Clubs and activities

At University School, learning extends beyond class time as students engage in a variety of clubs and activities. Students are able to choose membership in groups that best meet their interests and goals. Younger students may explore the outdoors, start businesses, or learn how to code while high school boys can handle investment portfolios, participate in mock trials, or produce the school newspaper. Our experienced faculty and staff oversee more than 90 clubs and activities. 

As student interest varies year to year, specific annual programming may slightly change from what is listed below. While most of this programming is available at no cost, some may require additional fees. 

Upper School (9-12)

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • The Arts

    Photography Club
    The Photography Club introduces photo basics to new photographers, helps experienced photographers explore their interests, teaches photo editing on Adobe software, and, above all, inspires its members to photograph for fun.

    The Record
    The Record showcases students’ creative writing and original artwork.

    Strnad Fellowships in Creativity
    Strnad Fellowships stimulate and recognize independent creative research well beyond the curriculum. Projects are typically two years in scope and are formally presented to the students at the conclusion of the senior year. 

    Theatre
    The Theatre Department presents a fall play in November and a spring musical in May. Accommodations are made for athletes and local high school girls to participate. US students can also be part of the Booth/Tech Crew.
  • Business

    Anderson Scholars Program
    A co-curricular immersion, the Anderson Scholars Program enables students to pursue a passion with structure, rigor, and depth. Scholars concentrate in science, entrepreneurship, or reading and writing.

    Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency
    This club discusses the origins, economics, politics, and technological underpinnings of the brave new world of cryptocurrency.

    Business Roundtable
    Students read a business book or packet of related articles and discuss the issues presented during a lunch meeting.

    Entrepreneur Cup
    Participants in the Entrepreneur Cup competition develop an idea for a new business and create a plan to launch and build it. Students do not actually have to launch a business to enter or win the friendly competition.

    Financial Literacy Club
    The Financial Literacy Club is open to any student interested in learning about different aspects of financial literacy including personal finance and investing. Topics are chosen based on members’ areas of interest. Students learn through guest speakers, group discussions, and other resources.

    Investment Club
    Students actively participate in a simulated stock market competition, investing virtual money in the real stock market.

    LoPresti Philanthropic Board
    A select group of students learn the institutional skills necessary for philanthropy, raise funds for their philanthropic goals, and solicit grants to help those in need. The emphasis is on helping underserved children in the Greater Cleveland area, with a focus on education.

    Stock Market Challenge
    Student teams receive a virtual $100,000 and simulate managing a portfolio by buying and selling stocks at real-time prices.

    Student Investment Committee
    A select group of nine students manage, with real money, a significant portfolio of stocks and bonds based on University School’s endowment investment guidelines. Over its 10-year existence, the students have beaten the overall endowment’s return!
  • Fitness & Wellness

    Table Tennis
    The Table Tennis Club promotes the introduction and development of table tennis as a recreational sport.

    Ultimate Frisbee Club
    Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced veteran, come play organized games of Ultimate during and after the school day.

    Yoga
    This club meets to practice power vinyasa (flow). It is meditation in motion – while building strength, emphasizing balance, and lengthening muscles for a greater range of motion.
  • Independent Research

    Anderson Scholars Program
    A co-curricular immersion, the Anderson Scholars Program enables students to pursue a passion with structure, rigor, and depth. Scholars concentrate in science, entrepreneurship, or reading and writing.

    Davey Fellowships in Creative Writing
    A co-curricular immersion, Davey Fellowships enable boys of special literary promise to undertake extensive projects in fiction, drama, and poetry writing.

    Science Research
    Science Research promotes interest in science through participation in local and state-wide competitions.

    The Island School
    Science Anderson Scholars candidates in tenth grade can snorkel, kayak, perform research, and more in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas, during spring break.

    Strnad Fellowships in Creativity
    Strnad Fellowships stimulate and recognize independent creative research well beyond the curriculum. Projects are typically two years in scope and are formally presented to the students at the conclusion of the senior year. 

    Young Entrepreneur Institute
    Students discover and explore their passion for business through a wide range of activities. 

