University School of Milwaukee

Click the image to learn more. The University School of Milwaukee has its roots in the German-English Academy, which was founded in 1851. The German-English Academy's iconic building, pictured here, still stands downtown.

The University School of Milwaukee, located in the suburb of River Hills, was created by a merger of the Milwaukee Country Day School, Milwaukee Downer Seminary, and Milwaukee University School in 1963. It is comprised of students ranging from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade.[1] The Milwaukee University School, formerly the German-English Academy, and its distinct teaching philosophy had a major influence on today’s University School. Peter Engelmann, a German immigrant and former revolutionary, founded the German-English Academy in 1851 as a private school, primarily for German immigrants but welcoming all students “regardless of nationality and religious belief.”[2] Engelmann and the Schulverein, or school society, created a broad curriculum which encouraged students to “think for themselves by stressing extensive reading and encouraging the students to observe and question.”[3] This school utilized both English and German language instruction.[4] Today’s University School of Milwaukee continues the German-English Academy’s “academic focus and rigor.”[5] It also emphasizes faculty-student cooperation and the importance of discipline.[6]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ H. Russell Zimmermann, River Hills: As It Is and As It Once Was (River Hills, WI: River Hills Foundation, 2003), 188.
  2. ^ The German and English Academy; Its History and Present Condition (Milwaukee: Sentinel Printing Company, 1871), 3.
  3. ^ H.H. Anderson, “Peter Engelmann: German-American Pioneer and Scholar,” Milwaukee History 14, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 28.
  4. ^ Anderson, “Peter Engelmann,” 28.
  5. ^ Anne Davis, “You’re Not Just a Number Here—University School Draws Heavily from Ozaukee County,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 17, 2002.
  6. ^ Zimmermann, River Hills, 188.

For Further Reading

Boardman, Morillo Augustine. University-High School of Milwaukee, with Sketches and Incidents in the History of These Two Institutions, also Biographical Notes of Some of the Students, and the Kennedy Banquet, Oct. 28, 1885. n.p.: n.p., 1886.

The German and English Academy: Its History and Present Condition. Milwaukee: Sentinel Printing Col, 1871.

Milwaukee University School. Milwaukee University School. n.p.: n.p., 1925.;view=1up;seq=6

Henry Geitz, Jürgen Heideking, and Jurgen Herbst, eds. German Influences on Education in the United States to 1917. Washington, D.C.:  German Historical Institute, 1995.

Schumacher, Jennifer Watson, ed. German Milwaukee. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009.

Smith, Ken. USM at 25: 138 Years of Tradition. Milwaukee: University School of Milwaukee, 1989.


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