The new Strategic Plan for Memphis University School (MUS) was undertaken and completed during 2020 – a notably transformative year, not only for education but for the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in drastic changes in teaching and learning – with most schools going remote and virtual. 

It was not simply a time of temporary adjustment. The deep and wide impact of the health crisis resulted in permanent adaptations worldwide, including the acceleration of online consumer behaviors, the injection of new public health practices, the stifling of the economy, the reexamination of such values as personal responsibility and social equity, and the institution of disruptive educational models – along with some “silver linings.”

Throughout the year, the school remained strategically focused and prepared to face challenges. This time of adjustment coincided with the strategic plan process, providing an opportunity to examine how to continue – and build upon – our longstanding mission.
Founded in 1893, MUS provides Mid-South boys with unparalleled opportunities to develop intellectually, morally, socially, artistically, and physically, becoming leaders well-equipped to turn great ideas into action. Boys in Grades 7-12 experience a top-tier academic program, small classes with individual attention, a school community centered on an Honor Code, extracurricular activities with opportunities for leadership, and a sense of belonging within a fellowship of common purpose.

The school created its last strategic plan in 2012, and with the hiring of Headmaster Peter D. Sanders in 2017, the current strategic planning process has been particularly timely.
In 2020, ten years after the National Association of Independent Schools published its first Trend Book, the message is clear that as the world changes, independent education must continuously adapt to survive and thrive.

Prevailing themes include transformation in the labor market and employer expectations, evolution in customer attitudes and perceptions, creation of new learning platforms and technologies, demand for updated educator and student skills, revolutions in higher education, and shifts in demographics. Evident prior to the pandemic, these influential trends have been accelerated by its prolonged and lasting effects. 

As a leader among independent schools, MUS sought a highly engaging, interactive strategic planning project that would be informed by the best internal and external thinking and would serve as a means to inform, motivate, mobilize, and transform the MUS community.

The result is a Strategic Plan focused on the possibilities and demands for the future – equipped with mechanisms for strengthening Memphis University School’s ability to prepare students for college, career, and life with excellence and innovation while holding true to our mission.