Iona Preparatory marked its 90th Anniversary in 2006, but the unique spirit of the Prep spans centuries.
In 563 AD, a small craft nosed its way through the waters of the Irish Sea from Ireland Scotland, carrying Saint Columba and twelve followers who brought the light of Christianity to the unbelieving.
They landed on the tiny, rockbound island Iona, where they established their monastery, that was to become a center of faith and culture.
Hundreds of years after Columba, another saintly man gave up all his worldly goods to establish an educational ministry in the Church. 1802 at the age of 40, Edmund Rice sold his profitable Waterford shipping business, began teaching the Gospel to poor boys, and founded the Congregation of Christian Brothers. In 1996, Pope John Paul II beatified Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice.
The Christian Brothers of our century are "spiritual sons" of Saint Columba and Brother Rice. So, it was only fitting that in 1916, when they chose to open another educational center in New York, the Brothers selected the name of Iona - with its evocations of great faith and culture - as the name for their new school.
With the devoted support of parents and local clergy, the three founding Brothers of Iona rented the old Stern Estate and opened the Iona School in 1916 with thirty-seven students.
Three years later, having outgrown their building, they relocated to eighteen acres of gently rolling hills in New Rochelle on North Avenue. They renovated the stately hall on the land and welcomed their first classes of students onto the campus which today houses Iona College.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the Iona School continued to flourish and grow, despite the financial hardships plaguing the nation and its involvement in World War II.
By the 1950s and early 1960s, intellectual and cultural growth accompanied the rapid physical development of the campus and its facilities.
By 1967, Iona Prep had moved to its present 27-acre campus location on Wilmot Road in New Rochelle, New York.
More than 85 years of growth, development, and educational excellence have marked the history of Iona Prep.
Beyond its bricks and mortar, scholastic achievement and athletic championships, Iona is a people - people of faith, sharing a commitment to Catholic education, who have both given and received much from their great school.
In 1996, Pope John Paul II beatified Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice.