Don Bosco Prep, founded in 1915, is a private, Catholic, college preparatory high school for young men, grades 9 through 12. Administered by the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, a religious order of priests and brothers, Don Bosco Prep offers rigorous academics at the AP, honors and college preparatory levels. Broad offerings are also provided in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics. The 900 students attending Don Bosco Prep represent over 150 towns throughout the metropolitan area. The Don Bosco Prep campus is located on 35 acres in Ramsey, NJ. The school celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2015.
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Don Bosco Prep: 2016 Fact Sheet
A proud history
Named in honor of 19th century Saint John Bosco of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, Don Bosco Preparatory High School (Don Bosco Prep) provides young men with a high-quality Roman Catholic spiritual education through its mission to develop strong moral ethics and a pathway to the country’s best colleges. It was founded in Ramsey, New Jersey after a fire destroyed the original Don Bosco Polish Institute, a Salesian school for Polish boys in Hawthorne, New York. Reverend Robert Wieczorek, the first director, was one of the four co-founders of the eventual Don Bosco Prep.
From its humble beginnings as a wooden farm house, the Don Bosco Prep campus now comprises three academic buildings and two athletic complexes situated on 35 park-like acres. As the administration and board of trustees look ahead to the next century, plans are to greatly expand the campus as well as Don Bosco Prep’s scholarship endowments to meet the needs of current and future generations of students.
Strong educational and moral philosophy
As a Salesian school, the Don Bosco Prep philosophy is rooted in the Society’s three educational pillars: reason, religion and kindness. The school has always emphasized social justice, community service, personal responsibility and leadership as part of its values. Strong academics, the development of students’ intellectual curiosity and self-discovery are reflected in the consistently high academic achievement of the student body. Recognizing the need for a well-rounded student and the importance of artistic expression, the school has historically fostered pursuit of the fine and performing arts. Athletics also plays an important role in student life, with championship teams in several sports.
A century of milestones
- 1915 – The school opened for Polish boarding students on April 3, 1915.
- 1917 – The first graduation takes place. Increased enrollment necessitates the construction of the south wing to house the expanded Mary, Help of Christians Chapel and an auditorium.
- 1921 – North wing (St. John’s Hall) is built with classrooms and a gym below. The gym was converted into a library in 1988 and the chapel was renovated in 1990 and 2012.
- 1954 – As a result of the school’s expansion to include students of all backgrounds and day students, Immaculata Hall is built with many new classrooms, a large cafeteria and spacious gym.
- 1969– De Sales Hall is added with its beautiful auditorium, classrooms and lecture halls, science labs, and administrative offices.
- 1972 –Don Bosco Prep, with the generosity of the Granatell family, builds the Charles I. Granatell Athletic Stadium and Track.Turf fields were installed in 2012 for baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and track.
- 2000-2002 – Upgrades are made to the library, entranceways and courtyard, guidance center, and fine arts room. /li>
- 2011-2012 – Following the formation of a long-term strategic plan, new initiatives are begun: renovation of the campus in 2011, remodeled classrooms and SMART boards in 2012, and improvements to the lower and upper athletic fields.
Centennial celebration honors the past, builds for the future
In 2015, Don Bosco Prep celebrated its first 100 years with a renewed commitment to its mission to empower and prepare young men for the future.
The centennial year featured several exciting programs, events and fundraising activities designed to make a high-quality Don Bosco education available and accessible to greater numbers of young men. The Centennial Campaign, which officially kicked off on January 30, 2015 at the Feast of Don Bosco, has two critical fundraising goals that will transform Don Bosco Prep.
- Create a multiphase renovation and expansion of the current facilities on campus. The school hired world-renowned architects and designers, Michael Graves Architecture & Design to develop plans that encompass a conveniently located prayer chapel, 16 additional classrooms, cafeteria, bookstore, office space, an auxiliary gymnasium, and locker rooms, as well as renovation and repurposing of current space. This will enable Don Bosco Prep to reduce class size, offer a more productive teaching/learning environment and continue to upgrade its classroom technology and facilities. The project will be implemented in three phases: Phase One will address parking; Phase Two involves construction of the new multi-purpose facility, Savio Hall, and chapel; and Phase Three will be renovating existing buildings. If all goes according to plan, the project will be completed by the summer of 2018.
- Establish and expand its endowment in order to enhance its financial aid program, support faculty, and ensure that Don Bosco Prep is able to respond to the changing needs of its students in perpetuity.
The Centennial Campaign—the largest in the school’s history—has a goal of $10 million. Surpassing this goal will allow Don Bosco Prep to fund all of the identified renovations as well as strategically grow the endowment.