the New York architect Wilfred E. Anthony, who also redesigned the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Indiana for the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The latest expansions include: a new field house with a 1,100-seat gymnasium and a 450-seat natatorium; several new classrooms and updated athletic lockers; a new school entrance and gateway inspired from the Arch of Northwestern University; and additional science laboratories and art studios, all of which are in keeping with the original Neo-gothic look of Fenwick's school and priory.
Fenwick is the only high school in the United States owned and operated by the Dominican Order. Fenwick's school mottoes are the same as those of the Dominican Order: Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare (praise, bless, preach); Veritas (truth); Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere (to study and hand on the fruits of study). Fenwick often uses the Blackfriar as a mascot over a generic friar mascot since the Blackfriar is specifically associated with the Dominican Order.
The first sentence of the school's philosophy statement, defines the school as a "college preparatory high school". Students are required to study four years of theology, English, mathematics, and a foreign language in order to graduate.
As a part of the third year theology course, students are required to plan and conduct a "Christian Service Project". The project requires a minimum of forty hours of service, no more than 20 of which may be completed prior to the start of the student's junior year.
The school offers 18 courses as a part of the Advanced Placement program: English Language, English Literature, Art History, French Language, Spanish Language, Statistics, Computer Science A, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (C), Environmental Science, U.S. History, European History, Economics[disambiguation needed], World History, and U.S. Government.
The school offers AP Calculus BC, and gives students the option to take either the "AB" or "BC" test at the end of the year. Beyond AP Calculus, the school offers courses in multivariable calculus, linear algebra and differential equations.
The Fenwick Friars compete in two conferences. Male teams compete in the Chicago Catholic League (CCL), while the female teams compete in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. The school competes in state championship series sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).
The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective state tournament sponsored by the IHSA:
- basketball (girls) •• 3rd place (1999–2000, 03–04); 2nd place (2002–03); State Champions (2000–01, 06–07)
- soccer (girls) •• 3rd place (2013); 4th place (2003–04)
- softball •• 4th place (1997–98)
- swimming & diving (boys) •• 4th place (1985–86); 3rd place (1975–76, 93–94, 3005–06); 2nd place (1974–75, 76–77, 77–78, 81–82, 84–85, 92–93); State Champions (1989–90, 90–91, 91–92)
- swimming & diving (girls) 3rd place 2009, 2nd place 2011, 2nd place 2012
- water polo (boys) •• State Champions (2001–02, 03–04, 04–05, 05–06, 06–07, 07–08, 08–09, 09–10, 10–11, 12–13)
- water polo (girls) •• 2nd place (2006–07); State Champions (2003–04, 04–05, 05–06, 07–08,08–09,10–11,11–12,13–14)
The boys' varsity hockey team has played in the state championship game, held at the United Center, in five consecutive seasons (2002–2006), winning the state title (the Blackhawk Cup) in the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons. The 2003–2004 team compiled a record of 62-9-2 and is considered one of Illinois' most accomplished high school hockey teams to have ever played in the Midwest. The hockey team has won five straight Kennedy Cups, three of them over their hockey arch rival Loyola Academy. In the 2003-2004 season the hockey team was able to beat the Number nine high school team in the nation. Sophomore sensation Joe Fornari was able to net 2 goals in the game as the team won the winter classic tournament.
The boys lacrosse team took the state championship in just its second year as a varsity program.
Fenwick has been a dominant force in water polo. Since the IHSA first started sponsoring a water polo state tournament in 2002, Fenwick's men's and women's teams have won a combined eleven of the first fourteen state championships.
Prior to the institution of a state playoff system for football in the 1970s, Fenwick competed to play in the Prep Bowl, which pitted the champions of the CCL against the champion of the Chicago Public League. Fenwick won two Prep Bowl titles at the game's usual home of Soldier Field. The first was in 1945 where a crowd of 80,000 fans saw Fenwick defeat Tilden High School, 20-6. The second was in 1962, and saw Fenwick defeat Schurz High School, 40-0. The win not only capped an undefeated season, but was played before over 91,000 fans; the third largest crowd to witness a high school football game in Illinois history. The 1945 game is tied for seventh in terms of crowd size.
