In the early sixties, on the far eastern side of Dallas, a few enterprising parish pastors and parents founded a high school intended to serve a wide diversity of children – budding scholars and those with learning differences, athletes and thespians. All who sought truth and knowledge were welcomed. From this early vision has grown a truly outstanding Catholic educational institution. Twice awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence, Bishop Lynch High School now stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best private schools serving the youth of Dallas and its suburban communities.
In 1962, construction began on the high school. Located at 9750 Ferguson Road at Peavy, Bishop Lynch High School included four wings: the girls’ division; the boys’ division; the science laboratories; and the administration offices, gymnasium, and cafeteria. The 22-acre campus also allowed room for expansion to include two athletic fields. Staffed and administered by Dominican priests and sisters from 1963 to 1982, classes began in the fall of 1963 with 365 freshman and sophomores enrolled, construction of the plant continued. On Sunday, December 20, 1964, Bishop T.K. Gorman officiated at the dedication ceremony. In May of 1966, the first senior class of 103 students was graduated. In 1969, Roffino Stadium was completed, fulfilling a dream that began with the opening of the school.
Situated within the boundaries of St. Pius X Parish, Bishop Lynch High School was originally established by Bishop Thomas K. Gorman to care for the students of St. Pius X, St. Augustine, St. Bernard, Good Shepherd, St. Philip and St. Thomas Aquinas parishes. When St. Patrick parish was founded, it was also included in the Bishop Lynch area. The school is located on a 22-acre tract and was built to serve 900 students. Bishop Lynch High School was named after Bishop Joseph P. Lynch, who served the Diocese of Dallas from 1911-1954 and was designed to be co-institutional with the girls division on the Inadale Hall (meaning that the classrooms are all on the "back side" of the building), and the boys division on the Ferguson Hall (the "front side"). The two divisions are separated by an open courtyard. Originally the boys were taught only by priests and very few lay (non-religious) male teachers, while the girls were taught only by nuns and very few lay women.
The two divisions were connected by the science hallway and the administration hallway. Boys and girls used to meet secretly between classes in the science hallway (until the priests chased the girls away). This is why all of the men’s restrooms are located on one side of the building, and the ladies’ restrooms are on the other. All students shared the same lunchtime in the cafeteria, and they all participated together in pep rallies in the gym. In the fall of 1974, Bishop Lynch became co-educational rather than co-institutional – which meant that boys and girls now shared classroom space
The uniform for the girls was designed by the Dominican Sisters, who had come from Wisconsin and were not familiar with the hot Texas sun. They issued a wool plaid skirt with a wool jacket, to be worn with a white dress shirt. The uniform skirt was changed in the mid-70s to brown plaid culottes (what would be called a "skort" today). In the 80s another uniform change was made and the current skirt style was adopted. Although there were no uniform shoes in the early days, girls wore penny loafers or saddle oxfords, which was the style in the 60s. Later, in the 70s, girls began wearing other types of shoes that were fashionable at the time - moccasins, flip-flops, and even platform shoes were worn. It wasn’t until the 2000s that a uniform shoe was adopted by the administration.
The boys uniform was a little more relaxed – boys could wear any solid color dress pants with a white shirt and tie. In the late 70s and early 80s the look became even more relaxed and the boys began wearing wild print ties with any color shirt. There was a uniform crack-down in the late 80s, and the boys uniform became what it is today – gray dress slacks with a white dress shirt and BL tie. It was at that time that all seniors were given the option of wearing either blue or yellow shirts.
Clubs and Sports
Organized sports were available only to the boys in the 1960s. The BL Friars competed against Jesuit, Nolan, Bishop Dunne, and Waco Reicher in football, baseball, basketball, and track. In 1965 the Friars were first eligible to compete at the TCIL (Texas Catholic Interscholastic League) District level, and experienced their first winning season in football. By 1974 the Friars had added golf, tennis, soccer, wrestling, track and cross county – which won more state championships in the 70s than any other sport at BL.
Before 1971, girls were relegated to intramural sports, including badminton, basketball, bowling and swimming. It was not until 1971 that the Lady Friars Basketball and Volleyball Teams were established.
The BL Brigade was formed in 1968, and was ushered onto the field by the first BL Drum Corps. There was no band until the fall of 1973.
Club and activities have been an important part of student life since the opening of the school. The Blackfriars Guild, which is the school’s theatrical organization, was formed in 1963 and produced their first show on stage in the spring of 1964. The first student newspaper was called the Byline, and was produced six times a year. The first yearbook, known as "Veritas," was published to commemorate the 1965-1966 school year.
Popular clubs in the 1960s included the Glee Club, Folk Singing Club, Chess Club and Library Club. Those looking toward careers could join the Future Teachers or the Future Homemakers club. Boys who were interested in the religious life could join the Servers Club, while girls could be a part of the Theresians – an organization that celebrated the life of a sister. By the mid-1980s an annual Club Fair was held to encourage involvement in the growing number of organizations on campus. It was during that same period that an annual Magazine Drive began with the goal of supporting the needs of the various activities.