Two teams of Lower School Owls met in the Lower School Computer Lab May 6 for a quick Chick-fil-A and donut breakfast before tackling the online Perennial Math Competition. When the results were in, both teams had placed first in their divisions.
Our regular academic year has concluded, and fourth-quarter grades will be available online Friday, June 2. MUS will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. Summer programs begin soon - see details HERE.
Owls in rising grades 9-12 should check out this new ACT Math Prep Class, offered in June and July. Practice makes perfect, so get ready for the upcoming ACT with Mathematics Department Co-Chair Phillip Stalls! You will take a practice exam each day and review areas that proved challenging. Gain experience and prepare for success!
Rising sophomores and juniors should take advantage of the NEW AP History prep classes offered beginning June 19 or June 26! These one-week courses introduce the AP exam format and hone testing skills.
Headmaster Pete Sanders has named Dr. Kyle Summers as the Sally and Wil Hergenrader Chair of Excellence in Science. Summers has taught Biology and AP Biology since arriving at MUS in 2020 and serves as co-advisor for the school’s HOSA Club.
Ask anyone in the Athletics Department who is the most valuable member of the team, and they are likely to name this staff member: Athletics Administrative Assistant Beth Taylor. When Headmaster Pete Sanders announced that Taylor was the 2023 recipient of the Jean Barbee Hale Award for Outstanding Service, employees assembled for the Faculty Luncheon rose for a standing ovation.
Baccalaureate and Commencement were wonderful celebrations! You can download the videos HERE.
We have posted many Class of 2023 pictures in our Photo Gallery Look for Baccalaureate, Commencement, Graduation Awards, Headmaster Lunch/Grad Rehearsal, and Senior Picnic folders. You can download the photos free from there.
Valedictorian Frederick Huang is an inquisitive scholar, an accomplished swimmer, a gifted musician, and a caring friend. His insatiable intellectual curiosity and tireless work ethic are hallmark traits. His focus on overall wellness – physical, mental, and social-emotional – including prioritizing sleep, sets an example for all.
Sixty Spanish students garnered national recognition for their performance on the 2023 National Spanish Examinations. Owls earned a total of 10 Gold, 14 Silver, and 13 Bronze Medals, along with 23 honorable mentions. Patrick Burke ’25 achieved a perfect score on the Spanish II examination.
Faculty and families celebrated 10 eighth-grade Springfield Society inductees during a banquet May 11. These scholars are in the top 10% of their class and demonstrate character consistent with the high standards of the school’s Honor Code and Community Creed.
The Counseling Department is accepting Upper School volunteers for next year’s Peer Mentoring program - become a Wingman! Help a newer, younger student learn about the U! You will get training before you are paired with an underclassman. This is a great leadership and service-hours opportunity, so contact Mrs. Candy Harris with questions or sign up today!
Kristopher Johnson ’23 spoke about his mental health journey during chapel May 10. A member of the MUS Mental Health Club, the outgoing senior wanted to encourage students who may be struggling with mental and emotional issues.
This is your invitation to join the 2023-24 Lower School football team. We will have separate teams for seventh and eighth grade players. Both will participate in a municipal and independent schools league. We are fortunate to have a very experienced group of alumni who coach our Lower School teams.
The Hyde Library wants to help you get started with Summer Reading assignments! Everyone must complete the reading assignment before next fall, and the exam deeply influences first-quarter grades - so make your plans NOW to take (and pass) a Summer Reading Mastery course or by doing the reading assignment yourself over the summer.
In a twist of fate, the Student Council chaplain couldn’t make it to chapel May 5. Luckily, Robert J. Hussey, Sr. Chair of Religion David Jackson was available to deliver the devotional, because Headmaster Pete Sanders was honoring him, along with Instructor in Math Leigh Packard, to celebrate their retirements.
The Ambassador Selection Committee – which includes Counseling Director Joe Abrahams ’96, Admissions Assistant Director Emily Bailey, Lower School Athletic Director Matt Bakke, and Admissions Director Buck Towner ’07 – announced the Class of 2025 Student Ambassadors during chapel May 1.
Upper School Robotics engineers from the Class of 2023 put their skills to the test this semester as they built, programmed, and operated their creations to navigate a speed maze and clean up a trash pit in Science Department Chair Lee Loden’s Physics II: Robotics class.
Upper School and Lower School students interested in participating in the MUS Theater Company’s fall musical, Mamma Mia!, should head to Hyde Chapel May 8, 10, and 11 for auditions and tech interviews. Theater Assistant Director Ted Fockler ’10, Instructor in Music Matt Tutor ’91, and Theater Technical Director Robert Fudge welcome potential actors, actresses, designers, and crew members.
