Mission and History


Our Mission

Morgan Park Academy engages the whole child, inspires the independent learner, and prepares the global leader of tomorrow to make a positive difference in the world.

Our Vision

Morgan Park Academy aspires to be a beacon of education for the Chicagoland area by developing a learning community of innovative teachers, the best and brightest students, and exceptional facilities and resources.

Our Values

Independent Thinking: We believe in providing a rigorous, broad-based liberal arts program that inspires a student’s pursuit of skills, knowledge and values.

Global Leadership: We believe that our student body should be socioeconomically, ethnically and culturally diverse, so that students delve into a curriculum that sees the world’s challenges through a global lens.

A Whole Child Approach: We believe in an education that is both challenging and nurturing, by engaging students’ heads, hearts and hands.

Mutual Respect: We believe that a school community should stand for and teach a set of core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, diligence, kindness, cooperation, and service.


Through its storied history, Morgan Park Academy has represented a tradition of educational excellence for almost 150 years.

The school was founded as Mt. Vernon Military and Classical Academy in 1873 as a “proprietary school” owned by the headmaster, and run as a for-profit institution.

In 1892, William Rainey Harper, acting as the first president of the University of Chicago, joined the recently formed Owen Academy to the school. The Academy’s land was purchased, and all operations were moved there, renaming the school “Morgan Park Academy of the University of Chicago”, where students were to be specifically prepared for entrance into the new university. At this time, the school was integrated, made non–sectarian, and was made co-ed.

In 1906, the University of Chicago ended its relationship with the school. The school reverted to an all-male military school.

During the Great Depression, the school expanded, creating a junior college, and extending summer classes to students from nearby public and parochial schools.

In 1958, the school ended its time as a military school, finally becoming Morgan Park Academy. Girls were readmitted in 1959, and the boarding aspect of the school was phased out over ten years.