Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School

Coordinates: 38°39′34″N 90°24′00″W / 38.659561°N 90.40°W / 38.659561; -90.40
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MICDS (Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School)
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 schoolJay Rainey
Faculty126.9 (on an FTE basis) [1]
GradesJK–12 [1]
Enrollment1,189 excluding JK (2017–18) [1]
Student to teacher ratio9.4[1]
Campus size100 acres (40 ha)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)    Cardinal red, Forest green
Athletics conferenceMetro Catholic Conference

MICDS (Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School) is a secular, co-educational, independent school home to more than 1,250 students ranging from grades Junior Kindergarten through 12. Its 110-acre (45 ha) campus[2][3] is located in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.

Each of the school's three divisions operate somewhat independently 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 junior kindergarten through 4. The MICDS Middle School, grades 5 to 8, is in the former Mary Institute facilities. The Upper School on the former Country Day School campus serves grades 9 through 12.


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.

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 17. In its early years, Mary Institute moved twice within the city of St. Louis; its third building, at the corner of Lake and Waterman, 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 a number of former Smith students enrolled that first year. 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. The Mary Institute building contains a three-figure bronze sculpture by Cyrus Dallin: Alma Mater, honoring schoolmaster Edmund Hamilton Sears and donated by Eliza Northrop McMillan.[4] 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 moved to a new campus next to Mary Institute in Ladue in 1958, and eventually sold its old campus to the airport.[5]

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 celebration that ran from May 11, 2009, to May 11, 2010.

In 2013, MICDS opened a STEM building on the Upper School campus that contained classrooms, an auditorium, a hearth room, and student commons. The space also contains 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.


MICDS teams have won 32 state championships and 41 district championships.[6]

The school has one of the few high school cycling teams in St. Louis. They competed in the Tour De St. Louis in 2009; two MICDS riders finished with the peloton.[7]

MICDS has an athletic rivalry with the nearby John Burroughs School. MICDS observes its Homecoming on the weekend when all the teams play Burroughs; there is a traditional bonfire and pep rally to inspire team spirit.[8] 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 finished third in the state in 2014.

The Men's lacrosse team has won eight state championships, including six straight championships since 2014 under head coach Andy Kay.[9]

Athletic facilities[edit]

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'
Steward Family Aquatic Center Boys' and Girls' Swim and Dive, Boys' and Girls' Water Polo

In 2016, MICDS began construction on the O'Hara field and stadium, which replaced Ellis Field. It is used for football, lacrosse, and soccer. The same year, MICDS also began construction on The Steward Family Aquatic Center, which features a pool with a bulkhead in the center, allowing two teams to practice at the same time. The pool is also longer and the lanes are wider. It is also deep enough to allow the diving team to practice on campus.

In 2011, a donor offered to fund the construction of an ice hockey arena, but the city of Ladue rejected the proposal and the arena was never built. The team practices off campus.

Notable alumni[edit]


Government and politics[edit]

Sports and entertainment[edit]

Arts, sciences, and education[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mary Institute & St Louis Country Day School". Search for Private Schools. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  2. ^ MICDS campus page. Archived 2005-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ KSDK Story on MICDS
  4. ^ Possibly spelled "Northrup": "Women of Washington University: Eliza McMillan, Philanthropist". Becker Medical Library. 2020-03-21. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  5. ^ MICDS history page Archived 2005-04-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Facts". Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School.
  7. ^ "News Detail | MICDS". Archived from the original on 2015-05-05.
  8. ^ Vessa, Ben. "MICDS, John Burroughs celebrates with six-sport extravaganza". Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  9. ^ "Boys Varsity Lacrosse". MICDS. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  10. ^ Robinson-Jacobs, Karen (2022-02-16). "North County native, Texas transplant, sets sights on Congress". St. Louis American. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  11. ^ Bicks, Emily (2020-06-29). "Mark McCloskey & Patricia McCloskey: St. Louis Couple Pull Guns on Protesters". Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  12. ^ "Dwight Davis – Missouri Legends".
  13. ^ Kerman, Byron (July 2010). "Comic Genius". St. Louis Magazine. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Town Topics".

External links[edit]

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