Mr. Jonathan Large, history teacher and Civic Service Organization advisor, received The Salvation Army Angel of Hope Award on April 27 during a volunteer appreciation dinner. In addition to his many personal philanthropic and service efforts, Large leads an impressive contingency of student volunteers. It was for his youth leadership and his work with the Angel Tree Program that he was honored this year.
Seven teams of Owls in Latin II, III, IV, and V competed in the Latin Club’s April Insanity Certamen Tournament, and the quartet of juniors Will Gramm, Parth Patel, Alan Zhou, and freshman Joshua Gramm came out on top.
Five Owls worked about 170 hours – six hours a week from October to April – to analyze the problem of recidivism in Iowa prisons and formulate solutions based on predictive mathematical models. Their 38-page report resulted in a second-place finish nationally in the 2022-23 Modeling the Future Challenge, sponsored by the Actuarial Foundation.
Nine Owls committed to the next stop in their academic and athletic journeys in front of families and friends April 27. The recruiting process ended as these seniors made their decisions final in the Wunderlich Lobby.
The United States Presidential Scholars Program has named senior Jack Zaptin a semifinalist.
Candidates are selected based on demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, artistic and technical pursuits, personal conduct, and selfless service to others. Those who advance from semifinalists to Presidential Scholars will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington where they will receive a medallion during a special ceremony sponsored by the White House.
What was needed for the Owls to bring home a state championship from the 2023 Mu Alpha Theta State Convention and Math Competition? Intense preparation, sure. But other factors – Nerf guns, late night pizza in the hotel, two stops at Buc-ee’s Travel Center, and basketball pickup games – cannot be ruled out.
Competing in this event for the first time since 2007, the Owls came away with nine top-3 awards including the Overall Sweepstakes. In the Math Bowl, two Owl teams met in the finals.
Teams and families celebrated 2022-23 achievements at the Jake Rudolph All-Sports Awards ceremony April 25. Seventy-five seniors received varsity-letter plaques celebrating their careers at MUS while 331 underclassmen received newly earned letters.
Class of 2023 family members joined students and faculty in Hyde Chapel on April 19 for the Senior Academic Awards program. Faculty presented the awards while praising each student for his accomplishments.
Instructor in Instrumental Music and Director of Band and Orchestra Programs Chris Piecuch has been named the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music Educator of the Year. He will receive the award in an April 26 ceremony in the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center.
Summer swings into motion with Baseball Camp beginning Tuesday, May 30! Boys in rising grades 3-8 will work on throwing mechanics, pitching fundamentals, defensive skills, swing development, and base running. The camp includes a free camp T-shirt. Get your summer started with Head Baseball Coach John Jarnagin and this three-day camp dedicated to America’s national pastime!
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee once again renewed our request to proclaim April as Latin Appreciation Month, carrying on a tradition started in 2014. The MUS student-created Latin phrase Musica e montibus fluit (“Music flows from the mountains”) continues to be the honorary Latin motto of the state.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented The President’s Volunteer Service Award to seven Owls at the Special Awards and Honor Societies Induction ceremony in Hyde Chapel April 12.
After reading about the selfless volunteerism of the honorees, he likened their work to the actions of the Good Samaritan toward the injured man in the famous parable. “People walked or rode by and thought, ‘If I stop, what will happen to me?’ The Samaritan flipped that and said, ‘If I don’t stop, what will happen to this man?’ And that is what these young men have done.”
In this course about making sensible life choices combined with the power of compound interest, students learn how to build wealth and change their financial family trees forever! Taught by Pam and George Sousoulas Chair of Economics Orlando McKay, subjects covered will include zero-based budgeting, car purchases, the world of credit cards, long-term investing, and much more. See a quick video message from him about this course HERE!
Eleven students participated in the 2023 WordSmith Olympics February 26 at the University of Memphis, led by Instructor in English Eric Dalle. Among the awards, seventh grader Gus Williams won a Gold Medal, and junior Jerry Xiao a Silver Medal. The Owls also earned school second-place trophies for seventh and 11th grade.
Nine Owls from the Class of 2023 have received regional honors for their writing in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including Kyan Ramsay, who also won a national Gold Medal.
Ramsay’s critical essay examining themes in Toni Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye” was written as part of an independent study course, Perspectives in Women’s Literature, with English Department Chair Elizabeth Crosby last semester.
Led by Assistant Football and Track/Field Coach Stephond Allmond, our speed camps focus on the techniques and fitness required for accessing maximum strength, speed, explosive power, and the ability to “play fast.”
Members of the DECA Club received several awards during the Tennessee DECA State Career Development Conference March 8-11 in Chattanooga.
The club was elevated to Thrive Level, which allows up to six members to participate at Thrive Academy in this year’s International Career Development Conference in Orlando. They also earned the Club 75 Achievement Award for membership.
