Notre Dame High School (Harper Woods, Michigan)

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Notre Dame High School
Crest of Harper Woods Notre Dame High School
20254 Kelly Road


United States
Coordinates42°26′47.3″N 82°56′30.9″W / 42.446472°N 82.941917°W / 42.446472; -82.941917Coordinates: 42°26′47.3″N 82°56′30.9″W / 42.446472°N 82.941917°W / 42.446472; -82.941917
TypePrivate, All-Male
MottoValor Virtusque
(Valor and Courage)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Color(s)Green and White         
SongNotre Dame Our Mother
Fight songNotre Dame Victory March
NicknameFightin' Irish
NewspaperThe Shield, The Leprechaun
YearbookThe Juggler

Notre Dame High School was a Catholic, all–male, non–residential college preparatory school in the Detroit suburb of Harper Woods, Michigan. It was closed in 2005, with 295 students, after more than 50 years due to budget concerns, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit.[1] The school had about 300 students at the time of closure, down from almost 1000 during its peak enrollment levels. It was founded in 1954 and operated by the Marist Fathers and Brothers, and the first class graduated in 1958.

Throughout its existence, the school was located next door to Regina High School, a Catholic, all–female school; and Lutheran High School East. Lutheran High School East closed in 2004 and Regina High School moved to Warren, Michigan in 2007.


The Archdiocese of Detroit announced in early March 2005 that 18 Detroit–area schools—including Notre Dame High School—would be shut down because declining enrollment and an escalating budget deficit. Archdiocese spokesman Richard Laskos called the decision "irrevocable" despite protests from family, students and alumni of the school.[1]

The Friends of Notre Dame Incorporated filed a lawsuit to keep the school open, but a Wayne County Circuit Court judge ruled against them.[2] Entertainer Bill Cosby, who had spoken in support of keeping the school open, was scheduled to attend a meeting with activists protesting the school's closure, but canceled his appearance.[2]

It was used as a filming location for the 2012 film Red Dawn.[3] Mark Binelli, author of Detroit City is the Place to Be, wrote that the school cafeteria was used as the catering hall for the employees of the film production.[4]

School culture[edit]

Tom Morwatts, a guitarist for the band Mutants, said that Notre Dame was "legendary for its dances."[5] He explained that the school needed to raise funds to pay for its athletic facilities, so the school hosted dances for teenagers, inviting bands such as The Supremes that attracted patrons from Metro Detroit.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Binelli, Mark. Detroit City is the Place to Be. Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company (New York). First Edition, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8050-9229-5 (hardback version).
  • Miller, Steve. Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History of Rock 'n' Roll in America's Loudest City. Da Capo Press, 2013. ISBN 0306821842, 9780306821844.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Donaldson, Stan. "Trinity, Notre Dame Fight Back", Detroit Free Press. March 31, 2005. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Cosby cancels visit to seminary event"
  3. ^ Binelli, p. 260.
  4. ^ Binelli, p. 260-261.
  5. ^ a b Miller, page unstated
  6. ^ "BONIOR, David Edward" at; URL accessed May 8, 2006.
  7. ^ "Dave Coulier" at the Notable Names Database (NNDb); URL accessed May 6, 2006.
  8. ^ "Carolina's Weight finally lifted, well, almost"; Detroit Free Press, June 21, 2006; URL accessed July 3, 2006.
  9. ^ [1]; URL accessed August 4, 2017.