By 2007, Fenwick had over 77 all-conference championships. The boy's JV hockey team and the girls pom pom team have also earned state championships. Sports Illustrated has added Fenwick to its list of the "50 Best High School Athletic Programs in the Country", recognizing Fenwick as having the best athletic program in Illinois. Fenwick's 2006-2007 swimming and swim/polo teams produced 12 NISCA Academic All-American athletes. For 2009, two state championships were achieved in water polo. 11 regional, sectional or supersectional championships were earned, along with 15 conference titles. There was also 17 All-State athletes, 19 All-American athletes and 12 All-Academic athletes named. 5 students were granted NCAA Athletic scholarships
Fenwick's academic teams are also highly competitive. The Math Team was state champion in 2002, in large part to the great teaching of Roger Finnell, a teacher there for 50 years now. and has also been the highest scoring private school in the AA Division for 14 years in a row. 2009 marks the 16th consecutive year for Fenwick's Math Team to qualify for state.
Fenwick's Scholastic Bowl Team has been league champions for the last 4 years, and has twice finished in the top four at the Illinois High School Association State Championship Tournament (2001 & 04).
Fenwick is the 2011 Chicago Conference Chess Champions.
Fenwick's Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) and Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) teams are also highly accomplished; Fenwick's WYSE/JETS teams were national champions in 1989 are 13-time Illinois state champions. 2011 marks the 8th consecutive year to be so. The 2011 JETS team placed first in their conference with the highest possible score of 74/80, earning a "Best in the State" award and a 2nd place national ranking from 1229 teams of 43 states. Fenwick's team was only one point behind the first place nationally ranked team.
The Wick (school newspaper), The Blackfriars Yearbook, and the Touchstone (literary magazine), have all been recognized with awards by the American Scholastic Press Association. The 2006–2007 edition of Touchstone was awarded first place with special honors by the American Scholastic Press Association, placing Fenwick's publication at the top 5% of all high school literary publications in the country. Touchstone has earned 970/1000 possible points by the American Scholastic Press Association, thereby allowing it to be a contender for the "Most Outstanding High School Literary and Art Magazine".
The Fenwick Student Congressional Debate team is also ranked highly. In 2014, Fenwick Student Congress ranked 1st in the Northern Illinois District Sectionals, and had the most semifinalists in State out of any high school. Student Congress has also been 1st in the Chicago Catholic Forensics League for five years in a row. 2015 will also mark the 10th year that fenwick has brought students to the highly prestigious Harvard, Yale, and Isidore Newman national tournaments.
Over the years, Fenwick has developed several traditions that have become a staple of the school's alumni recognitions and fundraising efforts. These include:
St. Martin de Porres Award: This award is named after St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican Friar in Spanish Colonial Peru, who served as a physician, dentist and pharmacist to help those who were enslaved. The award is exclusively given to Fenwick alumni working within the medical field and demonstrating excellence as either an M.D. or D.D.S.
Accipiter Award: This award, meaning "hawk", is the highest honor Fenwick gives to their alumni who have achieved excellence within the field of law. Induction ceremonies are held annually at the Union League Club in Chicago. The 2007 recipient was Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. The first recipient was Bernard M. Judge in 1997.
Lumen Tranquillum Award: This prestigious award is given to Fenwick alumni who have built a life that is inspirational to young people. Recipients of this award may also be qualified to enter into Fenwick's Hall of Fame
Blackfriars Dinner: This fundraising black tie gala is the most important event for creating scholarship aid to worthy students in need. It began in the 1950s as the "Sponsor's Dinner" to help with the difficulties of Fenwick's tuition costs. Since its founding, the yearly benefit has raised millions of dollars for scholarships. The event has taken place at various elegant locations around Chicago, including the Cadillac Club and, most recently, the Imperial Ball Room at Chicago's Fairmont Hotel. The Lumen Tranquillum award is also presented at this event.
Cog Hill Golf Outing: This yearly golf outing for Fenwick alumni is the largest of its type in the Chicago area. Typically, 450 of Fenwick's alumni attend yearly to play golf on the same course of the Western Open.
