Fenwick High School (Oak Park, Illinois): Wikis


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Fenwick High School
505 W. Washington Blvd.
Oak Park, Illinois, 60302-4095
Coordinates 41°52′52″N 87°47′19″W / 41.88099°N 87.788589°W / 41.88099; -87.788589
Type secondary private
Denomination Roman Catholic
Opened 1929
Oversight Archdiocese of Chicago
President DePorres Durham, O.P.
Teaching staff 73
Grades 9–12
Gender coed
Enrollment 1,175
Campus suburban
School Colour(s)      black &      white
Slogan Veritas
Athletics conference Chicago Catholic League &
East Suburban Catholic Conference
Nickname Friars
Publication Touchstone
Newspaper The Wick
Yearbook Blackfriars Yearbook
Tuition US$10,450 (base)[1]
Communities served Oak Park, Illinois; River Forest, Illinois
Affiliation Dominicans

Fenwick High School is a private university-preparatory school located in Oak Park, Illinois, founded in 1929[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] Some of Fenwick's alumni include: 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 a Friar. Fenwick's president is Father DePorres Durham, 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. [5]



Bishop Edward D. Fenwick, the namesake of Fenwick High School

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 Andover's matriculation to Yale and Exeter's matriculation to Harvard. Today, Fenwick's students matriculate to many top American and international universities.[6] 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 it's founding, Fenwick has maintained a 100% college matriculation rate.[7]

Fenwick has a highly accomplished faculty , three 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.[8] 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.[7] 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.[9]

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.[3] 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, IN.[10] 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.[11]

Fenwick is the only high school in the United States owned and operated by the Dominican Order.[3] 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".[12] Students are required to study four years of theology, English, mathematics, and a foreign language in order to graduate.[13]

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.[14]

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 & AB, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (C), Environmental Science, U.S. History, European History, Economics, 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.[15]

Extracurricular achievements


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:[16]

  • basketball (girls) •• 3rd place (1999–2000, 03–04); 2nd place (2002–03); State Champions (2000–01, 06–07)
  • soccer (girls) •• 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)
  • water polo (boys) •• State Champions (2001–02, 03–04, 04–05, 05–06, 06–07, 07–08, 08–09)
  • water polo (girls) •• 2nd place (2006–07); State Champions (2003–04, 04–05, 05–06, 07–08,08–09)

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.[17] The hockey team has won five straight Kennedy Cups, three of them over their hockey arch rival Loyola Academy.[18]

The boys lacrosse team took the state championship in just its second year as a varsity program.[19]

Fenwick has been a dominant force in water polo. Since the IHSA first started sponsoring a water polo state tournament in 2002,[20] 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.[21]

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.[17] 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.[17] Fenwick's 2006-2007 swimming and swim/polo teams produced 12 NISCA Academic All-American athletes.[22][23] 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 [24]

Non-athletic activities

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 over 40 years[25] and has also been the highest scoring private school in the AA Division for 14 years in a row.[26] 2009 marks the 16th consecutive year for Fenwick's Math Team to qualify for state.[6]

Fenwick's Scholastic Bowl Team has been league champions for the last 4 years.[6], and has twice finished in the top four at the Illinois High School Association State Championship Tournament (2001 & 04).[27]

Fenwick's Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering/Junior Engineering Technical Society (WYSE/JETS) teams are also highly accomplished; Fenwick's WYSE/JETS teams were national champions in 1989 are eleven-time Illinois state champions. 2009 marks the 6th consecutive year to be so.[6][28]

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".[6][29] Fenwick speech teams and debate teams are also ranked highly, with 2007 marking the tenth consecutive year to have state qualifiers. 2009 included an invite to the Harvard University Invitational.[6][26]


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.[6]

Accipiter Award: This award, meaning "hawk", is the highest honor Fenwick gives to their alumni whom 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.[6]

Lumen Tranquillum Award: This prestigious award is given to Fenwick alumni whom 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[6]

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.[6]

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.[6]

Young Alums Boat Cruise: This yearly yachting excursion on Lake Michigan is a chance for Fenwick's young alumni to help fundraising 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.[6]

Young Alums Wine Tasting: A yearly gathering of Fenwick alumni organized to sample domestic and international wines- often accompaning various outings and picnics.[30]


Fenwick's St. Dominic Chapel is the central feature of the school. Built in 1929, 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 whom 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.[6]

Fenwick in print

A comprehensive history of Fenwick was published in 2002 and titled: Fenwick, Over the Years ; by Dan O'Brien

Notable alumni/ae

Public service & politics

Joseph Kerwin, America's first physician astronaut

Arts and letters

Athletics and gaming

Ben Ponzio at the 2007 WSOP (photo from LasVegasVegas.com)

Business and industry

Notable staff

Three 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.[77]

  • 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.


