Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School
|Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School|
|101 North Warson Road
Ladue, Missouri, (St. Louis County), 63124
1917-St. Louis Country Day School
|Founder||William Greenleaf Eliot|
|Head of school||Lisa Lyle|
|Grades||JK - 12|
|Enrollment||1,246 (total 2012-13 school year), 624 (9-12), 411 (5-8), 211 (JK-4)|
|Campus||Suburban, 100 acres|
|Color(s)||Cardinal Red, Forest Green|
|Rival||John Burroughs School|
Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School or "MICDS" is a secular, co-educational, private school home to more than 1,200 students ranging from grades Junior Kindergarten(age 4) through 12, including a separate "lower school" for children in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 4 known as the Ronald Beasley or "Beasley" School, the MICDS "Middle School", spanning grades 5 through 8, and the "Upper School", consisting of grades 9 through 12. Its 100 acre (404700 m²) campus is located in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.
William Greenleaf Eliot, founder and chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, established predecessor institutions to MICDS in the 1850s as part of the university. A boys' school, Smith Academy, was founded in 1854, and was later attended by Eliot's grandson, the future poet T. S. Eliot. A sister school for girls, Mary Institute, was founded in 1859 and was named for Eliot's late daughter Mary Rhodes Eliot, who had died at the young age of 17. In its early years, Mary Institute was located at three different locations in the City of St. Louis, the third of which was at the corner of Lake and Waterman, in the building that is now New City School.
Smith Academy closed in June 1917, in part due to the proliferation of private elementary schools and public secondary schools in the area. Three months later, St. Louis Country Day School opened in northwestern St. Louis County. Inspired by the "Country Day School movement" nationally, it was not related to Smith, although first year enrollment included a number of former Smith students. St. Louis Country Day School's campus was in a bucolic setting reached by electric streetcar, far removed from the noise and grit of the city.
Mary Institute moved to its Ladue campus in 1931 and became independent of Washington University in 1949. By the 1950s, the tranquility of the Country Day campus was disrupted by the growth of the adjacent Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport. St. Louis Country Day School relocated to a new campus next to Mary Institute in Ladue in 1958, and eventually sold its old campus to the airport. Eliot's grandson, Nobel laureate T. S. Eliot, who attended Mary Institute's kindergarten and Smith Academy, spoke at Mary Institute's centennial in 1959.
Although various connections, including theatrical cooperation, had existed between Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School for years, academic coordination between Mary Institute and Country Day began during the 1970s and culminated in the 1992 merger of the schools. St. Louis Country Day headmaster John Johnson, who coordinated the merger, became head of the combined schools.
Today, 100% of MICDS graduates attend four-year colleges and universities. With assistance from the school's four-year College Counseling program, MICDS graduates annually achieve admittance into many of the country's most selective universities and college programs.
The school observed its sesquicentennial during a year-long celebration that ran from May 11, 2009 through May 11, 2010.
MICDS has a standing athletic rivalry with the nearby John Burroughs School. MICDS observes its Homecoming on the weekend when all of the teams play Burroughs; there is a traditional bonfire and pep rally to inspire team spirit.
- Morton May, Chairman, May Department Stores
- John McDonnell, Chairman, McDonnell-Douglas Corporation
- William F. Ruprecht, CEO, Sotheby's Auction House
Government and Politics
- John Danforth, U.S. Senator
- Thomas Eagleton, U.S. Senator
- Pete Wilson, U.S. Senator and Governor of California
- William McChesney Martin, Jr., Federal Reserve Bank chairman
Sports and Entertainment
- Tom Ackerman, sports broadcaster
- Drew Baur, Owner, St. Louis Cardinals
- Graham Bensinger, sports broadcaster
- Sterling K. Brown, actor
- Joe Buck, sports broadcaster
- Dwight F. Davis, founder of the Davis Cup international tennis competition and U.S. Secretary of War (attended CDS precursor Smith Academy)
- William DeWitt, Jr., Owner, St. Louis Cardinals
- Betty Grable (attended, did not graduate), actress and World War II pin-up girl
- Jim Lee, comic book artist
- Robby McGehee, 1999 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
- Vincent Price, actor
Arts, Sciences, and Education
- Sally Benson, author of Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss
- Louis Daniel Brodsky, poet
- Edmond La Beaume Cherbonnier, professor and scholar of religious studies
- William H. Danforth, MD, Chancellor, Washington University in Saint Louis
- T.S. Eliot, poet (attended CDS precursor Smith Academy)
- Landon Jones, editor and author 
- Shepherd Mead, author, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
- Nick Reding, journalist and author of Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
- Irma S. Rombauer, author of Joy of Cooking
- Marion Rombauer Becker, co-author of Joy of Cooking
- Frederick Seidel, poet
- Peter Taylor, short-story writer and novelist
- Sara Teasdale, poet
- Harry Weber (sculptor), Sculptor
- Linda Wells, founder and editor-in-chief, Allure magazine; annual guest judge on the Bravo reality television series Shear Genius