Young Alums Boat Cruise: This yearly yachting excursion on Lake Michigan is a chance for Fenwick's young alumni to help fund-raising for students in need while also catching up with old friends in a festive environment. Typically, each event will raise thousands of dollars to help needy students.
Young Alums Wine Tasting: A yearly gathering of Fenwick alumni organized to sample domestic and international wines – often accompanying various outings and picnics.
Fenwick's St. Dominic Chapel is the central feature of the school. Built in the 1940s, the chapel is designed in the Neo-gothic architectural style. Within the chapel are rows of carved choir stalls for the singing and recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. The chapel is especially noted for its stained glass windows by Rinaldo Angelo Zarlenga, O.P., a Dominican Father from Rome, Italy who had his artistic training within the Vatican and later set up a workshop at Fenwick's Dominican Priory in River Forest. Several of Zarlenga's works can be seen at Fenwick including: a bronze statue of St. Dominic, a bronze crucifix, a mosaic of The Last Supper, as well as 10 stained glass windows depicting the Virgin Mary, 8 Dominican Saints, and one Blessed. The chapel's 10 stained glass windows specifically depicts the following individuals: Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, St. Dominic, St. Peter, St. Martin de Porres, Pope Pius V, Catherine of Siena, Virgin Mary, Vincent Ferrer, and Fra Angelico.
Fenwick in print
A comprehensive history of Fenwick was published in 2002 and titled: Fenwick, Over the Years ; by Dan O'Brien
Public service & politics
- Anne Smedinghoff (class of 2005) was an American diplomat who served in Venezuela and Afghanistan. She died on April 6, 2013 while serving her country in a diplomatic mission in Zabul province, Afghanistan.
- Daniel Cronin (class of 1977) is an Illinois State Senator representing Illinois' 21st Legislative District (1993–present).
- William J. Cullerton (class of 1941), World War II flying ace and radio host. He was taken prisoner by the Gestapo, shot and left to die, but survived, then escaped and returned to the U.S. where he was inducted into the Illinois Military Aviation Hall of Fame. He was the 4th highest ace of World War II with a total of 29 hits, flying a P-51 Mustang called "Miss Steve".
- Major General Michael D. Healey (Class of 1945). U.S. Army from 1945 to 1981. Highly decorated for valor in the Korean War and Vietnam War. Commanded the United States Army John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance/Institute for Military Assistance (now Special Warfare Center and School). Served as the inspiration for Colonel Mike in the book and movie "The Green Berets".
- Joseph Kerwin (class of 1949) was a NASA astronaut who flew on the Skylab 2 mission, becoming the first American medical doctor in space. He was also a CAPCOM for the Apollo 13 mission.
- Peter Newell (class of 1997) is the White House Scheduler for President Barack Obama.
- Pat Quinn (class of 1967) was Illinois State Treasurer (1991–95), Illinois Lt. Governor (2001–2009) and Illinois Governor (2009–2015).
- Jim Durkin (class of 1979) has been a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 1995.
Arts, Sciences, and Letters
- Philip Caputo (class of 1959) is an author (A Rumor of War) and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for coverage of Chicago election fraud.
- Steve Twomey (class of 1969) was the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his Philadelphia Inquirer profile of life aboard an aircraft carrier.
- Patrick Creadon (class of 1985) is a director and documentary filmmaker (Wordplay, I.O.U.S.A.), twice nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Aimee Garcia (class of 1996) is a professional actress (Veronica on the George Lopez TV series).
- Kevin Jakubowski (class of 1997) is screenwriter of the film Assassination of a High School President. The fictional school in the film shares its nickname, colors and school emblem with Fenwick.
- Bernard M. Judge (class of 1957) was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team, Pulitzer Prizer Juror, Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame, and is a journalism professor at the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University[page needed]
- John Lee (class of 1973) is Dean of the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Aamer Madhani (class of 1995) is a USA Today correspondent in Baghdad.
- Nasti Habits aka Kenneth Brejcha (class of 1979) is the lead singer of Diamond Rexx.
- Frank McMahon (class of 1939) is a noted illustrator who penned for Collier's Weekly and the Saturday Evening Post. He was the 1963 artist of the year for the Artist Guild of New York. In 2001 he was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.
