While the literary magazine, Ignatian, technically originated in 1910 as part of The Freshman yearbook for Saint Ignatius College, the first official publication with the name “Ignatian”was published in 1911. In these early years, while the journal offered updates on campus happenings (athletics, administration, or organizations such as the debate team), it gave preference to the literary works we associate the magazine with today.
With a basis in faith and patriotism, the creative works included poems, plays, short stories, creative essays, sermons, and political commentary. Students could read their faculty and classmates’ creative works and reports of memorable field trips alongside major global happenings (such as the Titanic’s sinking in 1912) or landmark local events (such as the erection of the Palace of Fine Arts in 1915). Other highlights from this era include coverage of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic at St. Ignatius College, the women’s suffrage movement, and the decline of the British Empire and independence of its colonies.
As the United States crept closer to entering World War I, the student body became concerned with the struggles in Europe and the role young men should play in an increasingly fraught world. The 1918 issue of Ignatian was entirely devoted to supporting the war effort, with patriotic poems and a mass call for the student body to join the military.
In the post-war years of the 1920s, the magazine continued to reflect the country’s culture at large through excitement for new technologies, a passion for politics, and pride in St. Ignatius College. In the decade between 1925 and 1935, attention to original creative works of poetry and prose waned. Ignatian transformed into a more general purpose yearbook publication that integrated campus news, photographs, and information about athletics, administration, and alumni – one that offered literary content only intermittently. In 1926, the first campus newspaper called The Ignatian was born; later iterations became Ignatian News before officially becoming The Foghorn in 1929.