From the Head of School

A Path to Our Shared Future

Patrick T. Gallagher, Head of School  
For me, a highlight of the 2020-21 academic year came just as it concluded.
On a hot Monday afternoon in late May, our varsity tennis athletes took to the courts of the Drake Perry Tennis Complex to compete against the Walsh Jesuit Warriors. The crowd was small but spirited. I was especially pleased to see the support of several graduates of the program, including members of the Class of 2020, whose season had been forgone because of the COVID-19 pandemic the previous year. 
As the singles and doubles play continued, a few spectators sighed as they checked their phones. Across campus, at our baseball diamond, our varsity baseball athletes had fallen to the North Ridgeville Rangers in the Ohio High School Athletic Association District semifinal. The fine team had had a great run, and the tennis crowd felt for them in their loss.

Within minutes, the gravel between the student parking lot and the tennis complex was kicked up as more fans arrived at the courts. Surely disappointed, but driven to support their classmates nevertheless, members of the varsity baseball team came to cheer on the tennis team. In that moment, with them still in their uniforms, I could not imagine any Prepper donning the maroon and black representing US any better. 

Yet at US, we always strive to do better. At the close of the year, the University School Board of Directors approved the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan – a series of priorities aimed at strengthening US in the years to come, enhancing our focus on character and leadership education, and claiming our place as one of the country’s very best boys’ schools. 

Our planning process began in the fall of 2019 with a presentation at US by Ms. Donna Orem, president of the National Association of Independent Schools. In it, she described any number of the challenges facing independent schools nationally. Additional further analyses also made clear additional challenges locally. The headwinds are real. 
Thankfully, US operates today and sets these goals from a position of strength. Our foundation is as strong as our aspirations are ambitious. And at the heart of our work together, today and tomorrow, is a rock-solid consensus: the solidarity that comes with our commitment to a “diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved.” So the tailwinds are very real, too, and will propel us further forward. 

We will share more about more about our plan in the future, but an outline of our objectives follows.
Varsity baseball head Coach Rob McNerney encourages his players to "play hard, play smart, and play fun." The words seem fitting not only for an in-season team, but also for the school at this juncture as we lay out a map to and through our shared future, as those young men who bolted out to the tennis courts are well on their way to becoming the “young men of character who lead and serve” for whom our mission strives. 

The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

Defining Excellence in Boys’ Education
US will be recognized nationally as providing world-class curricular, extracurricular, and co-curricular programming for boys in a diverse community, by creating a uniquely supportive and inspiring place where boys can aspire to be their best authentic selves.

Setting the Standard in Exemplary Teaching
US is first and foremost a school for boys during the critical years of their development into men, and all faculty and staff who work with our boys will exemplify excellence, both in their disciplines and in their care for students, in maximizing boys’ experiences.

Connecting Our Community
US will first cultivate a sense of belonging at US. From there broadening and deepening students’ world outlook will expand the concept of “classroom” to embrace the culture, perspectives, and learning opportunities in Cleveland and beyond.

Constructing Superior Learning Facilities
US will provide an intentionally prepared educational environment with buildings, classrooms, and campus spaces that complement and enhance the School’s longstanding experiential emphasis and that support boys’ growth and learning.

Ensuring Long-term Financial Resources
To serve the broadest group of boys today and to develop aspirational plans for tomorrow’s generations of students, US will increase revenue beyond tuition while prudently managing costs associated with our robust Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 program.


Shaker Heights Campus JUNIOR K – GRADE 8

20701 Brantley Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: (216) 321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus GRADES 9 – 12

2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: (216) 831-2200