The Alumni Executive Board has memorialized the late Faculty Emeritus A. Robert Boelte, Jr. with the 18th painting in the Faculty Portrait Series. At the portrait unveiling March 23, family, alumni, and colleagues gathered to celebrate the popular teacher who also served as an administrator.
We offer a ton of fun and enriching activities to keep you moving, growing, and enjoying your summer. Co-ed options are available in chess, How to Win With Money, and lacrosse. Camp U is a day camp experience for boys in rising Grades 3-7 featuring weekly themes, quests, outdoor survival science, and games. Summer Reading Mastery will help you knock out your Summer Reading Assignment in style. Click on the camp names to sign up and get your summer planned U-style! For more information, visit musowls.org/summer.
The team of seniors Amar Kanakamedala, Jeffrey Liu, Henry Yu, Lou Zhou, and junior Evan Wu were finalists in two math modeling competitions, each requiring extensive data mining and analysis followed by a detailed written report.
Instructor in Science Garrett Smithson spoke in chapel about life’s challenges and the importance of confiding in trusted family members, teachers and coaches, and friends. He reported the results of an anonymous survey he conducted among faculty and staff to illustrate how everyone has encountered problems.
The Bubones brought home their 14th-straight first-place trophy from the Tennessee Junior Classical League Convention held March 23-24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Knoxville.
A total of 36 MUS students, representing Latin I through Latin IV, contributed to this victory. They tallied 1,445 total points while the second-place team in the AAA Division, Webb School of Knoxville, scored 416 total points.
The Memphis University School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 62 members from the junior and senior classes in a ceremony March 24.
Dr. David Jackson, chair of the selection committee, welcomed students and families to the ceremony while speaking on wisdom and the National Honor Society principles. Senior members then addressed the four pillars of the society, lighting candles to correspond with each trait: Amar Kanakamedala on scholarship, Parth Mishra on leadership, Carter Campbell on character, and John Lee on service.
The student body elected junior Bennett Owen to be the 2023-24 Honor Council president.
The Honor Council, composed of representatives from each class and a president elected by the student body, is charged with the responsibility of seeing that the school’s Honor Code is upheld and that any violation is dealt with fairly and justly.
Mr. Ross Spain has been named Memphis University School’s new Lower School assistant principal and Admissions associate, effective this summer. Spain comes to MUS from Presbyterian Day School where he has been director of Student Life since 2009.
Junior Evan Wu was among 400 semifinalists from around the world who competed in the Biology Olympiad on March 16. Wu and juniors Bryan Ding and Eshaan Patnaik and freshman Ari Thiyagarajaa took the online open exam February 2.
Owls traveled to Alabama for an educational tour to wrap up Black History Month. Led by English Department Chair Elizabeth Crosby and History Department Chair Jonathan Jones, the group first stopped at the site where Ell Persons was lynched in 1917 off Summer Avenue near the Wolf River. A marker stands near where the lynching took place. This event led to the formation of the Memphis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Senior Abdullah Elahi held a chapel presentation March 8 on the most blessed time for Muslims around the world – Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, and introspection. This year the observance runs from March 22 - April 21.
Armed with laptops, a whiteboard, comfortable clothes, and assorted snacks, seniors Amar Kanakamedala, Jeffrey Liu, Henry Yu, Lou Zhou, and junior Evan Wu sequestered themselves for 14 continuous hours March 3 to compete in the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge, an online contest with $100,000 in scholarships at stake. They completed a research paper titled "Riding into the Future: Evaluating E-Bikes."
Hunter Adams ’06 spoke to seventh and eighth graders during the monthly Manhood Breakfast March 3. Honor Council president his senior year, Adams focused on the three tenets of the Community Creed that most resonate with him: Truth and Honor, Respect, and Accountability.
We are grateful to Pastor Donald L. Johnson of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church for his chapel message today on three steps to success. Johnson encouraged the boys to be self-governing in emotions and conduct; to be discerning about peer influence; and to draw strength from a spiritual, not material source.
The Civic Service Organization will host their next Mid-South Food Bank distribution Saturday, March 4, in the Lower School parking lot. Volunteers should arrive at 8:30 a.m., and plan to leave around 11 a.m.
Celebrate your student's birthday, graduation, or other accomplishments by dedicating a book to the Hyde Library! Dedicated books are displayed during the year and include a special book plate honoring your Owl’s birthday or achievement.
Thirteen Owls competed in the North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition January 25, and seniors Varun Krishnamurthi and Ismael Qureshi and junior Gabe Chen have qualified for the invitational round March 16. In Tennessee only six students advanced, and three are Owls.
The 14-man Upper School robotics team was hard at work throughout this school year preparing for the TN FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship at Middle Tennessee State University February 18. After going 5-0 in qualifier matches and competing in the semifinals, they won the Think Award, given to the team that best reflects their journey through the engineering design process.
