Stephen S. Murray H'54 ’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21
B.A., Williams College, Ed.M & M.A., Harvard University.
Stephen S. Murray H'54 ’55 ’65 '16 P’16 ’21 became the Lawrenceville School’s 13th Head of School on July 1, 2015. When Murray was appointed by the School’s Board of Trustees, Board President Tom Carter ’70 P’01 ’05 said, “Steve is a world-class educator and a proven leader who comes to us with a soaring record of accomplishment at two of the nation’s most prestigious independent schools. He understands the great opportunities and complexities of leading a school like Lawrenceville – with rich traditions and a proud 204-year history – into the future.”
Murray came to The Lawrenceville School with deep independent school leadership experience. In his most recent role as Head of School of University School in Shaker Heights and Hunting Valley, Ohio (a position he held for a decade), Murray was responsible for the overall management of the two-campus K-12 boys’ school of 875 students and 235 faculty and staff. Previously, from 1990-2005 Murray led a distinguished career at Deerfield Academy including serving as Assistant Head of School, Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and as teacher, coach, and faculty resident.
While at University School he led two, year-long strategic planning efforts that resulted in comprehensive strategic plans around faculty excellence, global awareness, innovative education, and transformational improvement to teaching and learning environments. Murray oversaw a $48 million academic facility construction project at the Upper School, a component of a $100 million comprehensive capital campaign which is nearing completion. Additionally, as part of a strategic effort to increase access and affordability of a University School education for young men, he more than doubled the University School financial aid budget during his tenure.
Before leading the University School, Murray was at Deerfield Academy whose faculty he joined as a French teacher in 1990, and continued to teach throughout his time even as he held several of the school’s most senior positions, including Dean of Students from 1996-2000, Academic Dean, 2000-2005, and Assistant Head of School, 2004-2005. He served as a Faculty Resident, and coached varsity water polo from 1993-2005, among other sports. While at Deerfield he served as either the chair or co-chair of numerous committees, including the Curriculum Committee, Academic Honor and Academic Standing Committees, and the Committee on Writing Across the Curriculum.
Murray received a B.A. in French and Political Science with honors in 1985 from Williams College, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1987, an M.A. in French Literature from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1990, and is a 1981 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy.
Murray is a current trustee of Greenwich Academy and is on the board of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives (in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania). He previously chaired or served on the boards of the Citizens’ Academy Charter School in Cleveland, the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools, the International Boys’ School Coalition, and Camp Agawam. Murray was also invited to participate in the civic engagement program Leadership Cleveland. He has presented on a number of topics including innovation, mentorship, community philanthropic support, nurturing creativity, and race and diversity in schools for organizations such as the CASE-NAIS Conference (New York), International Forum of Leading Schools (China), and the Annual International Boys’ School Conference (Philadelphia).
Murray is married to Sarah Aldrich Murray, whom he met at Phillips Exeter Academy, and they have five children; Sam, Maggie, James, Grace, and Henry.