About Damien » History

History

For over 60 years, Damien High School has been dedicated to the development and enrichment of high school boys in the San Gabriel Valley. With the spiritual guidance of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts, Damien has been developing Men of Service, Scholarship, and Faith since 1959.
Our History
 
Holy Names Academy, a boarding high school for girls in Pomona, closed its doors in June 1949. It was reopened by Monsignor Thomas P. English as a high school for both boys and girls of the surrounding parishes in September 1949. Staffed by the Felician Sisters, it was renamed “Pomona Catholic High School.”
 
After Bonita High School moved to its new campus on D Street in 1959, the Los Angeles Archdiocese purchased the old Bonita High School campus site here on Bonita Ave. The newly named “Pomona Catholic Boys High School” welcomed its first freshman class in September 1959.
 
Pomona Catholic Boys’ High School rapidly asserted itself as an institution of academic achievement. The school was accredited by the state agency of accreditation, the University of California, in 1962. It has, since then, enjoyed the privileges of acceptance as an honored place of learning. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted accreditation to the school for the maximum term in 1967, another merit our school is privileged to have continuously earned for over 60 years.
 
In 1967, the school changed its name to “Damien High School”, in honor of Saint Damien de Veuster, SS.CC., who spent and gave his life for the abandoned lepers of Molokai, Hawaii. His fellow religious order, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, has staffed and administered the school since its beginning.
 
The school has undergone extensive expansion and renovation since 1962. A newly constructed wing, which included eight classrooms and science labs, opened in 1962. Dick Larson Stadium (then-Spartan Stadium) was also completed the same year. Throughout 1964, many of the older buildings were demolished and the campus received a face-lift. The 1970’s and 1980’s were also a time of growth for Damien, witnessing the completion of the Event Center, the 500 Building and the 600 Building. In 1995, a music room was added and a library renovation was also completed. In 1996, a new swimming pool and locker room was constructed. Six new tennis courts were also built near the priest’s residence and a new ticket/snack bar/restroom facility was added to Dick Larson Stadium. In 2006, the Travers-Cronin Athletic Center, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, was opened.
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