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Heritage Collaboration Project
Benedictine Heritage Project
Collaboration by Faculty, Staff, Monks, Alumni, and Parents
 
Welcome to the Online Benedictine Heritage Project page.
 
This section allows our constituents to contribute content to the website.  Consituents may directly edit this page to add their memories of Benet Academy and their knowledge of our history. 
 
Your content may include significant events, building changes, accomplishments, faculty/staff additions.  You may add content to the bottom bullet point and the administrator will reinsert chronologically.  Your photos may be submitted using the form at the bottom.
 
The page is organized in four sections:
Section One - Chronological Highlights
Section Two - Motto, Fight song, and Alma Mater
Section Three - Faculty, & Staff
Section Four - Photo uploas
 
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Section One - Chronological Highlights
 
1887-1946
Orphanage Years & Early school years
  • 1887 St. Procopius College Academy (a high school) founded in Chicago— continuing the 1,500 year tradition of Benedictines as educators.
    • Fr. Procopius Neuzil, O.S.B. the first rector and instructor (later the third Abbot of the Monestary), registers the first two students: Charles Novotny and John Lorenz on March 2, 1887.
  • 1896 St. Procopius monks purchased 104 acres in Lisle for the future home of the college, seminary, and abbey.
  • 1898 First building, a five-room frame house, built for the St. Joseph Bohemian Orphanage erected in Lisle.
  • 1899 March 14—Twelve young Bohemians were moved from their Chicago Polish Orphanage to St. Joseph. St. Joseph begins its useful work under the supervision of the Benedictine Sisters.
  • 1900 Benedictines purchase property for the College and the Abbey in Lisle. St. Procopius College building cornerstone laid
  • 1901 St. Procopius College Academy moves to Lisle, Illinois.  School is located on what is now the Benedictine University campus.
  • 1904 High School classes begin. Tuition for five months cost US$80 until 1909, when it was increased to US$100 per semester
  • 1910 St. Joseph Hall, the main building of the orphanage and grammar school, is erected. It served then and now as the administration building.
  • 1912 Benet Hall built. It served as the dormitory and eventual boarding facility before being converted into classrooms.
  • 1921 Power house and built to provide electric light and storage for machinery providing water.
  • 1926 Sacred Heart Monastery establishes Sacred Heart Academy young women’s school.
  • 1938 Gymnasium built for St. Joseph hall. 
1947-1956
St. Procopius College and College Academy
  • 1954 Madonna Hall and Petru Hall (Fr. Gilbert, chaplain residence) built
  • 1956  St. Joseph Bohemian Orphanage closes and is renamed St. Procopius Academy (a high school).
  • 1956  St. Procopius College continues operations. Schools move to separate buildings on the corners of Maple and College.
  • September, 1956, classes begin at St. Procopius Academy high school on the new 2200 Maple Avenue campus across the street from the college.
St. Procopius Academy High School
1957
  • May '57  St. Procopius Academy graduates its first class on the new campus. 
  • St. Procopius is an all-boy school with full-time boarders and daily commuters. 
  • The boarders affectionately refer to the commuters as "day hops".
  • The snack bar "Dintys" was managed by a young priest named Fr. Jude Randall, O.S.B.
  • 25 faculty and 360 students enrolled; 150 "freshies"
  • Juniors and seniors given responsibility monitor discipline
  • Senior class shows unity and support - 50-80% in attendance at any given game.
  • Sacred Heart socials 
  • Academy Student Government (A.S.G.) continues on the new campus; Robert Sladek, president
  • A.S.G. assesses $5 student tax for funding
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
  • St. Martin Hall Built
  • St. Martin Hall was named for St. Martin de Porres by then principal, Abbot Thomas Havlik.  Martin de Porres (1579-1639)  was devoted to the service of the poor and he established an orphanage.  Abbot Thomas recognized that the work of St. Martin fit with the financial condition of the school and the history the campus. 
1964
1965
1966
  • St. Procopius Academy and Sacred Heart Academy, the all-girls school founded in 1926 by the Sisters of St. Benedict, face dwindling enrollment and financial pressure.
  • St. Procopius Abbot Daniel Kucera, O.S.B. casts the tie-breaking vote to keep St. Procopius Academy open.
1967
  • May, 1967 St. Procopius graduates its last all-boy class.
  • Summer, 1967, St. Procopius Academy boys school becomes co-ed; the Sacred Heart Academy girls school moves to the campus across the street from their SHA location.
  • Fall, 1967, classes begin for the newly named, co-educational Benet Academy.
1968
  • May, 1968  Benet Academy graduates its first co-educational class.  173 students
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
  • St. Thomas Hall Built. 
  • St. Thomas was funded by a private donor, Mr. Frederick Regnery - parent of alumnus Fred Regnery '68, and named in honor of Abbot Thomas Havlik.
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
  • St. Mary's Hall  (unused building on north end of campus) was demolished to make room for parking and fields to accommodate expanded enrollment.
  • Ground breaking for new gymnasium.
1994
  • May, 1994 new gymnasium opened.  The campaign raised $3 million in private donations to fund the project.
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
  • Benet begins construction of a new 22,000 square-foot performing arts center at the east end of the school and the renovation of the assembly hall on the 3rd floor of St. Joseph Hall to transform it back to a chapel. 
  • Capital Campaign 2, Completing the Picture, was so named for visual bookend that the performing arts center provided at the opposite end of the campus from the new gym; and for the crowing of the central wing with the chapel. The campaign raised $6.5 million in private donations to fund the project which also included $.5 million for technology advancements in the classrooms.
  • Benetonline.org website is developed and enables online event registrations and online donation and transaction processing.
2001
  • April, 2001, St. Daniel Hall performing arts center grand opening
  • St. Daniel Hall is named after Abbot Daniel Kucera (brother of Fr. Edward Kucera, O.S.B.) and St. Daniel.  Abbot Daniel was honored for his early-years, tie-breaking vote to keep the then financially struggling St. Procopius Academy open when other apostolates were closed (Národ (The Nation), Chicago, IL daily newspaper and the seminary were closed).
  • May, 2001 The 100th Commencement program of St. Procopius.
2002
  • February, 2002 The Chapel of Saint Thérèse - The "Little Flower" is named through a naming opportunity. St. Thérèse was selected as it is the donor's favorite saint.
2003
2004
2005
  • Capital Campaign 3 - Building Our Benedictine Heritage launches with a keystone new science wing.  Then name of the campaign reflects the focus of future major gift initiatives to preserve the Benedictine Heritage of Benet and St. Procopius Academy. 
2006
2007
  • May, 2007 groundbreaking on the new $16 million science wing and student activity center. The 50,000 square-foot building adds extra corridors to ease hall traffic and features a cafeteria larger than the previous one. The basement provides storage space and sometimes serves as a testing area for Advanced Placement exams. The building also houses four combination classrooms and laboratories for biology and earth science classes, three chemistry classrooms, and two chemistry labs.
  • Benet Academy celebrates its first 50-year jubilee on the current campus with the Class of 1957.