- Sheila Moran (class of 1998) was a producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show for Harpo Productions.
- Rick Morrissey is a sports columnist for Chicago Sun-Times.
- Tawney Saylor (class of 2000) is the Washington correspondent for an ABC Network affiliate.
- R. Emmett Tyrrell (class of 1961) is founder of The American Spectator and best-selling author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House and The Clinton Crack-Up.
- Gene Wolande (class of 1974) is an American character actor, writer, and director.
Athletics and gaming
- Fred Baer (class of 1951) was selected as the Most Valuable Player on the 1954 Michigan Wolverines football team.
- Bates Battaglia (class of 1993) is an NHL forward (1997–2004, 2005–present). He played for the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals.
- John Giannini is the head coach of La Salle University men's basketball team.
- Mike Heathcott is a former MLB player (Chicago White Sox).
- Johnny Lattner (class of 1950) was a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He won the 1953 Heisman trophy playing for the University of Notre Dame, and is one of only two two–time winners of the Maxwell Award (1952 & 53). He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
- Corey Maggette (class of 1998) is an NBA forward (1999–present), and first–round draft pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. He has spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers. He currently plays basketball with the Detroit Pistons.
- Ben Ponzio (class of 1993) was a 2007 World Series of Poker Bracelet Winner in the $2,000 No Limit Texas Hold' em event.
- Mike Rabold (class of 1955) was an NFL offensive lineman (1959–62, 64–67), mostly with the Chicago Bears.
- Dave Schrage (class of 1979) has been a collegiate head baseball coach at Northern Iowa University (1991–99), Northern Illinois University (2000–02), University of Evansville (2003–06), and University of Notre Dame (06-10).
- Ken Sitzberger (class of 1963) was a diver who won the gold medal in the 3 meter springboard at the 1964 Summer Olympics. He was a three time U.S. Champion, and was a television color commentator for 16 years. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1994.
- Tim Stapleton (class of 2002) is an NHL center of the Atlanta Thrashers but is currently assigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL
- Marques Sullivan (class of 1996) was a professional offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, New England Patriots, and Chicago Rush.
Business and industry
- John Barron (class of 1976) is the General Manager of the Chicago Sun-Times
- Bernard Brennan (class of 1956) is the former CEO of Montgomery Ward (1985–96), and brother of Edward A. Brennan.
- Edward A. Brennan (class of 1951) is the former CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co. (1986–95); and later served on the boards of American Airlines, McDonald's, 3M, and Exelon, among others.
- Daniel Brutto (class of 1974) is the President of UPS International.
- Robert Corvino (class of 1975) is the former Vice-Chairman for the Chicago Board of Trade
- John Corvino (class of 1974) is the General Counsel for the Chicago White Sox
- Bernard Dan (class of 1979) is the former President & CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade
- George Keller (class of 1941) served as Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation
- A. G. Lafley (class of 1965) is the President & CEO (2000–present) and Chairman of the Board (2002–present) of Procter & Gamble
- William Musham (class of 1934) served as President and CEO of Imperial Eastman, Board of Directors for Walgreens, Carson Pirie Scott, and others
- Michael R. Quinlan (class of 1962) is the former Chairman of the Board (1990–99) and CEO (1987–98) of The McDonalds Corporation. Since 2000, he has been a Director of Dun & Bradstreet.
- Paul Tierney, Jr. (class of 1960) served as the Director of Liz Claiborne Inc., member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School
- Larry Wert (class of 1974) is President & General Manager of WMAQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Chicago.
- John Jardine was the school's football coach (1959–63). He later served as head football coach of the University of Wisconsin (1970–77).
- Pascal Bedrossian is a former French pro soccer player in France and USA, was coach of Fenwick varsity girls' soccer team.
Four members of the staff have achieved notability for winning the Chicago area Golden Apple Award. While the award has been given every year since 1988, high school teachers are not eligible each year. There are ten recipients each year.
- John Quinn, Chairman of the History Department, was a recipient in 1992.
- Ramzi Farran, chemistry teacher, was a recipient in 1998.
- Rev. Joseph Ekpo, theology teacher, was a recipient in 2007.
- John Paulett, theology teacher, was a recipient in 2013. 
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