THE HISTORY: The history of Zehler House begins in 2003 when a group a Moeller students who had been on exchange to Australia first spoke of the concept of a House System to Bro. Ron Luksic, S.M. Bro. Ron proceeded to interest other faculty, including future House Director Ed Jamieson, and in 2004 he took a group to Australia to investigate the idea further
In the summer of 2005, the new Deans, Bro. Ron, and Dean of Students Carl Kremer held a retreat at Bergamo in Dayton to formalize the structure. This retreat was facilitated by Fr. Tedesco and successfully culminated in formalizing the House structure. During that retreat, the Deans chose their names, and Dean Bruce Nelson chose "Zehler House."Upon his return, discussions began on how to “Moellerize" this system to meet the needs of our students. Late in the 2004 school year, the six original Deans were hired to lead the school through this student governance change: Jim Champlin, Ed Jamieson, Karen Matuszek, Mike Moroski, Bruce Nelson, and Rob Rogers. The solicited possible House names from the faculty with the consensus being they be Marianist related.
THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME: Zehler House is named for Bro. Maximin Zehler who in 1852 was named Brother Superior of Saint Mary's School for Boys in downtown Cincinnati. Bro. Zehler's vision and leadership in the all-boys school laid the foundation for the great Cincinnati Catholic high schools. Saint Mary's was the first all-boys Catholic school in Cincinnati."It is an honor to have our school associated with them and the Old Saint Mary's Church," said Bruce Nelson, the founding Zehler House Dean. "The church honors Mary, our Mother, and has many historical connections to all the founding Catholic leaders in Cincinnati. May the Zehler House uphold this rich Catholic tradition, honor Mary, and blaze the trail, just as Bro. Zehler and his parishioners of Old St Mary's did in its beginning."
BROTHER MAXIMUS ZEHLER: Bro. Maximus Zehler was born on August 19, 1826, in Alsace, France, but was raised in Germany. He entered the Marianist Postulate in 1842 and professed his vows in 1844. Bro. Max was admitted to the Final Profession in 1849 and was called by Father Francis X. Wenninger S.J. to travel to Cincinnati. It was here that Bro. Zehler found his calling, not just as an educator, but as a leader in education. In 1852, he became the Brother Superior of the All-Boys School at St. Mary’s in Over-the-Rhine. From this beginning as a Marianist Brother to the head of an all-boys school to his later years as the first president of the University of Dayton and finally his passing at U.D. on March 24, 1892, one word sums up Bro. Zehler’s life – "Brotherhood." Educating students about life and the importance of community was at the very core of Bro. Max Zehler's beliefs.
ABOUT THE ZEHLER CREST: The Zehler House crest was created by Thomas "Chris" Robinson, Class of 2007.With input from Zehler's first House Captains, Tim McNaul and Shane Smith, the Zehler House crest began to take form:
Mary – Our Hope
The Marianist Cross – Our Sacrifice
The Old St Mary’s Steeple – Our History
Bro. Max Zehler – Our Strength
The Color Blue – Our Truth and Loyalty
The Color Orange – Our Worthy Ambition
The only words on the crest are in Bro. Zehler’s native language, German: “Ehre deinem Bruder,” which means “Honor your Brother.” And Bro. Zehler’s commitment to Brotherhood speaks to the core mission of Zehler House: If ALL of our actions are done with this in mind, then the decisions we make will be solid ones. Whether deciding to study for a test or to not drink and drive, if my decisions are based on not letting my brothers down, then those decisions will be easy ones.
The “Z” symbol from the original “pillow case” flag created by Shane and Tim has become Zehler's trademark hand gesture. And the Zehler yell "Zehler Z" can be heard loud and proud across the campus.
Each year since the House System’s inception, Zehler House has continued to build Brotherhood within Moeller. The House Captains and School Captains continue year in and year out to prove their leadership ability and build upon those who came before them.