One of the few college prep boarding schools in Utah, Wasatch Academy has stood tall since the days of the early Mormon pioneers. What once began as a single building in the tiny pioneer town of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, Wasatch academy has since grown into an academic institution of world renown.
Wasatch Academy got its start due to the efforts of one Presbyterian minister, Duncan McMillan. Shortly after arriving in Mt. Pleasant, McMillian was approached by the postmaster of the town, a man by the name of Jeremiah Page. Page asked McMillan if he would build a school, and McMillan was happy to oblige. After securing a mortgage and receiving approval from the local families, Wasatch Academy officially opened on April 19, 1875.
In its infancy, Wasatch was merely an elementary school, functioning out of the single Liberal Hall building. Yet by 1887 Wasatch Academy had transitioned into a full-fledged boarding school, with a variety of academic offerings such as mathematics, history, physics, Latin, government and more. Shortly thereafter in 1891, a new two-story building was added to the campus.
By 1894, Wasatch Academy had its first principal, George Marshall, who secured a boarding unit for students arriving from other college prep boarding schools or other institutions. Marshall was succeeded by Ernest Patterson in 1905, then Walter McKirahan, who incorporated the school administration building. Charles L. Johns took over in 1911, adding several buildings including a hospital and boys dormitory.
With the foundation of the Utah public school system in 1912, Wasatch Academy joined the ranks of other college prep schools in the state. Over the years Wasatch grew to incorporate students from increasingly diverse locations, and altered its mission to better reflect a changing social mission. In 1974, Wasatch Academy dropped its Presbyterian association and instead opened as an independent school, which it remains to this day.
Today, Wasatch Academy educates 350 students, with 40% of the student body hailing from among 40 different countries. From its humble beginnings, Wasatch has grown into a boarding school quite unlike any other.