St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, had an abiding faith in the power of education to transform students' lives. Writing to Philip II of Spain in 1556, the early Jesuits expressed themselves clearly: “All the well-being of Christianity and of the whole world depends on the proper education of youth." Ignatius desired that Jesuits run tuition-free schools available to all students who were qualified — “for everybody, poor and rich."
Regis's legacy began with the will of a generous parishioner of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and with the dream of its pastor, Rev. David W. Hearn, SJ.
On Christmas Eve, 1912, Regis's Foundress presented Father Hearn with a gift to purchase land and build the school, along with a promise to continue financial support to ensure tuition-free education. In Rome, the authorities of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) responded enthusiastically to the establishment of Regis and gave approval for construction to begin. Moreover, they gave the Foundress of Regis special recognition by declaring her a Founder of the Jesuit Order.
From its origin in 1914 to the late 1960s, Regis was regarded by the Foundress and her children as their private charity. Only in the late 1960s did they reluctantly agree to allow the alumni of Regis to contribute to the school's financial support. Today, Regis continues to flourish due to the legacy of the Founding Family and the generosity of its alumni.