August 21, 2017 was a sunny day of 77 degrees and slightly breezy. The jam packed line of cars down Michigan avenue awaited to drop kids off at De La Salle Institute for the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.
This was a huge milestone and day of celebration for not only the De La Salle community but the Chicago community, too. On this day De La Salle became one coeducational institution with all students under a single roof at the Institute Campus. For the past several years, faculty and staff have been working hard on making this transition the best it could be.
“There was a lot going on planning for everything, and we were nervous, and we were excited, but we didn’t actually know how it would all play out until that first day,” Dean of Applied Sciences Mr. Dale Burke said. “Fortunately, I was a student when it was all boys. I started teaching here when it was two separate campuses, and now to see this was pretty awesome. And in the 14 years of teaching, and the 4 years that I was a student here, I think that first day tops them all,” Burke said.
Another historical event happened on this day, too. The student body had the opportunity to see a full solar eclipse, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “In a way it’s change, and that symbolizes the school and where it’s going. The eclipse is a new start to a new chapter in De La Salle’s history. And fortunately we had 1,000 glasses that we could distribute to the students. And it was a nice end of the day celebration to go outside as a school community and take a look at the event,” Burke said.
The last solar eclipse to hit Illinois before this day was in 1889, the year of the very beginning of De La Salle’s history. What does the next solar eclipse have in store for De?