Footnotes and citations

  1. ^ 2008-09 tuition; accessed 16 August 2008
  2. ^ Fandal, O.P., Damian (1978-09-26). "To the Dominican Laity – 1979". Dominicans: Order of Preachers. http://op.org/domcentral/preach/fandal/fanwick.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-29.  
  3. ^ a b c "Ministries - Dominican Vocations". Province of St. Albert the Great. 2006. http://www.domcentral.org/vocations/min.html. Retrieved 2007-05-30.  
  4. ^ "Why Choose Fenwick". Fenwick High School. http://www.fenwickfriars.com/17451078121429153/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=55616. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  
  5. ^ a b c d e Fenwick, The Magazine, Summer 2009
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Magazine, Fall 2007, Robert Dixon, Oak Park, Il.
  7. ^ a b Bunting and Lyon; Directory of Private Schools; 2007
  8. ^ "Blue Ribbon Schools Program: 1982-1983 through 1999-2002" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education. 2002. http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/list-1982.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-30.  
  9. ^ The Magazine, Fall 2007, Robert Dixon, Oak Park, Il. p.26
  10. ^ Hope, Arthur J.; The Story of Notre Dame- 100 years, Chapter 28; 2007
  11. ^ Mitchell, L (2007-05-15). "Fenwick High School: New Field House and Renovations:" (PDF). Project Management Advisors, Inc.. http://www.pmainc.com/pdf/pma_fenwick.pdf. Retrieved 2007-07-31.  
  12. ^ Fenwick HS philosophy
  13. ^ Student Handbook, p. 27-28
  14. ^ Fenwick HS Christian Service Project
  15. ^ Fenwick HS course selection guide
  16. ^ IHSA record page for Fenwick HS
  17. ^ a b c Armstrong, Kevin; John Mahoney (2007-06-19). "50 Best High School Athletic Programs in the Country". Sports Illustrated.  
  18. ^ "Fenwick Friars 2006-2007 Kennedy Cup Champions!!!". USA Hockey, Inc.. 2007-03-02. http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:IB9pKWx9ResJ:usahockey.com/cchl/main_site/main/home/+hockey+%22kennedy+cup%22+fenwick&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=11&gl=us. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  19. ^ Stablein, Tim (2007-06-05). "Moving up in class". OakPark-Leaves.com (Sun-Times News Group). http://www.pioneerlocal.com/oakpark/sports/415033,op-laxcup-060607-s1.article. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  20. ^ IHSA water polo history
  21. ^ IHSA general football records
  22. ^ "2006-2007 NISCA/Speedo Boys High School Academic All-America". National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. 2007-08-14. http://www.niscaonline.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=AwvXbuE4kGE%3d&tabid=66&mid=412. Retrieved 2008-11-16.   7 boys listed.
  23. ^ "2006-2007 NISCA/Speedo Girls High School Academic All-America". National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. 2007-08-14. http://www.niscaonline.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=tItNSntFteY%3d&tabid=66&mid=412. Retrieved 2008-11-16.   5 girls listed.
  24. ^ Fenwick, The Magazine, Summer 2009,
  25. ^ Woolsey, Josh (2007-03-06). "Atlantic-Pacific Contest Results (Division Update)" (PDF). Atlantic-Pacific Mathematics League. pp. 3. http://mysite.verizon.net/atpachome/AtPacHSDivUpdate4.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  26. ^ a b National Merit Scholarship Corporation; Annual Report 2006; Evanston, 2006
  27. ^ IHSA record page for Fenwick HS sports and activities
  28. ^ Compton, Jillian (2007-04-19). "Students nudge out rivals". Northwest Herald. http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2007/04/19/news/local/doc46272caeeb116588124763.txt. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  29. ^ American Scholastic Press Association (2007). "Annual Contest/Review for Scholastic Yearbooks, Magazines and Newspapers". Press release. http://www.asan.com/asa/aspa1.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-10.  
  30. ^ Fenwick, The Magazine, Summer 2009
  31. ^ Biography from Senator Dan Cronin homepage; accessed 16 August 2008
