Mission & History
The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) welcomes young people from all nationalities to an educational community that fosters a passion for excellence along with mutual respect and understanding. Consistent with the vision of its founder, M. Crist Fleming, TASIS is committed to transmitting the heritage of Western civilization and world cultures: the creations, achievements, traditions, and ideals from the past that offer purpose in the present and hope for the future. Seeking to balance the pursuit of knowledge with the love of wisdom, and promoting the skills of lifelong learning, an appreciation for beauty, and the development of character, each school combines a challenging academic program with opportunities for artistic endeavor, physical activity, and service to others. Believing in the worth of each individual and the importance of enduring relationships, TASIS seeks to embody and instill the values of personal responsibility, civility, compassion, justice, and truth.
TASIS is a family of international schools with additional campuses in England, Puerto Rico, and Portugal.
Mrs. M. Crist Fleming founded The American School in Switzerland as the first American boarding school in Europe. Her idea was to transplant the American independent school tradition into the culturally and historically rich garden of Europe. Since then, TASIS has flourished, providing leadership in international education and opening additional schools and summer programs in England, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France, Spain, and Puerto Rico.
Through their TASIS education, more than 25,000 young people from dozens of nations have learned respect for other people, races, and cultures; for past and current endeavors in the arts and sciences; and for themselves as moral and responsible individuals. Mrs. Fleming often said, “Times change, values don’t.” The values TASIS has always taught and stood for are based on the intellectual virtues of Culture (humanitas), Wisdom (sapientia), Knowledge (scientia), and Truth (veritas).
In 1983, Mrs. Fleming was honored by the US Secretary of Education for her “significant efforts and tremendous contributions towards the furtherance of education at the international level.” He especially recognized the TASIS Schools that had “introduced thousands of Americans to European culture and civilization” and many foreign students to “the best that America has to offer in its education, culture, and opportunities.”
Much of what makes TASIS distinctive results from the entrepreneurial style of Mrs. Fleming, whose ability to see and seize opportunities and to respond to needs with alacrity is legendary. Thanks to her, TASIS enjoys a culture that encourages and rewards initiative and creativity. In addition to individual initiative and creativity, this culture demands flexibility, patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.
From its founding in 1956 to her passing in 2009, Mrs. Fleming cited TASIS as the fulfillment of her dreams and encouraged students to follow their own—to dream big enough and bold enough to lead a life of consequence and make the world “a better place in small and large ways for all the humans who inhabit it.” Her spirit is very much alive in TASIS today.
Mrs. Fleming’s vision has continued through the development of the TASIS Foundation, a Swiss non-profit educational foundation designed to perpetuate the values and ideals of TASIS well into the 21st century. Her daughter, Lynn Fleming Aeschliman '63, served nearly a decade as Executive Director and is currently the Chairman of the School’s Board of Directors.
In Pursuit of Excellence: An Historical Perspective
We all have dreams, but only those with true vision persevere though challenges, learn from mishaps, and look back with humor and dignity.
Growing pains and pinnacles are a part of the lives of people and of organizations, and it is amid life's tests that we show true spirit and strength. In Pursuit of Excellence was created to commemorate 50 years of TASIS Switzerland and 30 years of TASIS England. Written by students, teachers, and Mrs. Fleming herself, this beautiful and fascinating book gives a pictoral and written history of TASIS from those who lived it, in pursuit of excellence.
Contact email@example.com to purchase a copy of In Pursuit of Excellence for $65 (including shipping).