Click on an activity to send us an e-mail with your
corrections, comments, additions, and any information you deem
Thank you very much!
There is no satisfactory
explanation in stereotype of the diverse extracurricular successes of
Stuyvesant students over the decades. The image of the bookworm explains
the shelf in the library marked “Stuyvesant authors” plausibly enough,
but shatters under the weight of a shelf of football trophies. The
triumphs of the math team were no stretch for a school of nerds, but
basketball championships ought to have been beyond their reach.
Westinghouse/Intel prizes are a logical consequence of selection and
education, but fencing victories in a building of working-class
There is little rationale
available in genetics…at least not in the fragmented knowledge we
possess while waiting for the genome code to be fully revealed. The
school’s very first club, the Chess Club of 1907, could be hypothesized
to succeed based on DNA for skill sets that we would expect to
coordinate with the fundamental DNA of intelligence. So, too, the more
recent addition that designs robots to battle those of other schools.
But the voices and performing gifts that have powered SING! and led so
many graduates into stage, film, and television careers? Connect that,
latter-day Cricks and Watsons!
Maybe then search in
psychology, a branch of the sciences which had, at best, a wary
existence around the periphery of Stuyvesant life. Maybe, if you create
an atmosphere with the intention of inspiring people to fulfill their
potential, populate it with young people whose full potential is
unimagined and unimaginable, yet ripe, they will provide the
unpredictable result of collectively trying everything, and succeeding.
In any case, as the brief
histories, recollections of epic moments, and highlights of this chapter
will demonstrate, Stuyvesant students have tried everything over their
years in the school buildings, from the Forge Club to the Tree Huggers
(and there are some less celebrated moments of forgery and odd
activities in trees, as well). Filled with the limitless energy of
youth, enough of them found the endless hours of class, commute, and
homework insufficient distraction, and put enough energy into these
extracurricular activities to give Stuyvesant imposing track records at
many challenges, including track itself (despite the inherent handicap
of the suspended indoor track at East 15th Street, which
taught the useless skill of running on a constant incline).
Ultimately, it is the
sheer diversity of accomplishment that was the greatest accomplishment
of all. Subtly, silently, Stuyvesant taught the lesson that it is not
what you choose to be accomplished in that matters most (no primacy for
football team and their cheerleaders here), but that accomplishment
itself was what counted. Choose your own madness—an academic offshoot,
an athletic activity, an anarchic effort to topple the administration or
the world—and do it well. That was the message sent by example, and it
is a truly inspirational one. It breaks loose the bonds of expectation,
whether of family, peers, or teachers, and offers instead the passion of
finding your muse in life.
There is, I posit, a very
direct connection between the ridiculous array of activities we became
involved in and our successes later in life. We discovered the freedom
to choose paths in our Stuyvesant years, and the pleasure of pursing
them furiously. Only some had a role in our careers or adult lives, but
all gave us a taste of the joy of working to win. And we came back for
Paul Levitz '73, President & Publisher, DC Comics & MAD magazine
Stuy 2.0 Website
From its start in 1904,
Stuyvesant HS students created their own publications. Although
The Indicator, Caliper, and The Spectator have been
published continuously since the early 1900's, other publications have
came and went: Between You and Me, Bio-Med Times, Captain’s Log,
Clue?Less, Colloquium, Culture Vulture, Environmental Times,
Exit, Eye Sor, Forum,
In Perspective, Inspiration, Introspectrum,
Kaleidoscope, Math Survey, Muse, Junior Jots,
Open Mind, Poleco, Rave of Lunatics, Resonance,
Spectacles, Spectrum, Sports, Stage & Reel,
Swords & Magic, Thoughts, Box Seat, Voice,
and many others. While Irving C. Fischer, MD '27 was President of the
Alumni & Scholarship Association(1954-62), the editors of The Spectator
produced the annual Alumni Dinner Journal.
I worked on the Spectator
and the Indicator as a photographer. My first published picture was of
Dr. Fliedner congratulating the football captains at the end of the
season. - Marty Paull '64
The school yearbook,
The Indicator, first appeared in 1905. Thanks to The Indicator,
we have firsthand records of Stuyvesant’s curriculum, facilities,
extracurricular activities, and events. The Indicator
was often dedicated to an alumnus or faculty member, to those who
had come before and for those who shaped students' lives. The
Indicator published poems, essays, short stories, and jokes, and
its editorial content has been indispensable for the recreation of
the school’s history.
At Reunions and other
gatherings of alumni(ae), great fun is always had by referring to
the adolescent photos in the Indicator, by graduates 20, 30 and more
years away from those heady high school days!
Looking Back, on the
occasion of the Class of '62 40th Reunion
For those unfortunates who were separated from
their SHS '62 yearbook, here is a newly published reprint of the
original - brought to you by the SHS '62 electronic yearbook wizards
who located clean copies to scan and assembled them into this
downloadable, viewable and even printable
Adobe Acrobat version
All shiny and
Smiling and happy,
In pursuit of
one common goal,
In 1908, the first Student
Guide, the “Red Book" then, was published by the senior class.
