Cardinal Dougherty High School

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Cardinal Dougherty High School
6301 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19120
United States
Coordinates 40°2′49″N 75°7′19″W / 40.04694°N 75.12194°W / 40.04694; -75.12194Coordinates: 40°2′49″N 75°7′19″W / 40.04694°N 75.12194°W / 40.04694; -75.12194
Type Private, Co-Educational
Motto Crucis In Signo Vinces
(Conquer in the Sign of the Cross)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1956
Status Closed
Closed 2010
President Carl F. Janicki
Principal Thomas F. Rooney, Jr.
Faculty 41
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 784 [1] (2008)
 • Grade 9 177
 • Grade 10 206
 • Grade 11 196
 • Grade 12 205
Color(s) Garnet and Gold         
Mascot Cardinals
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Newspaper Prelate
Yearbook Eminence

Cardinal Dougherty High School (CDHS) was a private, Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and established in the Olney section of Philadelphia at 6301 North Second Street. Although Cardinal Dougherty was founded as a co-institutional school, it became co-educational in 1983, with boys and girls being educated together in the same classrooms.

Archbishop O'Hara purchased the grounds upon which Cardinal Dougherty High School was situated from Charles Henry Fisher in 1940. Fifteen years later, the Archbishop's dream of a prestigious high school for Roman Catholics became a reality. The land was blessed by Auxiliary Bishop J. Carroll McCormick and ground was broken on June 28, 1955. School was opened to freshman and sophomores on September 5, 1956, and the cornerstone was laid on October 25, 1956.

The high school was named after the former Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty, because of his years of dedicated service and administration from 1918 to 1951. Monsignor Adolph Baum was appointed as the school's first principal. Cardinal Dougherty, after whom the school was named, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine on February 15, 1937.

Each subsequent year added one more class of students until 1959 when the first class of seniors graduated from CDHS. CDHS soon became the largest Catholic high school in the world with a student enrollment surpassing 6,000 in October 1965. There were more than 1,200 graduates in the class of 1968 alone, and the school has over 40,000 alumni worldwide.

Because of the marked decline in enrollment, exorbitant increases in the tuition rate were made to help cover the institution's operating expenses. In the mid to late 1960's, tuition ranged from $100 to $200 - with half of the tuition being paid by each student's home parish. On October 8, 2009, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Cardinal Dougherty High School would close at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year. At closing, Cardinal Dougherty's tuition exceeded $6,000 per annum.

Alma Mater

With faith that's strong
With courage bold
We wave our colors high.

Unfurl our banner
To the world
Our cross against the sky.

For in this sign
We conquer all
For God and school and land.

With the Trinity
And Mary's love
To guide our youthful hand.

Alma Mater's garnet and royal gold
Sons and daughters salute you with pride

Pledging hearts to You
In loyalty
We'll bear your glory far and wide.

With wisdom and truth
You nourish us.

With love our souls
You fortify.

So, dear Alma Mater
Your sons and daughters hail;
We hail Cardinal Dougherty High!


In its many years of existence, the offering of student activities at Cardinal Dougherty High School changed with the times. CDHS sponsored activities that were as diverse as its student body, with participants exemplifying the school's spirit of excellence through scholarship, good character, leadership, and service to the larger community.

CDHS' activities included, but are not limited to: the Glee Club, the Stamp Club, a faculty choir, the Camera Club, Mathletes, the National Honor Society, Student Council, the Mock Trial Team, the Marching Unit, the Jazz Band, the Orchestra, the Stage Crew, the Make-Up Crew, scripted stage productions and plays like Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and P.T. Barnum, Follies (spring musical), the Chorus, Suicide Prevention, the German Club, the French Club, the Spanish Club, Golden Touch, Respect Life, Shalom, the Community Service Corps, Library Assistants, the Lector Society, Students Against Driving Drunk, Activities Aides, Altar Servers, the Prelate (newspaper), and Eminence (yearbook).

Along with the athletic program, great "pride also stemmed from Dougherty's renowned marching band. In its heyday, about 200 students participated in the band, color guard and drill team - an ensemble so popular that it recorded albums each year. CDHS performed for Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 inauguration and for Princess Grace of Monaco - a Philadelphia native. The band played at NFL games - including the 1962 championship - and won a world competition in The Netherlands in 1966."[3]

In addition, CDHS sponsored organized, annual events that were open to the entire student body for participation. These are: the Homecoming Court, the Homecoming game complete with a parade, the Homecoming Dance, the Christmas Dance, Mother-Daughter Night, Father-Daughter Night, the Freshman Dance, the Soph Hop, the Junior Prom and the Senior Prom.


The school fielded teams in the following: baseball, football, cross country, soccer, tennis, bowling, field hockey, wrestling, indoor track, basketball, cheerleading, softball, lacrosse, swimming, outdoor track and field, volleyball and golf.

Notable alumni[edit]



  • Tom Gannon. Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1979-2006.



  • Corporal Michael Joseph Crescenz. US Army. Congressional Medal of Honor, Gallantry in Action, Hiep Duc Valley, Republic of Vietnam.









Notable administrators and faculty members[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]