In 1854, David Sayre founded the Transylvania Female Institute to promote the education of women in "the widest range and highest order." Renamed Sayre Female Institute a year later, the school has since 1942 been a co-educational public-school alternative named Sayre School.
Names are important at Sayre. The school does not have a cafeteria; it has "The Buttery." It does not have a grade school and a high school; it has the Lower School, the Middle School and the Upper School. Between its three schools, the campus hosts over 600 students. The school has recently gone through a multi-million dollar renovation and has expanded its campus along the North Limestone corridor.
One of many "Spartans" to pass through Sayre's halls is Kentucky Wildcat super-fan and actress, Ashley Judd.