St. Viator College
|Location||Bourbonnais, IL, US
|Sports||Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|
St. Viator's grew out of the original Bourbonnais village school, founded in 1865 by the Viatorians, to an academy for boys with the help of Father P. Beaudoin and Brothers Martel and Bernard, and on 9/6/1868 to a four-year liberal arts college with the aid of Father Thomas Roy. After nine years of work, Father Roy returned to his home in Canada, and was succeeded by Father M. J. Marsile, who oversaw the college for another 25 years. In 1906, several buildings were destroyed by fire, but courses continued in improvised quarters and new buildings were erected. Father Marsile afterward resigned, and Reverend John Patrick O'Mahoney C.S.V. was appointed president. Under financial pressure, it closed in 1939.
Roy Memorial Chapel was named for Father Thomas Roy, who served as president of the college. Marsile Alumni Hall was named in honour of Father M. J. Marsile, who was college president for 25 years. After St. Viator's closed in 1938, the campus was purchased by Olivet Nazarene College from Olivet, Illinois. Four buildings on the Olivet Nazarene campus are original from the days of St. Viator's 39-acre campus.
St. Viator College had a preparatory department and high school in addition to the college and seminary and, for most of its years, had an enrollment of over 300 students.
During its existence, St. Viator was the host of the Catholic State Basketball Tournament for Illinois. St. Viator College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1916-1938.
Many of the college's graduates were priests, but even more entered the professions of law and medicine. Notable alumni included John Tracy Ellis, Sam J. McAllister, Fulton J. Sheen, G. Raymond Sprague, Bernard James Sheil. and Joseph James Smith, youngest son of the notorious bad man "Soapy" Smith. Graduates entering the entertainment field include Jack Berch, popular singer and personality on four networks during the Golden Age of Radio.
Notes and references
- "Page 17".
- Viatorians: Where We Serve Around the World (Chicago)
- "The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church" (PDF). Catholic Encyclopedia Incorporated. 1 January 1913 – via Google Books.
- History of the Village of Bourbonnais
- IHSA. "Illinois H.S.toric - News & Media - IHSA".
- "Archbishop Fulton Sheen Biography". fultonsheen.com.
- "Father Sprague, senior priest of diocese, dies at 92," Catholic Archdiocese of Peoria, Catholic Post, May 6, 2001.
- "Meat, and a Bishop," Time, Monday, Jul. 24, 1939.
- "Soapy's son James" Soapy Smith Soap Box, May 8, 2010.
- "(untitled brief)". Pennsylvania, Altoona. Altoona Tribune. March 21, 1950. p. 13. Retrieved November 30, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
Media related to Annual catalog St. Viator College at Wikimedia Commons