"Quant Je Puis" (As Much As I Can)
Stonyhurst College is a Roman Catholic boarding and day school in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. It was founded in 1593 by Jesuit priests who wanted to provide spiritual and academic education to Catholic Britons. The College's first manifestation was in St. Omer, which is now part of France. Several moves took place over the next two hundred years until events following the French Revolution eventually forced the College to settle in the small town of Stonyhurst in 1794.
From 1794 to the present, the College grew and expanded. Its web site states that it is one of the largest European institutions to exist in one building. Currently, Stonyhurst College serves students between the ages of 13 and 18. St. Mary's Hall (the adjoining elementary/preparatory school) serves students between the ages of 3 and 13. The school's current headmaster is Adrian Aylward.
The College is primarily Roman Catholic and offers a Catholic religion program but does not limit itself to Catholic students. The school's religious and spirtual program is based heavily on the Jesuit tradition. All students are required to participate in morning prayer, and older students in both morning and evening prayer. Students also attend mass each Sunday and have the option of attending mass every day. The College also offers students the opportunity to go on pilgrimages overseas.
Stonyhurst College's academic program includes departments of art, biology, chemistry, physics, classics, design and technology, economics, the English language, English literature, geography, history, Information and Communication Technology, mathematics, modern languages, music, physical education, politics, theatre and theology. Each of the College's year programs are named after various parts of English grammar and literature:
The College maintains a strict uniform policy. Male students must remain clean shaven at all times and are not permitted to dye their hair or wear jewellery. Female students are only permitted to wear makeup in their senior years at the College and only with the permission of their House Mistress.
According to the College's web site, at least seven of its former students have received the Victoria Cross, three have been declared saints and another seven have been beatified.
The countryside surrounding Stonyhurst College is believed to have been the inspiration for the Shire from the Lord of the Rings saga. J.R.R. Tolkien's son was a student at St. Mary's Hall, and he apparently visited him frequently.
The school is an important Catholic institution and is respected among English Catholics to the point where 'Stonyhurst' (or variations thereof) was often used in the naming of children.