Santa Clara High School was established by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Originally named St. Joseph's Institute, the school opened on September 2, 1901.
By 1950, the enrollment had so expanded that it became necessary to relocate. Under the leadership of Monsignor Anthony Jacobs, a new facility was built on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Friedrich.
In 1964 at the invitation of Monsignor Jacobs, the Brothers of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, joined the staff.