2008

  • Opening and dedication of St. Jude Hall (science wing, cafeteria, and activity center). 
  • The building is named for Fr. Jude Randall, O.S.B., President of Benet Academy and 1951 alumnus.  Fr. Jude conducted over a thousand personal visits to raise funds for Benet's three capital campaigns.
2009
  • Class of 1961 alumni start a new Faculty Development fund with the goal of naming the fund for the late Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B., teacher and mentor from 1957-1967.
2010
2011

Section Two - Motto, Fight song, and Alma Mater

Motto:
Ora Et Labora
Prayer and Work
Fight Song: Proco years
by: Andrew Marchese
 
Go, Proco, Go
Get you going all you loyal boys From Proco.

Go Red & White
Every day and every night
We're gonna fight ...
Fight ... fight ... fight

Our team will shine ...
On the court or on the field
We're all together.

We pledge our loyalty
On the road to victory
For Proco
Go ... go ... go.
Fight Song: Benet Academy
by: Andrew Marchese
 
Go, Redwings, Go
Get you going all you loyal
Benet Redwings.
 
Go Red & White
Every day and every night
We're gonna fight...
Fight...fight...fight.
 
Our team will shine
On the court or on the field
We're all together
 
We pledge our loyalty
On the road to victory
For B-E-N-E-T
Alma Mater
by: Andrew Marchese
 
Red and White our Banners fly,
So all may see and tell,
 
Of open fields that all surround,
The place where friendships dwell
(changed from Redwings dwell)
 
Work and Pray our motto be, in all that we may do, our Alma Mater Benet

Hail to You.
Section Three - Faculty & Staff
Faculty & staff - listed alphabetically; start year of service with end year when noted; vitae
Barwig, Fr. Regis, O.S.B.; 1957 -; English
Baumgartner, Ronald; 1957 - ; Physical Education, Mathematics, Athletic Director
Berg, Hank; 1957 -; Physical Education, English, Economics
Bradley, Fr. Patrick, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Geometry
Clifford, Rollin; 1957 - ; band conductor
Dennerlein, Donald; 1957-2004; Mathematics, Chemistry
Douthitt, James; 1957 - ;Latin, English
Havlik, Fr. Thomas, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Religion, Procopian yearbook
Honnor, Fr. Paschal, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Latin, Religion, Ministry
Komechak, Fr. Michael, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; English, School paper moderator   
Kucera, Fr. Edward, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; History, Athletic Director
Kucera, Fr. Henry, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; English
Laketek, Fr. Gilbert, O.S.B.; 1957; Chaplain; Latin
Laketek, Fr. Victor, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Latin
Loehman, Thomas; 1957 - ; Science
Machacek, Fr. Alexius, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Religion
Marceau, Fr. Timothy, O.S.B.; 1957; Head prefect, Religion
Petrik, Fr. Paul, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; English
Rigovsky, Fr. Ronald, O.S.B.;  1957 - ; English,
Rychtarik, Mr. Albert; 1957 - ; Mathematics, Physics
Saul, Fr. James, O.S.B.; 1957; Sophomore prefect, infirmarian
Schulgen, Rose; 1957 ; Principal Fr. Thomas' secretary
Shonka, Fr. Emilian, O.S.B.; 1957 - Public Speaking
Shonka, Marie; 1957 - ; Typing
Skvarla, Fr. Norbert, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; History
Spoden, Fr. Justin, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Biology, German
Trelo, Fr. Virgil, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Algebra
Zigmond, Fr. Kenneth, O.S.B.; 1957 - ; Latin
Uzdrowski, Fr. Mel, O.S.B.; 1957; Librarian and freshman prefect 

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