Brophy's Founding

Brophy College Preparatory was established in 1928 by Mrs. William Henry Brophy, in honor of her late husband. The original plan was for a Jesuit college; however, it was to begin with a high school whose students would then feed into the college. Ground was broken on Jan. 18, 1928, the cornerstone was laid on April 29, 1928, and doors opened on Sept. 10, 1928, with 56 students enrolled. The Arizona Republican (now the Arizona Republic) wrote “The black-robed Jesuit fathers, whose early missionary and teaching activities in this Southwestern territory were abandoned in the 18th century, return after an absence of some 161 years to carry on in permanence their unfinished task.” (The Jesuits had been expelled in 1769 by order of King Carlos III of Spain.) 

John Rinker Kibbey of Los Angles, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who had traveled widely in Spain, was chosen as architect and designed the buildings in the Moorish-influenced Spanish Colonial style which had also become widely used in Mexico. The original buildings included Regis Hall (now Brophy Hall), Romley Hall and Brophy Chapel. All new construction since that time has remained true to the original style. Read more about Brophy’s campus here.

Although the school was received enthusiastically, the Great Depression made it impossible to grow enrollment and to fundraise as needed (once established, each Jesuit school is expected to maintain financial independence) and Brophy closed after the 1934-35 school year. In 1952, it rose from the ashes of an economic depression and a world war to grow and prosper as a bastion of learning for the young men of Phoenix, Arizona. Today, Brophy is a thriving educational institution with an annual enrollment of approximately 1,400 and more than 15,000 alumni. In 2011, Brophy added an on-campus middle school, Loyola Academy, for underserved youths with academic potential.

Governing decisions are made by the administration in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents. Brophy maintains a close relationship with the Phoenix community and a desire to serve the many diverse constituencies within the Valley. As a college preparatory institution, Brophy goes beyond academic excellence to form well-rounded young adults who see themselves as agents of positive change — men for others.

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  • > Brophy College Preparatory Presidents

    Robert E. Ryan III – 2023-present
    Adria E. Renke – 2016-2023
    Edward A. Reese, S.J. – 1996-16
    Robert B. Mathewson, S.J. – 1984-96
    John T. Mitchell, S.J. – 1979-84
    Anthony P. Sauer, S.J. – 1978-79
    William V. Thom, S.J. – 1974-78
    Richard E. Cobb, S.J. – 1968-74
    Francis A. Moore, S.J. – 1962-68
    Francis J. Harrington, S.J. – 1952-62
    (School closed 1935-52)
    Lawrence E. O'Keefe, S.J. – 1931-35
    James E. Malone, S.J. – 1928-31


Brophy College Preparatory is accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA). Every six years the school undergoes a thorough self-study process that engages the entire community in a review of the school's progress in accomplishing the goals set during the previous accreditation cycle. The self-study process culminates with a one-week review from a visiting committee of educators appointed by the WCEA. In spring 2018, the WCEA granted Brophy a full six-year term of accreditation (through June 30, 2024) — their strongest possible affirmation and thus a substantial validation of the school's programs.

    • Mrs. William Henry Brophy and family with the Rev. Felix Rossetti, S.J.

    • Brophy's builder was the A.F. Wasielewski Construction Co.

    • An aerial view from 1928