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In the background one can see the dome and spires of St. Ignatius Church, the Jesuit chapel on “The Hilltop,” the main University of San Francisco campus. The city’s first St. Ignatius Church was founded in 1855 by Father Anthony Maraschi, who had arrived there the year before to found a church and school. The church was a small wood-frame structure on Market Street, next to the one-room St. Ignatius Academy (which was chartered in 1859 as St. Ignatius College). The original curriculum included Greek, Spanish, Latin, (all taught by Maraschi), English, French, Italian, algebra, arithmetic, history, geography, elocution, and bookkeeping. In addition to being the church’s pastor, Maraschi was the school’s president and treasurer. In 1862 the institutions were rebuilt and enlarged, and Maraschi turned the presidency over to Nicholas Congiato, though he continued to supervise its finances. However, a dispute with Joseph Alemany (a Dominican who had become the first American bishop in California 1850 and then the first archbishop of San Francisco in 1853) led to St. Ignatius being stripped of its parish status from 1863 to 1994. The college and its chapel moved in 1880 to the spot where the Davies Symphony Hall now stands; the new church could accommodate 4,00 worshippers, and by 1883 the college was the largest Jesuit school in the US. But after the1906 San Francisco earthquake, the campus moved to “The Shirt Factory” near Golden Gate Park, where it remained for the next 21 years, though the chapel (the 5th St. Ignatius Church) relocated two blocks north. Architect Charles J. I. Devlin began drawing plans in 1909 as a mix of Italian Renaissance and Baroque styles built on the floorplan of an ancient Roman basilica; construction took place between 1910 and 1914; subsequently,. 4 of its alcoves were converted into the Manresa Gallery of art. In 1927 the college moved to its current location, the site of a former Masonic cemetery, and human remains continue to be unearthed when new foundations are excavated. The same year it began admitting women to its evening programs in business and law. The school became the University of San Francisco in 1930 and became fully coeducational in 1964. In 1969, the high school division of the old academy moved to the western part of the city as St. Ignatius College Preparatory.
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