Bellarmine College Preparatory

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Bellarmine College Preparatory
960 West Hedding Street


Coordinates 37°20′32″N 121°55′07″W / 37.342172°N 121.918542°W / 37.342172; -121.918542Coordinates: 37°20′32″N 121°55′07″W / 37.342172°N 121.918542°W / 37.342172; -121.918542
Type Private, College-prep, Day
Motto Men for and with Others [1]
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Patron saint(s) Robert Bellarmine
Established 1851; 168 years ago (1851)
Founder Fr. John Nobili, S.J.
Status Active
CEEB code 053080
President Chris Meyercord
Principal Kristina Luscher
Faculty 180 lay, 11 Jesuits
Grades 9-12
Gender Men
Enrollment 1,625 (2009–2010)
Average class size 25.5
Student to teacher ratio 12.3:1
Campus size 25 acres (100,000 m2)
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue      and      White
Athletics 34 teams in 13 sports
Athletics conference West Catholic Athletic League (most sports)
Peninsula Athletic League (in lacrosse)
Skyhawk Conference (in rugby)
Mascot Bellarmine Bell
Team name Bells
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Publication Bellarmine Political Review (newsmagazine)
Written Echo
(literary/art magazine)
Newspaper The Bell Online
Yearbook The Carillon
Endowment US$57.6 million
Tuition US$20,350 (2017–2018)

Bellarmine College Preparatory is a private, Jesuit, all-male preparatory school in the College Park neighborhood of San Jose, California. Founded in 1851, Bellarmine and its sister San Jose Catholic girls school, Notre Dame High School, are the oldest secondary schools in the state.[citation needed]

Bellarmine is a Catholic school within the Diocese of San Jose[9] and sponsored by the Society of Jesus.


Bellarmine has its origin in 1851[10] when Father John Nobili, S.J., founded Santa Clara College for elementary, secondary, and college age students. This structure continued until 1903 when the elementary grades were discontinued.

In 1912 Santa Clara College became Santa Clara University and the high school division became Santa Clara Prep. In November 1925, Santa Clara Prep purchased the old campus of the College of the Pacific in the College Park neighborhood of San Jose for $77,500 and moved from the Santa Clara University campus to its new location. The school colors changed from the red and white of Santa Clara University to blue and white to honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In 1926 the school opened its doors with only 200 registered students. At the same time, its name was changed to Bellarmine at the prompting of Archbishop of San Francisco Edward Joseph Hanna, who suggested that the school honor Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit of the sixteenth century who had recently been canonized a saint and declared a Doctor of the Church.

The oldest building on campus is Berchmans Hall and was used as a dorm for seniors. The building is named for St. John Berchmans, a Jesuit seminarian who died in 1621. The house was built for Charles B. Polhemus[11] in 1916 and was originally at Stockton Avenue and Taylor (then called Polhemus) before being purchased and moved by the school to its current location at Elm Street and Hedding in 1946.

For almost 20 years the number of students remained at 200 until the school needed to increase its student population and improve its campus buildings. Fr. Gerald Sugrue, S.J., was given this task and began the process which would lead the school into the post-war era. The old College of the Pacific buildings were replaced by new classroom buildings, the Schott Academic Center, a library, St. Robert's Jesuit Residence Hall, Vincent O'Donnell Residence Hall, Samuel L. Liccardo Center, Wayne Valley Memorial Gymnasium, James A. Carney Science Center, the Leontyne Chapel, and Matthewson Hall. Bellarmine was a boarding school until the 1982–1983 academic year, when the O'Donnell dormitory was converted to classroom and administrative functions. Bellarmine's enrollment has grown to more than 1,500 students from all parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2001, Bellarmine celebrated 150 years of educating young men in the Jesuit tradition. In 2010, the Sobrato Center for the Humanities and the Arts was opened, a building that includes numerous classrooms and a new theater. Also in 2010, the Schott Academic Center was demolished, and at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year Bellarmine dedicated its new Lorry I. Lokey Center, housing math, religious studies, and social science courses. A new student life center that contains counseling and resource centers opened in 2012. A newly renovated baseball diamond opened in 2013 and in 2014 a new wrestling building erected from where the old fitness center stood.


The curriculum requires coursework in English, mathematics, social studies, science, foreign language, fine arts, physical education, and theology, while additional courses in computer science are available. Bellarmine also provides an honors and Advanced Placement program, preparing students to take more than 24 AP tests.


The Bellarmine Bells field 34 teams in 13 sports in the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) of the CIF Central Coast Section. Sports include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, water polo, swimming, diving, lacrosse, tennis, cross country, golf, wrestling, track and field, and ice hockey. As of the 2009-10 school year, Bellarmine added rugby as a club team, competing in spring in the Skyhawk Conference. The campus includes an outdoor swimming pool, baseball diamond, and gymnasium, along with new facilities for soccer, football, and all-weather track. Since 1981, Bellarmine leads CIF Central Coast Section schools with 115 Division 1 titles.

The swimming team won the California state championship in 2012.[12]

Spirituality and service

Central to Bellarmine's mission is its Campus Ministry and its Christian Service Program. Campus Ministry, in the tradition of Jesuit spirituality, offers the Freshmen Retreat, one-day Sophomore Breakaways, and four-day Junior and Senior Kairos, the capstone of the Bellarmine retreat experience. There are also weekend Mother/Son and Father/Son retreats, the Silent Retreat, and the 4th Day Retreat. Campus Ministry further provides personal counseling, assists in student-sponsored monthly liturgies, guides the Student Campus Ministry Team, leads Christian Life Communities, sets up daily Mass and morning prayer, and fosters spirituality among Bellarmine's staff and faculty.

The Christian Service Program (CSP) provides each student opportunities to engage directly with marginalized youth, the physically and mentally disabled, and the socio-economically disadvantaged. Students are required to complete 75 hours of service before graduation, including an extensive senior service project. CSP also oversees service learning in the school curriculum, administers service projects for alumni, faculty, and staff, and guides the student-run CSP Corps. Members of CSP run several Bellarmine clubs which focus on organizing fundraisers and events for the Bellarmine community. Direct experience and compassionate human interaction are emphasized in Bellarmine's immersion trips to Guaymas, Haiti, Tijuana, Uruguay, downtown San Jose, rural Salinas, and El Salvador. CSP trips have also included Los Angeles, Guatemala, Appalachia, Central Mexico, India, and Taiwan.

Co-curricular program

Bellarmine's co-curricular program offers nearly 150 different student groups and clubs emphasizing the arts, athletics, hobbies, diversity, leadership, service, scholastics and student government. The intramural athletic program offers touch football, dodgeball, basketball, softball, and rugby.

Speech and debate

With over 170 participants, speech and debate has experienced success at the local and national levels. In 1994, Bellarmine won the team speech and debate National Forensic League Championship in Kansas City, MO. In 2003 and 2004 the team won the California State Championship, then came in second in the state in 2005 when it was ranked as one of the top two teams in the nation. In 2006, its policy debate team captured the National Championship. For nine years, 2006-2014, Bellarmine's Speech and Debate program won the California State Championship. [13] Bellarmine also competes against local schools in the Coast Forensic League.[14] In 2009, it reached the final round of the Tournament of Champions.[15]

Fine arts

In addition to course electives in painting, photography, ceramics, art history, sculpture, drawing, and graphic design, Bellarmine supports student groups including a cappella and improvisational. Music electives include symphonic band, lab band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, wind ensemble, music appreciation, and choir. The symphonic band, percussion ensemble, and jazz ensemble have won honors and in the Heritage Festival in Los Angeles the Bells won 1st place in symphonic band, 1st and 2nd place in percussion ensemble (at the most advanced level), and the sweepstakes award for highest overall score.[citation needed] Bellarmine also awards national music awards including the John Philip Sousa Award and the Louis Armstrong Award. Student concerts often showcase these groups along with other student bands. Over 100 students participate in the Theater Arts program which produces a fall drama, winter musical, and spring comedy. Students also get a chance to display their film talents in the Bellarmine Film Festival in April and May.

Freshman Experience program

Established during the 2006–2007 school year, Bellarmine's Freshman Experience program is composed of the new Big Brother program and the longstanding Freshman Retreat. For the Big Brother program upperclassmen are selected to act as guides and advisers to the incoming freshmen, also joining them on the Freshman Retreat. Each fall a day-long retreat introduces freshmen to the retreat experience and to Bellarmine's emphasis on "brotherhood." The retreat also focuses on team-building and spiritual growth, and on tips to relieve the stress of freshman year. Some big brothers help the director of the Freshman Experience to plan various activities throughout the school year.

