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Brophy Roundup

The Student News Site of Brophy College Preparatory

Brophy Roundup

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    Administration committed to all-male Brophy experience

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    Jackson Stack ’25

    All-male schooling has been a staple of Jesuit education for centuries, but with schools such as Loyola High School in Montreal and Jesuit High School in Oregon recently opening the door to women as previously all-male, Jesuit high schools, the question has to be asked: Why is Brophy staying with single-sex education?

    “There is a strong demand for the type of education we are providing, an all-male, Jesuit, Catholic, college prep education,” said Principal Mr. Jim Bopp. “As long as there’s a desire and demand for that at the level we experience it, I don’t think we will ever really think about deviating from that.”

    However, this demand is not the only reason for the commitment to this education. Mr. Bopp said that it came down to Brophy’s history, legacy, and the existing number of male applicants to the school, 40% of which must be turned down each year.

    According to Mr. Bopp, one of the main reasons a school shifts to mixed-sex education is because of a dip in admissions, but that has never been the case for Brophy. Accepting women would mean that Brophy would have to lower the acceptance rate to 30% to maintain class size. 

    “It’s hard to even begin a conversation or even an imaginative exercise about taking the current number of spaces available and cutting it in half when there’s already more demand than we’re able to meet with the boys here,” said President Mr. Bob Ryan

    He said that the unique education type and quality of brotherhood on campus is a big part of what makes Brophy’s all-male education so valuable.

    “Boys here are more open with each other than is typical in a lot of other schools, and I think there’s a sense of trust and openness that is the result of the all-male environment here that I don’t know would be as apparent if it were a coed school,” Mr. Ryan said when asked about how Brophy compensates for losing half of the perspectives typically seen in coed education.

    Although Brophy administration intends to keep Brophy a single-sex school, both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Bopp expressed a desire for closer integration between Brophy and Xavier students. “It would be difficult to think about doing anything separate from that partnership [with Xavier],” Mr. Bopp said.

    The block schedule stopped the exchange between students, something that was prevalent in years prior to the schedule change. According to Mr. Ryan, Brophy had been attempting to go to the block schedule for upwards of ten years but never committed to it until after COVID because of Xavier’s conflicting schedule.

    “There isn’t a perfect solution that we see, but the benefits of the block schedule are such that we wanted to go in that direction,” Mr. Ryan said about the reason for switching after receiving feedback from students’ and teachers’ experiences with the block schedule.

    There may be a time in the future when Brophy and Xavier get back to mutual classes, according to Mr. Ryan, but there is no current plan for that exchange between schools. 

    The current environment is what allows students to grow and develop a community in the way that makes a Brophy education so valuable. Mr. Bopp said the legacy of all-male education and the current community at Brophy might not be the same if the student body was altered.

    Mr. Ryan said that the all-male environment at Brophy guides its students to a healthy and holy sense of what it means to be a man and defines what it means to be masculine. He said, “A lot of what we do is intentionally designed to flip the paradigm.”

    Brophy is in a unique position to offer and give that experience to its students, according to Mr. Ryan.

    Mr. Bopp said this style of education is unique within the community and that the brotherhood is what makes the education so valuable and desired by the students and teachers.

    The Brophy administration doesn’t plan to accept women any time soon, but there are hopes for mixed classrooms in the future.

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