Forever Noll: Celebrating Bishop Noll’s 100th school year

In celebration of Bishop Noll Institute’s first century, and recognizing its vision to thrive well into the second century, the “Forever Noll” Centennial celebration will highlight the school’s rich history throughout the 2020-21 school year. BNI’s 100th school year includes many events – social, liturgical, educational, athletic and more – to celebrate Lake County’s premier Catholic high school. Then, to culminate 100 actual years, a large dinner gala celebration will take place in the BNI fieldhouse on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

That date is the actual anniversary of the first day of classes at what was then called Catholic Central High School. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ religious order started the school in two classrooms at St. Mary School in East Chicago in 1921.

BNI’s centennial committee and subcommittees meet monthly. If you are interested in participating or would like to offer any celebration suggestions, please send an email to

BNI students began celebrating in September to recognize Founder’s Day and to get in the birthday spirit. One of the first events was a student movie night, held at the BNI football field with students spread out to practice social distancing. Alumni also started celebrating at an outdoor concert (originally planned for the BNI auditorium) that was held in Highland featuring Adam Gawlikowski ’60 & Friends.

“The arrival of COVID-19 definitely forced us to pivot on a number of our plans for the fall of 2020, but it hasn’t dampened our spirits for the excitement that 100 years of excellence demands we recognize,” BNI President Paul Mullaney said.

Please watch this page and the Bishop Noll Institute Facebook page for additional details as they are announced.


Centennial Stories

Click here to read about Cy O'Malley and Ruth Barrett Mulhern, members of the Catholic Central Class of 1938.

Click here to read about Lillian Schreiner Radigan, member of the Catholic Central Class of 1938.

Click here to read about the Centennial History Committee's work. 


How you can help

The following are some of the ways you can assist in BNI’s “Forever Noll” Centennial efforts with a generous offering of your time, talents or treasures:

EVENT VOLUNTEER: If you have time to contribute, we can find the right fit on a committee or at an event to help make the effort successful. If interested and willing, please email to let us know of your interest.

CLASS AGENT: We are looking for alumni representatives from each of our graduating classes to serve as a primary communications liaison with your classmates. If you are an administrator of a class Facebook page or have coordinated class reunions, this may be up your alley. If interested and willing, please email to let us know of your interest.

DONATE: We currently are soliciting Centennial sponsorships from individuals and businesses starting at the $2,500 gala table sponsorship level (tables of 10) and ranging upward. Know that individual donations of any amount will help the cause greatly, including helping support in-school events for our students. To inquire about sponsorships, please email Online donations can be made online at or by mailing a check to Bishop Noll with “Centennial Gift” in the memo line.

CALLING ALL CHOIR ALUMNI: We are forming the BNI Alumni Choir to perform in 2021 as part of our Centennial celebrations. The choir will be directed by David Herr, former Bishop Noll choir director who now directs the Gary Diocesan Choir. All Bishop Noll or Catholic Central alumni who want to share their voices with this group are asked to email David at


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the closure of our school building to activities not central to the high school experience for our students, many originally planned events have been put on hold. Student events, starting with September’s student-only movie night on the football field, are continuing within the guidelines of state and county COVID-19 regulations.

As events are scheduled or rescheduled, keep in touch with and the Bishop Noll Institute Facebook page for details. Among those future events (all subject to change) you will want to mark on your calendars:

Friday, April 30, 2021: The Big Event, Centennial edition (BNI Fieldhouse, plus virtual auction)

Sunday, July 18, 2021: Bishop Noll Day with the White Sox (1 p.m., Guaranteed Rate Field, White Sox vs. Houston Astros)

Monday, July 19, 2021: Alumni Centennial Golf Outing (Innsbrook Country Club, Merrillville)

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021: Founders Day student Mass and lunch

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021: Centennial Gala Dinner (BNI Fieldhouse)

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021: All-Alumni Revue, musical variety show (evening, BNI Auditorium)

Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021: Centennial Outdoor Mass (BNI Football Field, morning, time TBA)

 Shop for Centennial Items

Click here to shop in the Forever Noll: Centennial Store