About Us

History of St. E

The hallmarks of St. E have always been Tradition, Transition, and Transformation.
Founded in 1908, Saint Elizabeth School began humbly in a Benedictine Convent on Broom Street, not far from its current location.  As enrollment swelled, Fr. William Temple foresaw that the Benedictine Sisters mission to educate the students of Saint Elizabeth School would soon need a larger home. 
 
Through the generosity of parishioners, donors, and the Delaware State Foundation of P.S. DuPont and John J. Raskob, $350,000 was gathered for the purpose of building a new school (a hefty sum in 1929).  By the Grace of God, a state of the art educational facility arose in 1929 atop the highest hill in Wilmington on the grounds of the historic Bancroft Estate.
 
Within the eighteen classrooms of the original building, the Benedictine Sisters humbly taught nearly 600 students a year; guiding generations of young people toward successful adulthood. With the Rule of St. Benedict as a guide, the Sisters were responsible for the education of thousands of children over their many decades of service.
 
St. Elizabeth High School was founded in 1940 by the Right Reverend Monsignor James M. Grant, D.D. to provide a quality secondary school education for students in the Wilmington area. Under the direction of Reverend Francis Desmond, the first principal, and four Benedictine Sisters, St. Elizabeth graduated 20 students in June 1944.
 
Since 1940, the Elementary and High School grades have been housed within the same building. Thanks to the vision of its Benedictine Founders, Saint Elizabeth remains one of the few schools in which a student can complete Elementary, Middle, and High School under the same roof.
 
Through the years, St. Elizabeth School has undergone periodic expansions and updates.  1956, 1967, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2001 all saw major renovations and expansions. A walk through the halls of St. E is a walk through history.
 
Today, St. Elizabeth School is recognized for providing a 21st Century learning environment, and for being an educational institution able to respond to modern demands while preparing students for an ever changing future.  St. E has been designated an Apple Distinguished School for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
 
The hallmarks of St. E have always been Tradition, Transition and Transformation. With the loyal support of legacy families and alumni, future generations will continue to enjoy the legendary Benedictine Spirit and Viking Pride of St. Elizabeth School.