Only at Salesianum
1. Salesianum is the first integrated school in Delaware
St. Francis saw the world as, “unidiverse, that is, unique and diverse, unique along with diversity and diversity along with unity.” In 1950, school principal Rev. Thomas Lawless, OSFS, himself a 1908 graduate of Salesianum, admitted five African American students to the school. This was four years prior to the desegregation ruling of Brown v. Board of Education, making Salesianum the first racially integrated school in the state of Delaware. When asked why he led Salesianum to desegregate, Father Lawless stated, “I think it is a case of reaching a point of either stopping the preaching of democracy or starting to practice it.” Father Lawless was cited in a footnote to this landmark ruling of the Supreme Court.
In place of traditional homerooms separated by grades, Salesianum employs a House Program in which students from all grades are mixed together into unique houses. Each house has its own colors, motto and mascots and serves to foster brotherhood, run service projects and fundraisers, and provide leadership opportunities for its members.
3. Single-sex environment
Salesianum is the only all-boys high school in the state of Delaware. Being an all-male institution helps students to maintain focus on what really matters – learning, studying and participating in class. Special bonds of brotherhood are formed, which are a critical and central tradition of life at Salesianum.
4. The Salesian Standard (Honor Code)
Salesianum is dedicated to formation of young gentlemen demonstrated through honor, honesty, fairness, and respect for others. Students affirm their commitment to these values by reciting the Salesian Standard at the beginning of each school year, and by marking, “V+J” (the abbreviation used by St. Francis de Sales for, “Vive Jesus,” or, “Live Jesus”) at the top of all written work.
On my honor as a Salesian Gentleman,
I will take hold of the tradition of our patron, Saint Francis de Sales,
by striving to see God in all things and learning to live each day well.
I will recognize the dignity of all people, and support my Salesian brothers in word and deed.
I will not lie, cheat, or steal,
nor will I accept the actions of those who do.
I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably
in all my actions as a Salesianum student, and seek to serve a world in need.
5. Service Learning
The Christian Service Program at Salesianum challenges students to engage the broader community as Salesian gentlemen. The BRIDGE Program (Building Relationships in Diverse Global Environments) seeks to expand students' perspectives through service and learning opportunities that stretch beyond their comfort zone and local communites. Each year, Salesianum students travel to New York City, Los Angeles, Fort Myers, Nogales, AZ (on the U.S. Mexican border), and Appalachia, WV.
Our students remain close to home to serve their community as well. Local community service work includes frequent trips to Camden, NJ, daily tutoring at Warner Elementary with project CHANCE, and school-wide service events such as the SALSThon, which has raised over $325,000 for charity in the last three years: $75,000 for the B+ Foundation in 2013, $105,000 for A.I. dupont Children's Hospital in 2014, and $155,000 for the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans in 2015. Salesianum is a multi-year winner of the Jefferson Award Youth Service Challenge. Learn More.