  32. ^ Fenwick, Over the Years by Dan O'Brien
  33. ^ http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/cullerton.html
  34. ^ Dr. Joseph Kerwin bio @ Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest; accessed 16 August 2008
  35. ^ Joseph P. Kerwin Hall of Fame biography; accessed 16 August 2008
  36. ^ Pat Quinn Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Fenwick: Friars a perennial powerhouse". Sun-Times News Group. 2007-05-30. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/preps/highschool/405893,CST-SPT-spot30.article. Retrieved 2007-05-30.  
  38. ^ Philip Caputo Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  39. ^ Patrick Creadon entry at imdb.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  40. ^ Patrick Creadon Hall of Fame biography; accessed 16 August 2008
  41. ^ Amiee Garcia filmography @imdb.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  42. ^ Aimee Garcia Hall of Fame biography; accessed 16 August 2008
  43. ^ Batavia native pens Bruce Willis movie, Leslie Hague, 2 September 2007 Daily Herald; accessed 16 August 2008
  44. ^ Kevin Jakubowski filmography @imdb.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  45. ^ a b c d e f g Fenwick Distinguished Alumni, weblink
  46. ^ Fenwick, The Magazine, Summer 2009
  47. ^ Bates Battaglia Page (Toronto Maple Leaves); accessed 16 August 2008
  48. ^ Blackhawks totally lacking in 4-1 loss to Hurricanes, Tim Sassone, March 2000, Daily Herald; accessed 16 August 2008
  49. ^ John J. Lattner Fenwick Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  50. ^ Setting the Standard Aug. 29, 2007, Tim Stablein, ElmwoodPark-Leaves; accessed 16 August 2008
  51. ^ John Lattner's page at the College Football Hall of Fame; accessed 16 August 2008
  52. ^ Corey Maggette Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  53. ^ Corey Maggette career stats @nba.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  54. ^ Corey Maggette Player Statistics 2008-2009; accessed 9 March 2009
  55. ^ Fenwick alumni update on Ben Pozio; accessed 16 August 2008
  56. ^ Ben Ponzio's profile @pokerlistings.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  57. ^ Mike Rabold bio & stats @databasefootball.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  58. ^ Dave Schrage Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  59. ^ Dave Schrage bio at und.cstv.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  60. ^ Ken Sitzberger Hall of Fame bio; accessed 16 August 2008
  61. ^ Ken Sitzberger bio from the International Swimming Hall of Fame; accessed 16 August 2008
  62. ^ Marques Sullivan stats & bio @databasefootball.com; accessed 16 August 2008
  63. ^ John Barron Hall of Fame bio
  64. ^ a b Calling It Quits May 20, 1985, John S. Demott, Time Magazine
  65. ^ Bernard Brennan Hall of Fame bio
  66. ^ Edward Brennan Hall of Fame bio
  67. ^ Former Sears CEO Edward Brennan dies at 73, Dec. 29, 2007 USA Today
  68. ^ Dan Brutto bio @ups.com
  69. ^ Dan Brutto Hall of Fame bio
  70. ^ Bernard Dan bio @cbot.com
  71. ^ A.G. Lafley bio @pg.com
  72. ^ A.G. Lafley Hall of Fame bio
  73. ^ Michael Quinlan Hall of Fame bio
  74. ^ Michael R. Quinlan bio @ forbes.com
  75. ^ "NBC5, NBC5.com General Information, Address - About Us News Story - WMAQ". Sun-Times News Group. 2007. http://www.nbc5.com/station/1195110/detail.html. Retrieved 2007-05-30.  
  76. ^ "Wisconsin Approaches Coryell for Grid Coach". Chicago Tribune. 5 December 1969. pp. C1. http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=2&did=577663092&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1250398416&clientId=68442. Retrieved 16 August 2009. "It was revealed earlier today that Hirsch also talked with UCLA Assistant Coach John Jardine ... Before that, he coached at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill. and compiled a 51-6-1 record ..."  
  77. ^ Past recipients from the Golden Apple Foundation; accessed 16 August 2008

Additional information

External links

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