The Committee Facts About The Class of 73 Events Yearbook Photo Gallery The Reunion Contact Us

Facts About Soldan
Graduation Day June 1973

Soldan Class of 1973 was one of the largest freshman classes to attend Soldan.
About 600 students graduated in June of 1973.
(our graduation was late due to a teachers strike.)


Soldan International Studies High School (also known as Soldan High School)
is a public magnet high school in the Academy neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri that is part of the St. Louis Public Schools. From its opening in 1909, Soldan was known for its wealthy and predominantly Jewish student population. Starting in the 1950s, the student population underwent a rapid change in demographics; by the mid-1960s, it was predominantly African American. In the early 1990s, the school was renovated and reopened as a magnet school with a focus on international relations.

Soldan currently offers its students several athletic and academic opportunities, including cross country, football, soccer, tennis, softball and volleyball. Its dropout rate is lower than the state average, and it is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It has several notable alumni and former students, including politicians, authors, academics, and athletes.


Soldan High School

Construction and early years

By the end of the 1890s, the population of the city had increased to more than 575,000, but since 1855, the St. Louis Public Schools had operated only one high school. To meet the need for greater space for high school students, the school district built two new high schools in 1904. Three years later, the district began building a fourth high school, which would become Soldan. Known during its construction as Union Avenue High School and renamed Soldan High School upon opening, the school was named for Frank Louis Soldan, the superintendent of St. Louis schools from 1895 until his death in 1908. Land acquisition costs for the building were $10,000, and construction cost $630,000.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the school became widely known as the city's "predominantly Jewish" school, with students from several notable or wealthy families in the Central West End. Although the school remained open on Jewish holidays, it often had significantly lower attendance. During its early years, Soldan graduated several notable individuals, including William McChesney Martin, Jr., the longest-serving Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, and Clark Clifford, a presidential adviser and United States Secretary of Defense. In 1922, Clifford and Martin were tennis doubles partners on the school's team. It also was during the 1920s that Tennessee Williams attended the school; in the 1940s, Soldan received notability as the school attended by some of the characters in Williams' The Glass Menagerie. In 1948, the school received students after the closure of nearby rival Blewett High School, which was located one block from Soldan. After the merger, the school was briefly known as Soldan-Blewett; it returned to its original name in 1955.

After the Brown v Board of Education decision in 1954, white parents and students of Soldan were among the most welcoming in the city toward integration. On the first day of integration, the school saw no protests, although national media personalities such as NBC evening news anchor John Cameron Swayze covered the event. Neither black nor white students reported significant incidents of racial tensions or problems, although black students often chose to eat in separate areas of the building from whites in the cafeteria. Despite the relatively uneventful process, Soldan experienced a rapid change in the demographics of its student population. During the 1940s, more than 90 percent of Soldan students were Jewish whites; by the early 1960s, the majority were African American. By 1965, only one white student attended Soldan, and many of the school's African American students had moved into the area from poorer neighborhoods such as Mill Creek Valley after urban renewal projects had displaced them.

Soldan Logo

The mascot of Soldan is the tiger.


Most Information on this page was from Wikipedia®.

In 2011 it had an enrollment of 801, making it the 119th largest high school in Missouri. Soldan Class of 1973 was one of the largest freshman classes to attend Soldan.

For the 2010–2011 school year, the school offered seven activities approved by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA): boys' and girls' cross country, 11-man football, boys' and girls' soccer, girls' tennis, girls' softball, and girls' volleyball. In addition to its current activities, Soldan students have won several state championships, including:

  • Boys' Basketball: 1981, 2012
  • Boys' Swimming and Diving: 1938, 1941
  • Boys' Indoor Track and Field: 1961, 1970

The school also has produced one tennis doubles state champion and three boys' outdoor track and field individual events champions.


In the 2009–2010 school year, Soldan had an enrollment of 749 students with 53.6 full-time-equivalent teachers, for a student-teacher ratio of 13.97. In 2010, more than 80 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches. Since 2006, more than 65% of the student population at Soldan has been African American and the white student population has declined by roughly half.

Website Contributed by Elaine Young, Soldan Alumni
Owner Hopscotch Communications Design Firm