Our History, a Place of Legends
In 1906 Oliver Gould Jennings built “Mailands” on the crest of North Benson Rd. His lavish 40 room French chateau was considered a bit showy for the little farming town of Fairfield back then. The granite castle had a long view of the town below as well as the sparkling waters beyond.
It is not the Jennings name that is associated with the fabled mansion today, but rather Rev Maurice F. McAuliffe, the Bishop of Hartford, who granted permission to the Society of Jesus to open a high school for boys in Southwestern Connecticut. After the property was bought by the Jesuits and Fairfield College Preparatory School was established, the opulent living areas became classrooms and the cavernous basement became the cafeteria.
From 1942 until its closing in the late 70’s McAuliffe Hall served as the epicenter of the Prep experience. Freshman first encountered the “Prep experience” in its classrooms and hallways and graduates talked about their days there long after graduation. Because it was such a special building to so many students we now honor the legacy of McAuliffe Hall through the McAuliffe Society.
The McAuliffe society exists to honor those individuals who have the forethought to provide for future generations of Fairfield Prep students through an estate commitment, or other ‘planned gift” arrangement. In 1946 and 1947 Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University embarked on an ambitious building campaign that resulted in the construction of Berchmans and Xavier Halls. Prep parents were asked to support this effort and they did so by selling bricks for $1.00 each. As the school matured, alumni partnered with parents to help provide the additional funds necessary to attract gifted lay faculty and create challenging academic programs. Today that partnership still impacts every aspect of daily Prep life, from academics to extracurricular activities.
Now we are asking our alumni, parents, and friends to extend their generous support beyond our present and into our future. Help us provide the resources needed to preserve Prep’s traditions and challenges for generations of Fairfield Prep students yet to come.