Daniel Murphy High School

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Daniel Murphy High School
DMHS Seal.svg
241 South Detroit Street
Los Angeles, California, California, 90036
United States
Motto A Murphy man, is a Noble man
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Dominican (1956-1981)
Opened 1954
Status Closed
Closed 2008
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 279 (2006)
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Maroon, and Gray         
Team name Nobles
Yearbook 'Calarogan'
Daniel murphy high school hidalgo.jpg

Daniel Murphy High School was a Roman Catholic all-boys high school located in Los Angeles, California. It was located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


Daniel Murphy High School was originally the home of Los Angeles College, a Catholic junior seminary. A notable alumnus of Los Angeles College is Cardinal Roger Mahony. The seminary existed on the site from the time it was built in 1926 until 1953 when it moved to its new home in the San Fernando Valley and was renamed Our Lady Queen of Angels Seminary. Today the campus is the home of Bishop Alemany High School.

In 1954, the site was transformed into a high school and was named St. John Vianney High School after the French priest known as the patron saint of parish priests. In 1956, the school came under the operation of the Dominican Fathers and Brothers. Because of seismic concerns, a new building was constructed adjacent to the original building. In 1966, once construction of the new building was completed, the original building was demolished. St. John Vianney Chapel was the only original building left from when the grounds were used as seminary.

Los Angeles College, c. 1926. St. John Vianney Chapel is far right.

During this time the school was renamed in honor of Daniel Murphy, a businessman and civic leader whose foundation made generous financial contributions to fund the construction of the new building. In 1981, operation was transferred to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Daniel Murphy enjoyed a long-standing tradition as the primary Los Angeles rival to Loyola High School, the Jesuit all-boy high school in Harvard Heights, Los Angeles. The rivalry between the two schools, although good-natured, at times became heated.

Controversy and closure[edit]

In October 2007, it was announced that the school would close at the end of the 2007–2008 academic year due to declining enrollment.[1]

Parents, students, faculty and alumni felt otherwise.[2] The timing of the closure coincided with the Archdiocese' payoff of a $660 million settlement to abuse victims. The Archdiocese claimed the closure had nothing to do with the settlement and that the decision was based solely on the low enrollment. The Archdiocese claimed it could no longer afford to provide financial subsidization to the school. The parents proposed to pay an additional $1,000 per year in tuition which, they contended, would have exceeded any amount the Archdiocese had ever had to spend to keep the school in the black. However, the Archdiocese said the decision to close the school was "irrevocable". The Alumni Association and parent's group joined forces and fought to keep the school open.[3] With the exception of one token meeting, the Archdiocese ignored all requests to meet and discuss the closure.[3]

Daniel Murphy's final graduation commencement ceremony was held on May 30, 2008.[4] The last school day was June 6, 2008 where students shared their last moments in the gym as a family.[5] The Archdiocese had not announced definitive plans for the campus in its initial closing announcement,[1] but subsequently it said that the 2½ acre school site would be sold.[2]

After 72 years, St. John Vianney Chapel closed in 2009. Murphy's last principal, Sharon Dandorf as well as many Murphy alumni were in attendance.[6]

In April 2009, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reported that the campus, located in the heart of the heavily Orthodox Jewish Fairfax District, had been sold to Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu, an Orthodox day school currently located in Culver City.[7]


The Nobles competed in the Del Rey League of the CIF Southern Section. Some opponents were St. Anthony's High School, Salesian High School, and Serra High School. The Nobles were Southern Section basketball champions in 1972 (Division 2-A), 1973 (Division 3-A) and 1986 (Division 2-A). And won city championship in 86 CIF.

Alma Mater[edit]

Daniel Murphy Alma Mater:

Hail to thee our Alma Mater, thee so Nobly named.
May thy Virtues be Exalted and thy Sons far famed.
Loyal Sons we'll always be, serving True and Faithfully.
Through the years, Daniel Murphy High!
In our hearts we will recall, joys of student days.
Always may thy Hallowed Halls resound with Hymns of Praise.
Hymns of Courage, Honor too, we will sing we pledge to you.
Through the years, Daniel Murphy High!

Vianney High Fight Song (1964):

Come on you Nobles go, go, go!
Sons of Vianney! Down the foe!
We're going in to the battle to win.
A day for the red and the grey, Hey!
Come on you Nobles fight, fight, fight!
Fight with your might for the right.
By the courage you show.
Let the whole world know.
We're from Vianney High! (Chant 2x)

The Murphy Pledge[edit]

"A noble man does noble deeds, and by noble deeds he stands." (Isaiah 32:8)

I promise to do my best to live up to
the ideals of Daniel Murphy Catholic High School.
I will try to become a truly noble man, by developing
my talents and using them in the service of God and for the benefits of others.
I ask the help of my brothers at Murphy in keeping this pledge.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


External links[edit]