    US Pitch Cup
    US Pitch Cup participants formulate a business idea, produce a 60- to 90-second elevator pitch video, and submit it online. The competition culminates with a live presentation before a panel of judges. Prizes are awarded to the top three pitches.
  • Leadership & Community Engagement

    Aurelian Society
    Members of the Aurelian Society assist with the identification, promotion, and coordination of various community engagement opportunities in the Greater Cleveland area.

    LoPresti Philanthropic Board
    A select group of students learns the institutional skills necessary for philanthropy, raises funds for their philanthropic goals, and solicit grants to help those in need. The emphasis is on helping underserved children in the Greater Cleveland area, with a focus on education.

    Future Problem-Solvers
    Future Problem-Solvers is an international competition in which students learn critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making as they work in groups to investigate and imagine creative solutions to global problems.

    Student Event Committee
    A selected group of 10th- to 12th-grade students who plan and execute all of the school’s student events, including the Homecoming Dance, a winter performance show, and Prom.

    Multicultural Organization (MCO)
    The MCO is an umbrella organization that promotes interest in and provides information about the diverse cultures represented in our school. Affinity groups include Asian Platform, Fellowship of Christians at US, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Italian Club, L'Chaim Society, South Asian Platform, Pembroke Society.

    One Love
    One Love is a national organization that strives to educate young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships and galvanize them as leaders of change. 

    Life Act
    Students raise awareness of adolescent depression and suicide by educating their peers and encouraging at-risk students to seek help.
  • Outdoor

    Great Lakes Sailing Adventure
    Students on this summer trip will experience a 19th Century - maritime environment that makes living on board the U.S. Brig Niagara an education in itself.

    The Island School
    Science Anderson Scholars candidates in tenth grade can snorkel, kayak, perform research, and more in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas during spring break. 

    Outdoor Adventure Club
    Members take excursions to local parks for a variety of outdoor seasonal pursuits such as rock climbing, hiking, and skiing.

    Outdoor Projects
    Students work on the campus' nature trail, trout farm, a maple syrup industry, or several foresting and erosion control projects.

    Ski Club
    Members learn or hone their skiing and snowboarding skills at Brandywine on Fridays in January and February. No experience needed.
  • Philosophy & Debate

    Mock Trial
    Students in Mock Trial practice for and participate in this statewide organization that helps students learn about the United States trial system.

    Philosophy Club
    Philosophy Club serves as a forum for students interested in reading, debating, and learning about various schools of thought from Rationalism to Existentialism and beyond.

    Society of Skeptics
    An open, organized, and intelligent lunch-time forum of students and teachers to discuss and debate a topic of relevance. Any member of the US community can attend on a meeting-to-meeting basis. 

    Speech and Debate
    Members of Speech and Debate develop their oratorical and analytical skills and compete against students from other schools.
  • Science/STEM

    Anderson Scholars Program
    A co-curricular immersion, the Anderson Scholars Program enables students to pursue a passion with structure, rigor, and depth. Scholars concentrate in science, entrepreneurship, or reading and writing.

    Astronomy Club
    This club is for students who want to learn more about the cosmos. Members meet on campus and use the school observatory for viewings.

    Math Team
    Math team meets weekly to practice for and participate in math competitions.

    Robotics Team
    Boys compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge, where they design, build, and program their robot in a 10-week build period culminating in an alliance format competition against other schools.

    Rocketry Club
    Boys compete in TARC, a national rocketry contest sponsored by major aerospace firms to promote engineering and science career paths. Students also work on their own rocketry projects throughout the year.

    Science Research
    Science Research promotes interest in science through participation in local and state-wide competitions.

    Strnad Fellowships in Creativity
    Strnad Fellowships stimulate and recognize independent creative research well beyond the curriculum. Projects are typically two years in scope and are formally presented to the students at the conclusion of the senior year. 
  • Special Interest

    Academic Challenge
    Students participate in interscholastic competitions in academic subjects ranging from history, science, and math to arts and literature.

    Anime Club
    Anime Club meets semi-regularly to watch anime and to discuss the art and story.

