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

, ,

United States
Established1859 as Mary Institute
1917 as St. Louis Country Day School
1992 as Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School
FounderWilliam Greenleaf Eliot
Head of schoolLisa Lyle
Enrollment1,246 (2012–2013 school year)
Average class sizeApproximately 160 students
CampusSuburban, 27 acres
Color(s)          Cardinal red, Forest green
RivalJohn Burroughs School

Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School or "MICDS" is a secular, co-educational, private school home to more than 1,250 students ranging from grades Junior Kindergarten 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 110-acre (45 ha) 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. The school observed its sesquicentennial during a year-long celebration that ran from May 11, 2009 through May 11, 2010.

MICDS opened the brand new STEM building located on the upper school campus in 2013 which contains large Science and Math classrooms, as well as an auditorium, hearth room and student commons. The space also contains multiple conference rooms, a faculty office space and work center, a robotics garage, and a science lab for independent research. The building is certified as LEED Platinum.


There are three different divisions at MICDS, and each division functions as a "school within a school". The Lower School, also referred to as The Ronald S. Beasley School, or "Beasley" for short, is for students in grades JK–4. The MICDS Middle School is located in the former Mary Institute facilities, and is for grades 5 through 8. The Upper School lies on the former Country Day School campus, and is for grades 9 through 12. The Upper School Students use the newly constructed "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) building which has many technologically advanced specifications in the building to adapt to the students learning.


The school has claimed 32 state championships and 41 district championships in the past.[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. MICDS also has a cross-state rivalry with The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City.

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

The Women's Varsity Field Hockey team won the Midwest Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Men's Water Polo won Third Place in state in 2014.

Men's diving consists of a sole diver who's not exceptional but is known for working hard.

The Boys' and Girls' Cross-Country and Track & Field team are renowned throughout the state for their hard work and leadership skills.[citation needed]

The Men's Lacrosse Team has won eight State Championships, including five straight championships since 2014 under head coach Andy Kay.

Athletic Facilities[edit]

MICDS has many different Athletic facilities available for students to use on the 100 acre campus.

Facility Sport
McDonnell Athletic Center Boys' and Girls' Basketball, Girls' Volleyball, Boys' Wrestling
William R. Orthwein Sr. Pool (Steward Family Aquatic Center) Boys' and Girls' Swimming, Water Polo
Ellis Field and Weiss Track Boys' Football, Boys' and Girls' Track and Field
Tennis Courts Boys' and Girls' Tennis
Hermann Squash Courts Boys' and Girls' Squash
North Gymnasium Girls' Volleyball, Boys' and Girls' Basketball
Athletic Fields Boys' and Girls' Lacrosse, Boys' and Girls' Soccer, Girls' Field Hockey,
South Gymnasium Boys' Wrestling, Boys' and Girls' Basketball
McCreery Field Boys' and Girls' Lacrosse, Boys' Football, Boys' Soccer
Fitness Center Cardio and strength-training equipment for both students and employees
Ron Holtman Stadium and O'Hara Field Boys' Football, Boys' and Girls' Lacrosse, and Boys' and Girls'

In 2016, MICDS will begin construction on the O'Hara field and stadium. This will replace Ellis Field. It will be used for football, lacrosse and soccer. The same year, MICDS will also begin construction on The Steward Family Aquatic Center, which will feature a brand new pool that features a bulkhead in the center, allowing two teams to practice at the same time. The pool will also be longer and the lanes will be wider. It will also be deep enough to allow the diving team to practice on campus.

In 2011, a donor came forward to fund the construction of an Ice Hockey Arena. The city of Ladue rejected the proposal and the arena was never built. The team now practices off campus.

Notable alumni[edit]


Government and Politics[edit]

Sports and Entertainment[edit]

Arts, Sciences, and Education[edit]


External links[edit]

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