The University School Celebrates 100 Years of Academic Excellence



Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – September 13, 2011 – The University School, a private college preparatory school located in Shadyside at 5711 Howe Street, is celebrating one hundred years of providing unique educational opportunities for student in grades 9-12 who plan to continue on to higher education.

In September 1911, Dr. J.B. Hench founded The University School as a college-preparatory academy.  Dr. Hench believed that through rigorous academic planning, personalized learning, and one-to-one attention, all students could succeed.  The University School is proud to have educated thousands of students bound for college and careers, and has remained a proprietary educational institution and is coeducational, nonsectarian, and independent.

The University School recently hosted an open house for the community on September 1, 2011. The event had a sizable turnout, bringing in current students and families, graduates of the school, former employees, potential applicants, and several members of the community.

The open house, facilitated by educators and staff of The University School, as well as representatives from AERI Behavioral Health Services, showcased multiple renovations to the building inside and out to guests who toured the facility. In addition to sharing resources and information about the school’s diverse curriculum and small environment, guests also shared fond memories of The University School.

Ryan Marr, a 2005 graduate of the school, says, “The University School experience met my needs. I didn’t like big classes, and here, I had one on one attention from the teachers. The learning here was strong. The University School met my expectations because teachers learned how I was able to learn, which helped so much.”

The University School is currently serving approximately 20 adolescents including local residents as well as foreign exchange students. Though the facility is not advertised as a school for special education, the individualized curriculum and intimate environment is conducive to the unique needs of differently abled learners.

“It was a wonderful experience to work with children who needed extra attention that would simply get lost in a bigger setting. Working here was gratifying – after a few years, you can see success as the students went onto college to achieve their dreams. Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but those who come here benefit greatly from what (The University School) has to offer. I learned so much in my time here,” reflects Margie Snodgrass, 1991-2005 Secretary, Assistant to Headmaster and College Counselor.

Opportunities at the school aside from the advanced individualized curriculum include a College Guidance Program, SAT/ACT prep, service learning activities, transition services, and summer programs. Affording a private education seems intimidating to families at times, but staff at The University School are committed to examining options such as grants, scholarships or lenders.

For more information about The University School, contact 412-361-7182, send email to, or visit

By: Rick Murray

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *