De La Salle Collegiate High School is an all-boys Catholichigh school run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Founded in 1926, the school was located on the east side of Detroit before moving to its current location in Warren, Michigan in 1982. The school is dedicated to the Catholic education of its diverse students, including the poor and disadvantaged. It is a college preparatory school inspired by the spirit and tradition of St. John Baptist de La Salle, where learning takes place in the presence of God. Each student is encouraged to develop his faith, character, intellect, and morality. This mission is embodied in the school’s motto: “Builders of Boys, Makers of Men.”
The school first opened in 1926 across from a river called Conner Creek, but Detroit City Airport opened soon after the building of the school. The airplanes taking off would often cause the building to shake, later necessitating a change in location. The first class graduated in 1929.
De La Salle Collegiate is a Class A MHSAA-member school, as well as a member of the Catholic League Central Division in all sports with an enrollment of approximately 790 students from nearly 50 Metro Detroit communities and nearly 100 schools.
The school’s seal is used in relation to academics. It was redesigned in 2002 for the third time.
The school’s DLS logo was designed in the late 1960s by Sam Viviano, Class of 1971, current Art Director for Mad Magazine. It is primarily used by the sports teams.
When the school first opened in 1926, a riverboat pilot (captain) was the school's mascot. In 1937, the school changed its mascot from the riverboat pilot to the present day airplane pilot, designed by Matt Sikora.
De La Salle produces an annual yearbook called The Pilot which recounts the year’s events, activities, sports and academic achievements. It is usually distributed in the fall.
The student newspaper is called The Co-Pilot and is usually published by the journalism class.
The alumni newsletter is called The Collegiate and is published three times a year by the Office of Advancement.
The school day is divided into 16 mods, which are 23 minutes long. Science labs are three mods long (69 minutes), while regular classes are two mods (46 minutes). The school day begins at 7:45 AM and ends at 2:45 PM during most school days. De La Salle Collegiate operates on a rotating six-day modular schedule.
During the school day, students with open mods are to be in one of the following places:
library for quiet study, use of computers, or research
student commons where students talk quietly, study, and socialize
the cafeteria where students eat, socialize, and share a less quiet atmosphere
Prayers at De La Salle open with the phrase, "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God."
Classroom formal and informal prayers usually close with the following:
Reader: “St. John Baptist de La Salle.”
Response: “Pray for us.”
Reader: “Live Jesus in our hearts.”
Response: “Forever.” They share this prayer with Cincinnati La Salle High School. Both are Christian Brothers schools.
Academic and athletic recognition
De La Salle Collegiate continues to receive national recognition for its academics, athletics and fine arts. De La Salle Collegiate has averaged 11 National Merit recipients annually for the last five years. In the last ten years, 99.8% of its students have enrolled in college after graduation.
In 2001, the concert and jazz bands, as well as the show choir and men's chorus performed in China. De La Salle’s band program was one of only two chosen throughout the United States to perform in China that year.Currently, De La Salle also offers Mandarin Chinese class from level 1 to level 3.
De La Salle Collegiate sports teams have appeared in 15 state finals in various sports since 1982, finishing as finalists in basketball (1982), soccer (1994), and football (2006 & 2008), while winning its first State Championship in 1990 in soccer. In 2011, Brennan Kelly became the first and only all-state wrestler in DLS history, taking 8th at the state tournament. DLS has won eleven more State Championships (five in soccer, three in baseball, two in bowling and one in lacrosse). The most recent state championship was won during the 2008-2009 school year when the school's baseball team won a state title en route to a 36-5 record.
Their hockey team has consistently been among the top 10 teams in the state of Michigan for the last five years and has been to the Catholic League Championship game the past four years winning once in 2008 against Brother Rice. The team competes in the most elite league in the state, the MIHL.
In 2009, De La Salle Collegiate had 5 athletic teams win the Catholic League Championship, setting a new school record. The 2009 football team had the best record in school history by going 13-1 losing in the State Championship. They also won a state championship in baseball.
Sam Viviano became De La Salle's first Presidential Scholar in 1971.
In 2010, De La Salle's second Presidential Scholar, Bernard VanBerkum, was named. Only 141 students across the country received the prestigious honor, having demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community.
Robert L. Poxon '65, posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on June 2, 1969 in Vietnam. First Lieutenant Poxon courageously aided a fallen soldier, drawing enemy fire as he crossed 20 meters of open ground. Lt. Poxon was seriously and painfully wounded. However, he refused medical aid and evacuation, and instructed the men in his platoon to concentrate their fire on an enemy bunker. In spite of his wounds, Lt. Poxon crawled toward the bunker, and threw a hand grenade, despite continuous enemy assault. Although mortally wounded, his comrades pressed the attack and drove the enemy from their positions.
The "School Song" was written by H. O'Reilly Clint in the late 1920s. It is traditional for each class to compete in singing the School Song at the first pep rally in the fall, although this traditional has fallen off in recent years.