    Film Society
    The Film Society promotes interest in film as a medium, meeting most Fridays after school to watch movies.

    Chess Club
    The Chess Club is designed for boys of any experience level to learn more about the strategies of how to play the game of chess.

    Culinary Club
    Let’s be frank, if you love cooking or eating, that is what we will be doing. 

    University Sports Programming Network (USPN)
    An online streaming platform for sports games allows students to produce, direct and serve as on-air commentators for US athletic contests.
  • Writing/Reading

    Book Club
    Students choose a book to read and meet quarterly for dinner and discussion.

    Mabian Yearbook
    Students produce the school yearbook, which has been published every year since 1919.

    PenOhio Club
    PenOhio is a competition in writing for students who love to write. In regional and state tournaments, students write in response to prompts and under time limits for awards for the best creative stories.

    Writing Forum
    Writing Forum is a monthly writing workshop for all students interested in writing. Each month students meet after school, write creatively in response to prompts, share their work with each other, and discuss writing and creativity.

    US News
    Students produce the US News, the oldest school newspaper in Ohio, which is published online once a month.

Middle School (5-8)

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Business

    Entrepreneurship Club (Grades 6-8)
    Students learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and create a micro-business with opportunities to sell their creations.

    Stock Market Challenge (Grades 6-8)
    Starting with a virtual cash account of $100,000, teams of boys compete with teams from other schools to create the best-performing portfolio.
  • Leadership & Community Engagement

    Eighth Grade Mock Trial (Grade 8)
    Eighth graders in Mock Trial study a case and prepare strategies and arguments to become attorneys and witnesses in a trial simulation.

    JMUN (Junior Model United Nations) (Grades 7-8)
    Model UN is a unique, interactive program that brings world affairs alive for students. Our team will be given countries to represent in simulations of UN committees. JMUN is a unique opportunity to learn about and engage in international affairs in a personal, exciting way.
  • Outdoor

    Maple Sugaring (Grades 4-8)
    Maple Sugaring Club is an opportunity for students to participate in all stages of the University School maple sugaring operation: set up buckets, tap trees, collect and boil sap, and label bottles. Students are transported to the upper school on school busses. Taste-testing included!

    Outdoor Adventures Club (Grades 6-8)
    Learn survival and camping skills. We cover the basics of food, water, shelter, and clothing along with making fires, tying knots, navigating, and map reading. In the last session, we hold a  “search and rescue” operation. Improves critical thinking, decision-making, and strategic skills. 
  • Philosophy & Debate

    The Speech and Debate Team (Grades 6-8) introduces the principles of debate and prepares students to participate in regional tournaments from November to March.
  • Reading/Writing

    Power of the Pen (Grades 7-8)
    Students form an academic writing team that competes in statewide interscholastic creative writing tournaments.
  • Science/STEM

    Coding Club (Grades 6-8)
    Coding Club introduces students to the world of programming by teaching them to write their own simple arcade game.

    FIRST Lego League (Grades 6-8)
    Students participate in a nationwide themed robotics competition that also has a research component.

    Junior Research Fellows Program (Grades 6-8)
    Boys with a passionate interest in a particular topic can apply to pursue high-level research on that topic as first-hand inquirers.

    Make It, Break It, Scrap It Club (Grades 6-8)
    Boys will take various electronic devices and safely disassemble them. They will separate the dismantled components into trash, recyclables, and metals that can be scrapped for money. Opportunities to create art out of the pieces are plentiful.

    Math Team (Grades 6-8)
    Students participate in a variety of contests, practices, and Math Circles that help them increase their math skills, learn new ways of mathematical thinking, and gain recognition for mathematical achievement. Contests include Ohio Math League, MATHCOUNTS, and the Great Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

    Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (Grades 7-8)
    Students create science and engineering displays and have the opportunity to discuss their research with professionals and compete for prizes.

    Rocket Club (Grades 4-6)
    Boys in Rocketry Club build and launch model rockets. This club is designed for beginners.

    Young Surgeons' Course (Grades 7-8)
    Students are provided with an introduction to the medical field through dissection, clinics with guest physicians, and visits to medical facilities.
  • Special Interest

    Academic Challenge (Grades 6-8)
    Students answer questions from the fields of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and geography in intramural as well as local, regional, and national tournaments.

