Shirley Bush Helzberg Theater for the Performing Arts

Shirley Helzberg is a life-long Kansas City area resident and understands the importance of education in our community. She gives so much back to our community through her civic leadership. It was Shirley who helped create the original vision for University Academy on a family vacation in 1997. Because of her dedication to the arts, we are honored that our performing arts theater will carry her name and be a lasting memorial to her outstanding contributions to our community. 


Rabbi Samuel S. Mayerberg Hall 

Samuel Spier Mayerberg came to Kansas City in 1928 at the age of 36 to serve as rabbi of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, a position he would hold for 32 years. He was an enormously respected leader and was known as "the conscience of Kansas City," especially during the city’s political reform of the late 1930s. Mayerberg was peppery, scholarly and articulate. He was a loyal and devout believer and a political hard-hitter. He believed that Kansas City’s political machine was corrupt, and he dared say so publicly. The Temple honored Rabbi Mayerberg by naming its chapel, where Shirley and Barnett Helzberg were married, in his honor. University Academy stands on the grounds of the former Temple building and to preserve our sense of history and ties to this honorable and respected Kansas Citian, we have designated our community meeting space as Mayerberg Hall in his honor.

cafeteriaBarney A. Karbank Forum [cafeteria]

Barney Karbank was a native Kansas Citian and the dean of industrial real estate development. His impeccable character made him a valued and respected friend and leader in our community. The Barney A. Karbank Forum is where students will come together every day for breakfast and lunch or for casual assemblies and receptions. It is also an area where friendships will be formed strengthened with conversation and laughter.

Shirley and Fred Pryor Gymnasium

Shirley and Fred Pryor are known for their life-long interest in improving lives through extended education. The number one reason they are strong supporters of University Academy is they believe in the mission, the students and community served and the way in which they are served. They have a strong interest in good health and physical fitness. The gymnasium carries their name in recognition of their belief that the mind, body and spirit are integral parts of the overall experience of education and opening the mind and building stamina are keys to a healthy life. They take great pride in knowing the Shirley and Fred Pryor Gymnasium is the one area in the school where all 1,000 students can come together at one time.

Gladys and Barnett C. Helzberg, Sr. Media Center

The Helzberg family name is synonymous with old-fashioned traditions and strong family. Gladys Helzberg was a journalist and Barnett, Sr. continued the tradition of leading and growing the family business. Shirley and Barnett Helzberg, Jr. chose to name the library/media center to honor his parents and their strong emphasis on the importance of reading, ethics and improving ones’ given talents.


University Academy is a public charter school serving students Pre-K through 12th grade who reside in the Kansas City Missouri School District.
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