Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, wears many hats in his new role as president of Saint Viator High School, but accepting an official proclamation from the Village of Arlington Heights recognizing the school — and the Viatorians — for 60 years of serving the community, was a first.

(L-R) Mayor Tom Hayes, Fr. Dan Lydon, Dean Deb Scerbicke and Tom Ramsden

“This is a very special occasion,” Mayor Tom Hayes said at the outset. “Sixty years is a long time to be doing great work — with such distinction.”

Fr. Lydon accepted the award with Dean Deborah Scerbicke and Tom Ramsden, vice president of development.

“It has been a great privilege for the Viatorians to work here in Arlington Heights for these 60 years,” Fr. Lydon said to Mayor Hayes and members of the board of trustees. “We plan at least 60 more years and thank you for all your support and for all you’ve done to allow this great college preparatory high school to continue.”

Saint Viator High School merged with Sacred Heart of Mary in 1987.

The proclamation came as the school launched a yearlong celebration of its 60th anniversary. As noted in the proclamation, the Viatorians purchased former farmland in Arlington Heights in 1959, with the intention of opening a boys’ Catholic high school to serve the growing number of families in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs.

Saint Viator High School opened in 1961 with 273 boys and graduated its first class in 1965. Fast forward to 1987, when Saint Viator merged with Sacred Heart of Mary High School, a girls’ school located in nearby Rolling Meadows to form a coeducational institution. Now in its 60th year, Saint Viator has educated more than 13,000 graduates whose contributions to Arlington Heights and its surrounding suburbs has made a lasting impact.

Saint Viator High School students have performed thousands of hours of service in the community.

The proclamation and its several “whereas” clauses recognized the ways the school has helped shape the Northwest region. Here are a few of them:

“Whereas for 60 years, the Viatorians have operated a college preparatory community of learning, called to provide religious formation and an academic program of excellence . .

“Whereas the Saint Viator family cultivates an environment of kindness and belonging for all to feel welcomed, included, respected and involved . .

“Therefore, I do hereby recognize the Clerics of St. Viator and the administration, faculty, staff and students for their many contributions to the community of Arlington Heights.”