    Chess Club (Grades 1-6)
    Learn and play chess. Chess improves higher-level thinking skills such as memory concentration and pattern recognition and provides many opportunities for positive social interaction. 

    Junior Research Fellows Program (Grades 6-8)
    Boys with a passionate interest in a particular topic can apply to pursue high-level research on that topic as first-hand inquirers.

    Make It, Break It, Scrap It Club (Grades 6-8)
    Boys will take various electronic devices and safely disassemble them. They will separate the dismantled components into trash, recyclables, and metals that can be scrapped for money. Opportunities to create art out of the pieces are plentiful.

    Mandarin Club (Grades 6-8)
    The Lower School and Middle School Mandarin Clubs introduce and expose students to the Mandarin language and calligraphy.

    Unplugged Games Club (Grades 1-5)
    Learn through play with the great American family pastime with games of strategy, skill, and silliness. Play Twister, spoons, Mastermind, Battleship, and more. Learn card games that are great to pass time on long trips, vacations, and rainy days. During the nice weather, we will learn outside games too such as cornhole, spud, four corners, and more!
  • Sports & Fitness

    Adrenaline Monkey Club (Grades 1-8)
    Custom adventure games of wonder and thrill in an expansive 24,000 sq. ft. ninja warrior facility. Experience our robust and interactive ninja warrior training program, learn teamwork and strategy, and test skills with competitive play.

    Bike Club (Grades 6-8) 

    Intramural Basketball League (Grades 5-6)
    This program is geared toward having fun while learning the game of basketball. We will be working on all aspects of the game such as dribbling, passing, defense, and shooting. The gameplay will be scrimmages and games that will incorporate all of the skills worked on during practice.

    Intramural Wrestling (Grades K-6)
    Introduces students to the sport of wrestling through fundamental instruction of all wrestling positions. Taught by varsity wrestling coach Sean Grosz, this is a great way to learn about wrestling and engage in a challenging physical activity.

    Lacrosse (Grades 4-6)
    Middle school Coach John Grady teaches the fundamentals and strategy of the sport. Live play is emphasized, and all levels are welcome.

    Ski Club (Grades 6-8)
    US boys are joined by girls from Hathaway Brown and Laurel Schools to ski at Boston Mills every Friday in January and February.

    Squash (Grades K-8)
    Varsity Coach Jon Bridge and players from the varsity squash team offer squash instruction to players of all levels.

    Ultimate Frisbee (Grades 1-5)
    Ultimate is a fun, fast-paced sport played all over the world. Players act as referees and all skills are welcome. Coached by Gilbert and Claudia DiSanto, who have played at the top level all over the world.

    Winter Travel Basketball (Grades 4-6)
    The team meets once a week for practice at the Hunting Valley campus and plays in a community-based travel basketball league hosted on the Kenston Schools’ campus. Triathlon Club (Grades 2-6) Do you like to swim, bike, and run? This club meets once a week in the spring and ends with its own triathlon in late May.

Lower School (Jr.K-4)

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Music

    Piano
    Weekly 30-minute piano lessons are offered throughout the school year. Instructors include Patrice Croglio, Maddie Hasebein, and Hannah Koby.

    Violin
    Weekly 30-minute violin lessons are offered throughout the school year. The instructor is Kelsey Ferguson, a CIM graduate.
  • Outdoor

    Maple Sugaring (Grades 4-8)
    Maple Sugaring Club is an opportunity for students to participate in all stages of the University School maple sugaring operation: set up buckets, tap trees, collect and boil sap, and label bottles. Students are transported to the upper school on school busses. Taste-testing included!

    Outdoor Science (Grades K-2)

    Do you love walking through the woods to see what you can find? In each lesson, we will explore a different type of tree or insect on a walk or scavenger hunt through the woods followed by a hands-on activity exploring what we discovered in a classroom.
  • Science/STEM

    LEGO Club (Grades 2-5)
    Level up your engineering skills with Play-Well TEKnologies and tens of thousands of LEGO® parts! Apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as: Gear Cars, Merry-Go-Rounds, and Tower Cranes. Design and build as never before and explore your craziest ideas in a supportive environment. 

