Cathedral Catholic High School is a private Catholic high school operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. The school was founded in 1957 as the University of San Diego High School. The original campus was located on a site across the street from the University of San Diego, so the school name was soon affectionately shortened to University High School or Uni.
In 1970, Cathedral Girls High School, a girls’ school dating back to 1939 and located in downtown San Diego, merged with the all-boys Uni High. In 1971, the newly constituted and expanded University of San Diego High School graduated its first coeducational class. The school’s name changed to Cathedral Catholic High School when its new campus opened in Carmel Valley in 2005.
Cathedral Catholic’s lineage best exemplifies Catholic schools’ presence, growth and vitality in San Diego since 1939. Graduates from Cathedral Girls High School (1939-1970), Uni High (1957-2005), and now Cathedral Catholic (2005-present) are the visible embodiment of Catholic-school success in California and around the country.
Once a Don, Always a Don
Since their founding, Uni High and Cathedral Catholic High School’s athletic teams have been known as the Dons. The name came to embrace students and alumni as well, and it gave birth to the motto, Once a Don, Always a Don. The word Don (from the Latin Dominus) dates back to Roman antiquity. In Spain in the Middle Ages Don was a title reserved for nobles or members of the Church hierarchy. One of the most widely known and beloved Dons in world literature is Don Quixote. Don and the feminine Doña are used broadly today as a mark of esteem for a person of social or official distinction.