A Message from Our Founder



“We believe that children achieve and grow in a more holistic way when they are well-nurtured, happy, and joyful. The environment of Kirby Hall reflects the values of kindness, humility and mutual respect. Kirby Hall students ultimately go forward in their lives knowing both how to succeed in the world themselves and how to make it a better place for others.”


– Beverly Rase (1928-2017)

History of Kirby Hall School

Since its founding in 1976, Kirby Hall’s success comes from the labor of many hands and the wisdom of many heads. Through their active involvement in their public school parent association, Dr. and Mrs. Howard F. Rase perceived a need for a school catering to academically advanced students and allowing faculty the freedom to elevate their instruction, unencumbered by state mandates and high-stakes testing. Dr. and Mrs. Rase envisioned a school focused on bright and intellectually curious students.

As a professor of chemical engineering at The University of Texas, Dr. Rase recognized the importance of a strong educational background at the elementary and secondary school level for a student’s later academic success in their college career. Recognizing the needs of her own two children, Mrs. Rase became a pioneer in the college preparatory school movement in Austin.

As the founders of Kirby Hall, Dr. and Mrs. Rase conceived of a school with a family-like environment and small classes in which children would be with other driven and academically inclined students and where individual talents and strengths would be recognized, respected and celebrated.

Kirby Hall’s Historic Home

In 1924, the Methodist Board of Missions built Kirby Hall as one of the first dormitories for women attending The University Texas. The building was designed by the Fort Worth architectural firm of Sanguinet & Staats, whose many accomplishments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hall was named after Helen M. Kirby who, in the 1880s, became a supervisor of young women studying at the newly-established University of Texas. She is credited with making co-education a reality in colleges throughout the state.

Dr. and Mrs. Rase opened Kirby Hall School on this site in 1976, paying homage to its
rich history by retaining its name. Kirby Hall School is recognized as an Austin Historic Landmark.

Plan A Visit

We would love to get to know you better and discuss the future of your child. Come visit Kirby Hall and see what makes our environment special for yourself!