High School Days at Gonzaga: School Activities 1925 to 1927

Keith B. MacDonald, attended Gonzaga High School from 1925 to 1929.  Gonzaga is located in Spokane, Washington. Apparently the high school is still around but now it is at different location than the university campus.

Wikipedia called it a preparatory school in this following article:


The Gonzaga University did have a history section on its website that is pretty informative.


In 2002, I traveled to Spokane with my husband and we visited the Foley Special Collections department of the John Kennedy Library at Gonzaga University.  There I did research on my father’s school days and will present my findings in future posts.

The John Kennedy Library at Gonzaga

The John Kennedy Library at Gonzaga

Among his personal possessions was the Gonzaga High School Department, Spokane, Washington catalogue which covers the years 1925 to 1926 and announcements for the 1925 to 1926 year.

Gonzaga High School Catalogue 1925 to 1926

Gonzaga High School Catalogue 1925 to 1926

This catalogue is about 46+ pages and in very good condition. It is also quite detailed in all aspects of the school.  This is the only catalogue that he had preserved.

Here is the calendar for the 1926 to 1927 year (click on the photo to open it).

1926-1927 Gonzaga High School Year.

1926-1927 Gonzaga High School Year.

This catalogue has the following contents and I thought is might be interesting to see what kinds of things my father had to prepare himself for in order to attend this school.  I don’t see much difference from my experience at high school and college 38+ years later.  The only additional areas of note are, of course, the religious instruction and instead of “rules of conduct” he was given rules for gentlemanly behavior.  

Here is a summary:

1.  Calendar 1926-1927 – see above photograph.

2.  Gonzaga High School Department

3. Faculty a list of the persons who instructed the students.

4.  General Information

Gonzaga High School is a preparatory department to the Gonzaga University. It is located on the same grounds as the University, in the city of Spokane, conducted by members of the Society of Jesus as a boarding and day school for boys and young men.  It offers a four-year course made up of the standard high school subjects and is fully accredited by the State Board of Education, the University of Washington and the Catholic Education Association.

5. History and Organization which describes the buildings and campus, the St. Aloysius Church which is apparently still operating and offering mass at Gonzaga. The new, at that time, DeSmet Hall and its description.

6.  System of Education

7.  Admission:  Requires a testimonial of good character. certificate of completion for the eighth grade and if unable to present a certificate they must complete satisfactory examinations in English, Arithmetic, History, Geography.

8. Advanced standing for those in High School and graduation which requires sixteen units.

9.  High School Administration:

  • The Scholastic year begins in September and closes in mid June, two semesters first ending in February
  • Reports go the parents for their review
  • Testimonials for Good Conduct and Application to study are given out
  • Examinations must be at least 70%
  • Promotions, Prizes and Distinctions which include metals, class prizes etc.,
  • High School Graduation awarded for satisfactorily completing 16 credits.
  • Special help from instructors at request of the student
  • Discipline: to develop strength of character and to promote gentlemanly deportment, no profanity, indecent publications or pictures, no use of tobacco or alcohol.
  • Moral and Religious Training which requires Catholic students to follow the course of Christian Doctrine, to make the annual retreat, and to receive Sacraments at least once a month.
  • Physical Training which requires satisfactory standing in studies as a condition to playing on teams
  • Politeness means gentlemenly behavior, neat and clean, polite to companions and respectful of superiors
  • Co-operation means that the parents or wards of the students make sure they study and get to class on time.

10. Rules and Regulations, Divisions of the student Body; boarding students, Day students – see below.

11.  Daily Order for Boarding Students and Day Students.  See below.

Daily Order for Students

Daily Order for Students

Based on the economic situation of my Dad’s family which according to family lore was poor, I assume he was a day student.

12. Expenses: Rates for Gonzaga High School, Extra Charges, Rebates, Student Activities Fund, Private Rooms; Students Outfit for Boarding students, Further remarks, Scholarships.

Expenses for the School

Expenses for the School

13.  Present needs of Gonzaga – a request for monetary assistance to the school.

14.  Course of Studies – Remarks on the Curriculum

A little bit of the course of Study

A little bit of the course of Study

15.  First Year, Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year, Business Course

16.  High School Organizations: Associate Student Body, Senior HS Soldality, Junior HS Soldality, Senior Academic Debating Society, St. John Berchman’s Sanctuary Society, Dramatic Club, “G” Club, The Annual Staff.

17.  High School Graduation for June 10, 1926 at 2 pm.

18. Awarding of High School Prizes a list, see photo below for awards given.

19.  Register of Students a list of names.  Keith is listed under “McDonald” page 40, second column.

Register of Students 1925 page 1

Register of Students 1925 page 1

Register of Students pge 2

Register of Students page 2 – Keith on left page second column

Register of Students 1925

Register of Students 1925 – page 3

20. Some events for the year of 1925 to 1926

Events for 1925-1926

Events for 1925-1926

Events 1925-1926 pg 2

Events 1925-1926 pg 2

It seems that Gonzaga High School was well run and planned out for the students.  How did he get to school, well, he either walked from E. Nora Street to the school or rode a bike. Gonzaga is northeast of the downtown area of Spokane. Felts Field was quite a ways away from their house.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here: bjmcdonell@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Gonzaga University Special Collections Kennedy Library, Keith B. MacDonald, Spokane County, Spokane the city, Washington State and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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