Quiz Bowl

Bellarmine's Quiz Bowl team has been nationally successful and is coached by admissions counselor Chris Fleitas. In the Fall 2008 Knowledge Master Open competition, the team placed second in California and third in the world.[citation needed] In the Fall 2009 competition for the KMO, the Bellarmine team took second in California and eighth in the world, while their freshman team took first in the world for the junior high competition. In the Spring 2010 KMO competition, the Bellarmine team once again took second place in California and eleventh place globally, while the freshman team repeated as first globally in the junior high competition.[citation needed] The team won the 2008 Northern California NAQT State championship,[16] the 2009 Quiz Kids tournament, and the 2011 Quiz Kids tournament.[17] On December 10, 2010, Bellarmine achieved first place nationally for the first time. They did this with only 17 students on the KMO team, compared to second place Montgomery Blair's squad of 121. In addition, Bellarmine took 4th place at the 2010 NAQT High School National Championship Tournament, improving to 3rd place in 2011. In 2012, Bellarmine took 1st place at the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament. Bellarmine player Sameer Rai won the 2013 National History Bowl team competition playing by himself.[18]


The College Park Caltrain station is adjacent to the campus. The station is only served by 4 trains a day, timed to correspond with the school's hours. The school has lobbied Caltrain to avoid cutting service to the station.[19]


  • Bellarmine Art Magazine – also known as BAM, the annual art magazine presenting students' works over the year, published by Bellarmine's Creative Coalition (previously known as the Bellarmine Intergalactic Design Studio Club)
  • Bellarmine Political Review – also known as BPR, the newsmagazine covering news outside campus, produced by students
  • The Bell Online – the official student newspaper covering school news, produced by students.
  • The Carillon – the yearbook and news website covering school news, produced by students
  • Connections – a magazine published for the alumni, friends of the school, and parents of current students, replacing the parent magazine "The Bell News"
  • The Family Newsletter – produced by the Bellarmine Mothers' Guild, offers news of interest to the current students and their families
  • The Written Echo – a collection of various prose and poetry works from students; plans have been made to publish a joint edition with sister school Presentation High School.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Admissions - Bellarmine College Preparatory". Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  2. ^ "School administration". About Us. Bellarmine College Preparatory. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  3. ^ "Welcome". Admissions. Bellarmine College Preparatory. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  4. ^ "Achievements". Academics. Bellarmine College Preparatory. Archived from the original on 25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  5. ^ Martinez, Jennifer (2007-11-30). "Donations to same-sex schools show gender gap". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  6. ^ "Program". Athletics. Bellarmine College Preparatory. Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  7. ^ "Conference Affiliation". Athletics. Bellarmine College Preparatory. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  8. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Santa Clara University. "About SCU". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Oldest building at Bellarmine boasts long history in San Jose neighborhood". 13 August 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  12. ^ National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association
  13. ^ BCP news BCP archives BCP detail BCP
  14. ^ CFL
  15. ^ Westminister v. Bellarmine
  16. ^ "Best Thumbs in the West". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Bells Take Bay Area Quiz Kid 2009 Championship". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  18. ^ "News Archives". Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Gottshalk, Mary (March 24, 2011). "Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose campaigns to keep Caltrain station open". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Jim Harrington Oakland Tribune (6 May 2012). "Review: Bassnectar thrills hometown crowd in San Jose". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Connections (PDF). Winter 2007. pp. 26–29 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Site Has Moved". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Kevin Frandsen Statistics and History -". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Local guy Juan Gamboa legging it out with San Jose SaberCats". 24 March 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ “Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-1, Amendment No. 7, November 19, 2001, (page 49) [1]
  34. ^ ”How Jill Milan Got Hollywood in its Clutches,” Racked SF, February 10, 2015 [2]
  35. ^ "Francis Maka Bio - ARENAFOOTBALL.COM". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  36. ^ "Philippine Daily Inquirer - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  37. ^ a b "Metroactive Features - Bellarmine Preparatory School". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  38. ^ "Kevin McMahon profile". USA Track & Field.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Eric Thames Statistics and History -". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Meet the Associate Attorney General". Retrieved 24 January 2016.

External links

  • Bellarmine College Preparatory website
  • Bellarmine's Twitter Account
  • The Carillon - Documenting Bellarmine's History in photos and stories
  • Team 254 Cheesy Poofs Robotics Team at Bellarmine
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