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Our Faculty and Staff

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Dean of Students, Economics Faculty, Assistant Varsity Hockey Coach
B.A., Trinity College
M.B.A., Harvard University

 

Mike grew up in Wellesley, Mass., and eventually went to St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where he had many strong mentors—teachers, dorm faculty, and coaches who challenged, supported, and shaped him in a key period of his young life when things didn't always come easily. He went on to Trinity College where he was able to experience leadership as a captain of both the men's soccer and men's hockey teams while studying international political economy and interning at the headquarters of Mobil Corporation.

In 1996, he married his wife, Ali, and they moved into a small apartment in Harvard Square one week after their honeymoon as he began his studies at Harvard Business School. Mike and Ali have four children who are in the prep, college, and early career stages of life.

He worked in management consulting and investment banking for 20 years after HBS before transitioning in 2012 to fulfill his long held goal of mentoring young people at a prep school. "My only regret is not switching to teaching and school administration five years before I did,” he says.

He spent his first six years teaching at Loomis Chaffee before moving to Avon in 2018 for the chance to teach, coach, and move into an administration role as well.

“I know what it’s like to be a parent of a child at prep school experiencing achievements but also meeting some inevitable bumps in the road too! As a freshmen dean, there’s nothing better than sending along a 'good news' email to a parent knowing how nice those felt to receive as a parent myself.”

Mike experienced the benefits of a prep education for 20 years working in a variety of settings and industries.

“I learned more about the ability to think critically, develop an ethical stance, collaborate with others, and then communicate our ideas in writing or verbally in three years as a prep school student than either in college or business school (both of which were/are great schools). Adolescence is a key development stage and Avon boys have unusual opportunities to work one on one with us as teachers.”

One of his favorite Avon traditions is the sequence of pictures Avon boys take with the Avon Boy statue when they first arrive on campus and then their senior year. “It represents both the physical growth, but more importantly, the personal growth the boys have experienced at Avon. It’s gratifying as a freshmen dean actively supporting boys in their transition year to Avon as 9th graders and then seeing the social and academic growth they’ve experience during their time here.”

Mike also loves celebrating during Morning Meeting the behind the scenes, unsung acts of kindness and consideration by Avon boys that make up the strong threads of the Brotherhood. “We need to recognize and support good people and continually reinforce our culture of supporting our fellow Brothers and ‘sisters’ in our lives. These are the (formerly) unsung Men of Avon.”

Fun Facts:

  • His senior spring of prep school, he and other hockey players were in the chorus of the student production of the musical Grease. “Try something new!”
  • After college, Mike played a year of professional hockey in Germany and lived with a local family near Munich he still stays in touch with.
  • His grandfather was a principal and superintendent of schools near Wichita, Kansas, during the Great Depression and World War II.
  • Later in his business career, his strategic analysis of the defense and intelligence industrial base “National Defense, Wall Street, and the Pentagon’s Mid-tier Blindspot” was published in National Defense Magazine.