University School of Milwaukee

The University School of Milwaukee (USM) is a private pre-kindergarten through secondary preparatory school located on 123 acres (0.50 km2) in River Hills and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It was founded as the German-English Academy. USM is accredited[1] by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

University School of Milwaukee
2100 West Fairy Chasm Road

Coordinates43°11′12″N 87°56′01″W
Other nameUSM
Former nameGerman-English Academy (die deutsch-englische Akademie)
TypePrivate, Day
MottoE Tribus Una
(From Three, One)
Established1851 (1851)
Head of schoolLaura Fuller
Average class size15
Student to teacher ratio11:1
Campus size123 acres (0.50 km2)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Blue and gold
Athletics21 varsity sports
MascotWillie the Wildcat
AccreditationIndependent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
Tuition$27,922 (2019)
AffiliationNational Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

The University School of Milwaukee has a core set of guiding principles: The Common Trust. The Common Trust states that "We, the members of the University School of Milwaukee community, accept the Common Trust. We agree to relate to one another and the School with respect, trust, honesty, fairness, and kindness"[2].


The school was founded in 1851 as the German-English Academy (die deutsch-englische Akademie)[3] by a group of Milwaukee German Americans that included educationist Peter Engelmann and hardware wholesaler William Frankfurth. The Academy offered classes that taught the German language and literature, as well as English. In 1891, the academy moved to the German-English Academy Building in downtown Milwaukee. The institution changed its name in 1917 to Milwaukee University School because of anti-German prejudice that occurred during World War I.

In 1964, the Milwaukee University School, the Milwaukee Country Day School and Milwaukee-Downer Seminary merged to become the University School of Milwaukee.[4] It operated from two campuses, North and South, one in Whitefish Bay and the other in River Hills. In 1985, the two combined into one campus at the River Hills location, serving students in K–12.[5]


The school's athletic teams follow a no-cut athletic policy, which allows every student to participate in any sport. The athletic program begins in fifth grade, when students become eligible for a number of teams, including basketball, track and field, football and several intramural sports. The Middle School offers 13 interscholastic sports and intramural options. The Upper School has 24 varsity teams level sports, in addition to a number of junior varsity programs.

Sports[6] State championships[7] Conference championships[7]
Baseball 2010 5x champions
Basketball (B/G) Boys' basketball: 6x champions

Girls' basketball: 2x champions

Cross country (B/G) Boys' cross country: 10x champions

Girls' cross country: 2x champions

Field hockey 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1991 12x champions
Football 10x champions
Golf 8x champions
Ice hockey (B/G) Boys' ice hockey: 2019, 2010, 2006,

Girls' ice hockey: 2015

Boys' ice hockey: 8x champions

Girls' ice hockey: 3x champions

Lacrosse (B/G) Boys' lacrosse: 2x champions

Girls' lacrosse 1x champion

Skiing (coed)
Soccer (B/G) Boys' soccer: 2018, 2013

Girls' soccer: 2008

Boys' soccer: 20x champions

Girls' soccer: 9x champions

Swimming (B/G) 1x champions
Tennis (B/G) Boys' tennis: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004

Girls' tennis: 2018, 2017, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

Boys' tennis: 46x champions

Girls' tennis: 14x champions

Track and field (B/G) Boys' track: 13x champions

Girls' track: 6x champions

Volleyball 2x champions


Since 1985, the USM campus has undergone multiple renovations and additions. Notable academic and community building facilities include:

  • Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration
  • Jack Olson '67 Commons
  • Palermo Hall (servery)
  • Bruce '81 and Jennifer Lee Community Room
  • Virginia Henes Young Theatre
  • Nerdvana (Middle School maker space)
  • Sardas-Trevorrow Band Room
  • Stratton Family Orchestra Room
  • Hamilton Greenhouse
  • Kohl Collaboration Center
  • Darrow Family Welcome Center

Much of USM's acreage is taken up by athletic fields. Notable athletic facilities include:

  • Upper school gymnasium
  • Middle school gymnasium
  • Auxiliary gymnasium
  • Marion and Verne Read Gymnasium (Lower School)
  • Fitness center
  • Polly and Henry Uihlein Ice Arena
  • Pennington Athletic Complex
  • Ken Laird Field (football and soccer)
  • Liz Krieg Field (lacrosse)
  • Don Forti Stadium
  • Butch Richardson Track
  • Charles James Field (soccer)
  • Alfred James Field (baseball)
  • James Laing Tennis Center
  • Cross country course

Notable alumni


  1. "USM at a Glance". University School of Milwaukee.
  2. "USM Mission & Philosophy | University School of Milwaukee". Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  3. Koss, Rudolph A. (1871). Milwaukee. Schnellpressendruck des "Herold". p. 364.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "50 Years of USM". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  6. "USM Athletics". USM Athletics.
  7. "USM Digital Trophy Case".
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