A dental model lost control of her scooter after skidding on sand that had spilled from a “party wagon.” The model suffered numerous injuries including the loss of her two front teeth, and she sued the driver for damages. The MUS Mock Trial team took on the case during the Mock Trial District 14 Competition.
The Memphis University School chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 26 new members from the classes of 2023 and 2024 during a ceremony February 24. Membership in the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic honor students in a secondary school can receive. The MUS chapter, which was modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, was chartered on December 14, 1967. The society encourages scholarship under the motto, “Excellence, Justice, Honor.”
Seventh and eighth graders are invited to attend the next Manhood Breakfast Friday, March 3. In this monthly series, faculty and alumni share their transformative MUS experiences, from boyhood to manhood, and use Community Creed principles to help students apply the lessons to their own lives. Complimentary breakfast will be provided, beginning at 7:15 a.m.
Thanks to Upper School Counselor Candy Harris for a heartfelt chapel program highlighting the history and customs of the Black church through her personal experience. And special thanks to the Ridgeway High School Concert and Men’s Choirs for a stirring performance of gospel music.
The uber-popular Toolbox Tuesday continues into the new year for eighth graders with an added program for seventh graders. Pam and George Sousoulas Chair of Economics Orlando McKay will teach his “How to Win with Money 101” course to seventh graders in Dunavant Lecture Hall every other Tuesday for the remainder of the semester. The class is usually offered over the summer to Grades 9-12.
The Lower School Robotics Club took home the highest honor, the Middle School Excellence Award, at the West Collierville Middle School VEX Robotics tournament February 11. The top trio of engineers – eighth graders Ike Emmert and Walker Shirley and seventh grader Mustafa Rehan – qualified for the state tournament March 4 at Brentwood Academy. See the guys in action from another recent event (at SBA) HERE.
Nine Owls competed in the prestigious American Invitational Math Exam Tuesday, February 7. The students scored well enough on their American Math Competition exams to qualify for the three-hour, 15 question AIME.
Freshman Miles McCarroll won the schoolwide English-Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition January 27 by performing an excerpt from Henry IV, Part 2, Act 5, Scene 5. Sophomore Amrik Chakravarty placed second with a performance as Nick Bottom from Act 4, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Senior Kyan Ramsay’s chapel presentation started with a video, put together by fellow senior Cristian Arocho, in which they asked students and teachers to choose between a favorite interest and Black History Month. When Madame Rebecca Keel was asked “French or Black History Month?” she responded, “French Black History Month!”
The video was a humorous way to highlight the question Kyan asked himself about Black History Month: Why? Why is it important? Why do we celebrate it?
Senior Stryker Aitken committed to continue his football career at the University of Memphis. He put pen to paper in front of friends and family in the lobby of the Sue H. Hyde Sports and Physical Education Center.
Congratulations to the Owl musicians who auditioned for the All-West Tennessee Bands. They performed difficult musical excerpts and scales, and they were required to sight-read in front of a judge who is a professional musician and/or teacher.
Senior Lou Zhou reported in chapel on his independent study in sports analytics with Math Instructor Darin Clifft. Using random forest decision making and statistical computing, he quantified NBA players’ ability to make the last shot in a game, calling it DAWG, for Daggers Adequately Winning Games. “Through a combination of a metric which measures the importance or pressure of each shot as well as a metric which defines the difficulty of the shot, we can describe using math a player’s ability to hit that last shot.” Among his Top-10 were DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Damian Lillard, and Steph Curry, players “known pretty well for their clutch shooting ability.”
Memphis Day 2023 – dubbed Memphis Day Mayhem – showcased the best of the city with a little wrestling on the side!
The morning kicked off in Hyde Chapel with Studio Band playing Memphis tunes and Headmaster Pete Sanders framing the school’s vital connection to the city. He cited the 572 alumni who hold seats on nonprofit boards, the 486 Owls who are high-ranking corporate officers, and the alumni behind 20 of the top private companies in Memphis.
We encourage every family to apply for need-based financial aid, even if they think they might not qualify. Some colleges are surprisingly generous with their financial aid awards, so it is worth applying to receive full consideration.
Also, to be eligible for aid consideration all four years, some colleges require families to apply for financial aid the first year.
Often described as the man who personifies the slogan, “Just do it,” Mr. Willie Gregory, a Nike executive, has worked with top pro athletes, helped bring the Grizzlies to Memphis, spearheaded the largest sports athletic contract for the University of Memphis, worked to quell community unrest, and joined forces with organizations from the Greater Memphis Chamber to the 100 Black Men of America to the National Civil Rights Museum.
Illustrating his talk with examples from his life, he advised the boys to remember three words: relationships, opportunity, and appreciation.