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In September 1886, St. Ignatius College opened in a working-class neighborhood on Cleveland's Near West Side. The one classroom building was unpretentious, its mostly Irish and German students were few, its Jesuit faculty numbered four, and its opening was ignored by Cleveland's daily newspapers. Over the next 125 years, the small college became John Carroll University, moved to University Heights, built handsome buildings on a landscaped campus, gained students and faculty, and achieved national recognition. This is the story of how that happened.