University School is a private all-boys, day school located near the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The school has two campuses, the Lower School located in Shaker Heights, which serves grades K through 8, and the Upper School in Hunting Valley, for grades 9 through 12. The school's historic athletic and academic rivals are Hawken School, Western Reserve Academy, Shaker Heights Public School and Gilmour Academy in nearby Gates Mills, Ohio, and its sister schools are Hathaway Brown School and Laurel School. The school is commonly referred to as US, and its main focus is as a preparatory academy; it prides itself on its perfect college matriculation percentage. University School is a founding member of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools.
Another popular publication is the annual Record, the school's literary publication. Students may contribute their best work (done in or outside of school) in poetry, short stories, photography, and more recently, drawing. Faculty members infrequently host a Writing Forum, where students can meet after school to work on their writing and discuss each other's work.
The Upper School's yearbook, The Mabian, has been published every year since 1919, and is nearly entirely student run. The first three letters of the name "Mabian" come from the school's colors, Maroon And Black, and "...ian" means "of the" - "of the maroon and black." The Tower is the Lower School's counterpart.
For severe matters, the school will deliberate punishments with the Student Disciplinary Committee. The S.D.C. is a board of faculty members and two responsible students, as well as a senior head, from each grade who speak to the offending student and consider what disciplinary action should be recommended. The board's recommendations are referred to the headmaster who ultimately makes the final decision on disciplinary actions. Occasionally this will result in expulsion.
In the Lower School, there is a merit and reminder system that begins in third grade. Merits are rewarded to a boy who has done something above and beyond what is expected of him; reminders are equivalent to demerits, and boys who earn three or more reminders in a week must serve a detention the day that they receive the third reminder. However, each boy receives a "clean slate" at the start of a new week. Marks are recorded (as "M"s and "R"s) in students' assignment notebooks, and boys with exceptional numbers of merits are rewarded annually.
Houses are organized to encourage greater interaction between students, especially students in different grades. As such, the system is a large part of student life: House meetings occur weekly at the Upper School, in which faculty and students may plan activities and community service projects such as the annual Thanksgiving food drive. Each House elects a prefect from the senior class who acts as the House's leader. Upper School freshman, sophomores, and juniors are required to sit with members of their House during lunch as well, but seniors may eat separately in the cafeteria, or off-campus.
House rivalry is commonplace, however both the Upper and Lower Schools do observe a traditional school sports day called Founder's Day, in which students have an inter-house sporting competition with the aim of winning the House Cup. Founder's Day often takes place in the early fall, and activities include Ultimate, tug of war and soccer.
Houses are typically named after former Headmasters or notable alumni, and each House has a color to represent it. The numbers, names and colors of Houses over the years have changed, but the current House names are Anderson (maroon), Cruikshank (white), Goodwillie (dark blue), Hawley (purple), McCarraher (orange), McKinley (light blue), Peters (red), Pettee (black), Pickands (green) and Sanders (yellow). Hawley House was formerly Brown House (with the color brown) until Dr. Richard Hawley retired in 2005.
Beginning in the fall of 2009 University School will compete in the Premier Athletic Conference (PAC). The PAC is an 8-team conference including such schools as Willoughby South and Eastlake North high schools. The cross country, wrestling, basketball, track and field and baseball teams will compete in this conference in 2009. Football will begin it's PAC schedule in the fall of 2011 due to scheduling conflicts in 2009 and 2010.
The complex also includes a fitness center equipped with weight training and aerobic equipment. In addition, the Field House houses wrestling rooms, a gymnasium and an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool with a separate diving well. Outdoor sports facilities include a football stadium, an all-weather track, four soccer fields, 2 other practice fields, a football field, two baseball diamonds, and seven all-weather tennis courts. These outdoor facilities are spread over the Hunting Valley campus.
The mascot is Prescott the Prepper, which was constructed by an acquired "Bob's Big Boy" head in 1998 coupled with a classic University School tie and blue blazer. It was supposedly stolen in 2006 by a graduated alumnus. However, it was returned in 2007.
US has a long, bitter rivalries with Hawken School, located in Gates Mills, Ohio as well as Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio.