Grad at Grad

Your son will be more than just a better student. He will be a better man.

These words from Kevin Poelker '98, Principal and Theology teacher, capture the impact De Smet Jesuit has on its students. Upon graduation, our students embody the characteristics defined in the long-standing Jesuit Schools Network Profile of the Graduate at Graduation. In 2018 our faculty and staff revisited the grad at grad profile and further defined the Portrait of a Spartan, conveying in greater depth the aspirations for our students that we believe make De Smet Jesuit distinct.

De Smet Jesuit Students


A De Smet Jesuit student strengthens his personal leadership style to positively impact his community.



A De Smet Jesuit student matures spiritually, develops his relationship with Jesus Christ, and experiences God’s love in everyday life.



A De Smet Jesuit student engages others with confidence, compassion, gratitude, and humility.



A De Smet Jesuit student expands his perspective through service and contributes to the world as a man of virtue and action.



A De Smet Jesuit student commits himself to academic excellence for advanced learning in college and beyond.



A De Smet Jesuit student thinks creatively and applies his knowledge toward the good of others and society.



A De Smet Jesuit student seeks new challenges, discovers his own path, and strives to live the best version of himself.


Jesuit Profile of the Graduate at Graduation

Open to Growth

The graduate of De Smet Jesuit has matured as a person - intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially - to a level that reflects some intentional responsibility for one's own growth. He is beginning to reach out in his development, seeking opportunities to stretch one's mind, imagination, feelings, and religious consciousness.

Intellectually Competent

The graduate of De Smet Jesuit exhibits mastery of those academic requirements for advanced forms of education. While these requirements are broken down into departmental subject matter areas, the student will have developed many intellectual skills and understandings that cut across and go beyond academic requirements for college entrance. The student is also developing habits of intellectual inquiry, as well as a disposition toward life-long learning. The student is beginning to see the need for intellectual integrity in his or her personal quest for religious truth and in his or her response to issues of social justice.


The graduate of De Smet Jesuit will have a basic knowledge of the major doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church. Having been introduced to Ignatian spirituality, the graduate will also have examined his own religious feelings and beliefs with a view to choosing a fundamental orientation toward God and establishing a relationship with a religious tradition and/or community. What is said here, respectful of the conscience and religious background of the individual, also applies to the non-Catholic graduate of a Jesuit high school. The level of theological understanding of the Jesuit high school graduate will naturally be limited by the student’s level of religious and human development.


The graduate of De Smet Jesuit is continuing to form his own identity. He is moving beyond self-interest or self-centeredness in close relationships. The graduate is beginning to be able to risk some deeper levels of relationship in which one can disclose self and accept the mystery of another person and cherish that person. Nonetheless, the graduate’s attempt at loving, while clearly beyond childhood, may not yet reflect the confidence and freedom of an adult.

Committed to Justice

The graduate of De Smet Jesuit has acquired considerable knowledge of the many needs of local, national, and global communities and is preparing for the day when he will take a place in these communities as a competent, concerned and responsible member. The graduate has been inspired to develop the awareness and skills necessary to live in a global society as a person for and with others. Although this commitment to doing justice will come to fruition in mature adulthood, some predispositions will have begun to manifest themselves earlier.

Developing as a Leader

The graduate of De Smet Jesuit is aware of his responsibility to be a leader in the Ignatian tradition of service and collaboration. He has had opportunities to exercise leadership in academic, co-curricular activities, and pastoral activities. As a result of opportunities to develop leadership skills during his high school years at De Smet Jesuit, the graduate:

  1. understands that responsibility and a respect for diversity are essential elements of leadership.
  2. sees leadership as an opportunity for service to others and the community.
  3. realizes that leadership requires being a good role model.
  4. realizes that leadership involves collaboration and cooperation.
  5. understands that reflection and evaluation are important elements in good decision-making.

As a Jesuit high school, and a member of Jesuit Schools Network, we strive to graduate students who possess the desire and the personal resources to be men for and with others as detailed in the  Profile of the Graduate at Graduation.

This foundational document is used by Jesuit schools across the country to outline the five characteristics they hope their graduates will embody. At De Smet Jesuit, we use this roadmap to guide our work and have customized it along the way--adding a sixth characteristic, Developing as a Leader, to more accurately reflect the experience we provide.