    Math Exploration (Grades 3-4)
    Do you love math mysteries, games, and solving logic problems in creative and fun ways? This exciting club explores challenging math games and puzzles.
     
    Outdoor Science (Grades K-2)
    Do you love walking through the woods to see what you can find? In each lesson we will explore a different type of tree or insect on a walk or scavenger hunt through the woods followed by a hands-on activity exploring what we discovered in a classroom.

    Rocket Club (Grades 4-6)
    Boys in Rocketry Club build and launch model rockets. This Club is designed for beginners.
  • Special Interest

    Chess Club (Grades 1-6)
    Students in the coed Chess Club learn the basic rules and principles, tactical themes, and checkmate strategies in a supportive environment. The time is divided between instruction and supervised open chess play. Four levels are offered: beginner, novice, intermediate, and advanced.

    Creative Writing (Grades 3-4)
    Take a deeper dive into the six traits of writing as we identify qualities of each of the traits and put them into practice with our imagination.
     
    Exploring the Middle Ages (Grades 3-4)
    While many of us love knights in shining armor, what was it ACTUALLY like to live in medieval times? This hands-on activity teaches a variety of skills, including embroidery and heraldry. 

    LEGO Club (Grades 2-4)
    Level up your engineering skills with Play-Well TEKnologies and tens of thousands of LEGO® parts! Apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as Gear Cars, Merry-Go-Rounds, and Tower Cranes. Design and build as never before and explore your craziest ideas in a supportive environment. 
     
    National Geographic Bee (Grades 4-8)
    Students prepare for and participate in an interscholastic nationwide competition for U.S. schools designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography.
     
    Unplugged Games Club (Grades 1-5)
    Learn through play with the great American family pastime with games of strategy, skill, and silliness. Play Twister, spoons, Mastermind, Battleship, and more. Learn card games that are great to pass time on long trips, vacations, and rainy days. During the nice weather, we will learn outside games too such as cornhole, spud, four corners, and more!

    Young Readers (Grades K-2)
    Let’s take a journey together through books and stories! Each week our activity will focus on 1-2 stories we share together in a read-aloud format, followed by a visual, oral, or written response tailored to the abilities of the students in the room. 
  • Sports & Fitness

    Adrenaline Monkey Club (Grades 1-8)
    Custom adventure games of wonder and thrill in an expansive 24,000 sq. ft. ninja warrior facility. Experience our robust and interactive ninja warrior training program, learn teamwork and strategy, and test skills with competitive play. 

    Bike Club (Grades 6-8)

    Intramural Wrestling (Grades K-6)
    Introduces students to the sport of wrestling through fundamental instruction of all wrestling positions. Taught by varsity wrestling coach Sean Grosz, this is a great way to learn about wrestling and engage in a challenging physical activity. 

    Lacrosse (Grades 4-6)
    Middle school Coach John Grady teaches the fundamentals and strategy of the sport. Live play will be emphasized, and all levels are welcome.  

    Saturday Morning Basketball (Grades K-3)
    A developmental skills clinic that is hosted by the Varsity Basketball coaches and players at the Hunting Valley campus on Saturday mornings in November and December.

    Winter Travel Basketball (Grades 4-6)
    The team meets once a week for practice at the Hunting Valley campus and plays in a community-based travel basketball league hosted on the Kenston Schools’ campus. 

    Triathlon Club (Grades 2-6) 
    Do you like to swim, bike, and run? This club meets once a week in the spring and ends with its own triathlon in late May. 
     
    Squash (Grades K-8)
    Varsity Coach Jon Bridge and players from the varsity squash team offer squash instruction to players of all levels.

    Ultimate Frisbee (Grades 1-5)
    Ultimate is a fun, fast-paced sport played all over the world. Players act as referees and all skills are welcome. Coached by Gilbert and Claudia DiSanto, who have played at the top level all over the world.

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
GRADES 9-12
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 870 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved. 
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