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Duquesne University Preparatory School Collection

Identifier: MSS UNIV-DUPrep


  • 1888 - 1984


6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Duquesne University was founded as the Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Ghost in October of 1878. Initially the College functioned as both a prep school and a college. The prep school consisted of both a grammar school and a high school and accepted students as young as eight years old. For 33 years the Prep School operated as such until 1911 when the College was granted University status and changed it's name to Duquesne University. It was recommended at that time that the school no longer accept grammar school aged students and instead only operate a high school. The high school continued to thrive and continued to share the facilities with the University. Enrollment remained high as the prep school became well established and developed a good reputation in the city. It was also the largest catholic school in the diocese and by 1928 the prep school had an enrollment of 720. The effects of the depression were dramatic and by 1933 the enrollment dipped to 247. There were also other factors that caused hardship in the prep school including the opening of Pittsbugh Central Catholic in 1927. The diocese created this high school for boys as a tuition-free school and the Duquesne prep school had a difficult competing for students. In addition, the Middle States accrediting association had suggested the University should maintain a high school in conjunction with its other operations. The University was willing to comply and attempted to distance itself from the other operations. The University was willing to comply and attempted to distance itself from the prep school by purchasing a building on Webster and Seventh Avenues in the city and operating the school from there. The school moved in 1937, however, it did not stop the declining enrollment as another diocesan sponsored high school, North Catholic, opened shortly afterward. When enrollment reached a low of 100 in 1940, the Prep School was closed in the spring of 1941.

Duquesne University Preparatory School Collection
Originally processed by Paul Demilio and then re-processed by Jona Dumbleton, June 2011
June 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository