Flip Eikner Honored for Service

Citing his 41 years of extraordinary service to his alma mater, Headmaster Pete Sanders presented Academic Dean Flip Eikner with the 2024 Jean Barbee Hale Award for Outstanding Service. Faculty members gathered for the monthly meeting rose in spontaneous cheers and applause.
Eikner, who graduated from MUS in 1977 and earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia, returned to campus in 1983 to teach English and lend his skills to the Theater Department as, alternately, director or technical director.

He took on the role of academic dean in 2011, performing many tasks that are vital to the school, including chairing the Academic Council, overseeing curriculum and scheduling, and managing school accreditation. He also has helped students and faculty succeed in myriad unsung ways, from providing tutoring to offering sage advice. Along the way, he has continued to teach English.

Sanders relayed a quote from Preston Battle ’07, offered on the occasion of Flip’s 40th MUS anniversary last year. “Flip is the epitome of what it means to be a teacher – he goes beyond the classroom to inspire and engage his students through his creativity, knowledge, and genuine love of the art of teaching. He has dedicated his life to that art, and we are all immeasurably better for it.”

Sanders continued, “Given his gift for teaching, I am thrilled that Flip will return to the classroom full time in the fall. Flip, you provide exceptional service to your alma mater, and it is fitting that you are the 2024 recipient of the Jean Barbee Hale Award for Outstanding Service.”

Asked if he would like to say a few words, Eikner replied, “I couldn’t make it through.”

Family members in Wunderlich Auditorium for the presentation were Eikner's wife, College Counseling Administrative Assistant Kim Justis Eikner (who held a phone with daughter, Nora James, beaming in from Northwestern), and his two sisters, Maury Tower and Maggie Lee (with husband, Jeff). Son Brooks Eikner ’17, who works in Washington, D.C., was there in spirit!

The Jean Barbee Hale Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1998 by Ben Hale to honor his wife, Jean Hale, for her 24 years of service and dedication to Memphis University School. The Hales sent three sons to MUS, Scott ’78, Dennis ’80, and Steve ’84.