Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School

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Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School Logotype 1.svg
101 North Warson Road
Ladue, Missouri, (St. Louis County), 63124
United States
Type Private
Established 1859-Mary Institute
1917-St. Louis Country Day School
Founder William Greenleaf Eliot
Head of school Lisa Lyle
Faculty 158
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
Mascot Ram
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[1][2] 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.[3] 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.


The school has claimed 32 state championships and 41 district championships in the past decade.[4]

The school features one of the only high school cycling teams in St. Louis, which has come in second place in several local races. They competed in the Tour De St. Louis in 2009, in which two riders finished with the peloton.[5]

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.

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Marv Levy began his coaching career here in 1951, staying for two years.

Notable alumni[edit]


Government and Politics[edit]

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Arts, Sciences, and Education[edit]


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Coordinates: 38°39′34″N 90°24′00″W / 38.659561°N 90.40°W / 38.659561; -90.40