Aquinas Institute

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1127 Dewey Ave, Rochester, NY 14613 [Directions]
585 254 2020
<info AT aquinasinstitute DOT com>

Aquinas Institute is a private school (grades 9-12) located on Dewey Avenue in Rochester. It began as co-ed Cathedral High School in Rochester in the early 1900s, became an all-boys school in the 1920s, and then admitted girls again starting in 1983 following the closing of St. Agnes High School.

The school was run by the Basilian Fathers (i.e., [wikipedia]Congregation of St. Basil) for many years, but the order relinquished control in the late 1990s, though several priests continued to serve of the board of trustees.

The school opened its Wegman-Napier Center, containing classrooms and a new gymnasium, in 1994.

Aquinas dedicated a new 20,000-square-foot fine arts center in 2004 and a football stadium/sports complex (complete with lights and FieldTurf playing surface) in 2005. Both were made possible courtesy of large donations by supermarket mogul Robert Wegman, a 1937 graduate of the school, and his wife Peggy.

The two major mayoral candidates in Rochester's 2005 election, Robert Duffy and John Parrinello graduated from Aquinas. Other alums include Major Donald Holleder, a West Point football hero who was killed in Vietnam.

Aquinas was a national power in high school football in the 1940s and 1950s, often drawing crowds of 15,000 or more to [wikipedia]Red Wing Stadium. The 20,000-seat Aquinas Memorial Stadium, later called Holleder Stadium, was built in 1949 at Ridgeway Avenue and Mount Read Boulevard and demolished in 1985.


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