The book is an encyclopedia of information concerning all school
activities. The various courses of study, teachers’ office
hours, when and where clubs hold their meetings, school songs
and cheers...everything of interest to a Stuyvesantian is
treated in the Guide.
(Cover by George Segal '41)
January 3, 1906, the first issue of Stuyvesant’s literary
magazine, Caliper, appeared William Scholz '08
served as editor in chief for five successive terms. Reading the
Indicator of 1912, we see how Caliper had come to
the school and the student body; and in addition to the
publication of news of various school interests, it publishes
stories, poems, photographs of athletic teams, and theatrical
productions, cartoons, exchange news, and, from time to time,
special articles of interest to all. Caliper in its
capacity as a representative paper, goes a great way towards
shaping school opinions and conduct...Caliper has
steadily improved and will continue to improve as long as the
students support it. The official organ is inseparable from the
school and its activities, and for that reason has the right to
request the cooperation of the student body.
was regarded as the best high school literary
magazine in the country. Caliper continues to publish students’
artwork, short stories, and poems today.
Conflicting intellectual passions temporarily resolved in favor of
science when Stuyvesant accepted me. Skillful teachers, who clearly
loved their disciplines, made Mathematics, chemistry, and physics
fascinating. When it came time to apply to college, I told my
parents I wanted to go into theoretical physical chemistry and to
study with Robert A. Millikan of the California Institute of
Technology (CalTech), who had won the Nobel Prize in 1923.
Despite that decision, my interest in literature grew during high
school. Stuyvesant's English teachers carefully read the poetry I
wrote, tutored me in the art, and encouraged me to write more. I
wrote over a score of poems, some of which were published in Caliper, and I served as the poetry editor during my junior and
Robert W. Fogel '44, Nobel Prize Laureate, Economics, 1993
How fortunate for me and
my classmates who were writers at heart that in a math-and-science high
school, an oasis like Caliper existed! I am still impressed
by my memories of our "blind" judging process, and by the serious
way all the readers approached reading and selecting work for the
magazine. In my senior year I was editor-in-chief, and Frank
McCourt was faculty advisor. Many of the contributors from that
year alone have gone on to have careers in publishing or as authors:
Matt Ruff, Alec Klein, Karyn Seroussi, Darcy Jacobs, Gillian
Horvath...and I'm sure I'm leaving others out! I went to medical
school and became a psychiatrist, but continued writing all the
while, publishing in magazines and now at last expecting my first
collection of short stories to be published in fall of 2005.
Working on Caliper taught me a lot about writing, editing,
layout, collaborating with others, and valuing the things
that you most love (in this case, literature) even when
their value seems intangible.
Doris Iarovici '83
magazine confronted me as a thirteen year old sophomore with the
writer’s perpetual challenge: a blank page. Fortunately, faculty
advisor Irving Astrachan was never at a loss for instructions on
how to fill that page. “Write about what you know” he said. He
supplemented that motto with blackboard illustrations of a short
story’s narrative arc and examples of well-constructed essays.
What did I know? My sophisticated classmates wrote stories
about dating girls and mini-dissertations on particle physics
and twelve-tone music and the falseness of bourgeois values.
In due time, despite my limited life experience, I became a
co-editor of the publication, and I tasted the process of
shaping the prose, poetry, and artwork of others. I learned to
correct manuscripts and galley proofs using proper symbols and
to select paper and typefaces. I remember joyfully inhaling
printer’s ink at the
printing plant as Paul Stern and I picked up the final product
in cartons. In my twisty career path since those 1957-1960 high
school years, written communication has always been an important
component, and Irving Astrachan’s voice still lives in my head.
Bernard A. Banet ’60, Ann Arbor, MI
crown jewel of Stuyvesant HS publications has been The Spectator,
the newspaper launched on February 25, 1915 under the editorship of
Joseph E. Kasper '15. The first Spec sold for two cents, and
the front page reported the sports results: “Clinton Buried”;
“Pauling Beaten”; “Track Team Cleans Up Dickenson.”
Spectator editorials called for honesty, hard work, and initiative;
later, the editorial page campaigned for more school spirit, higher
marks, and greater attendance at school dances. In the May 22, 1918
issue, the paper published a list of Stuyvesantians who contributed
to the war effort by selling Liberty Bonds. In the early 1930s, the
humor columns “Spooktator” and “Dutchmania” appeared, and in 1933,
The Spectator became free of charge to students. Periodically, the
paper printed the school honor roll, and in 1939 Mortimer Bader ’40
achieved Stuyvesant’s highest seven-term average: 93.875.
Throughout the 1950's and 60's, the paper won the Columbia
Scholastic Press Association Gold Medal and First Place awards.
Outstanding editors included Morton Fleischner, Chic Goldsmid, Alan
Weinblatt and Jonathan Weiner (1959), Peter Warshall and Peter
Scarlett (1960), David O'Brien, Joe Bondi, and Joel Papernik (1961),
and Dean Ringel, Elliot Hefler and Marvin Milbauer (1963) .
with the support of the savvy faculty advisor, J. Stanley Quinn,
editor in chief Neal H. Hurwitz (1962) wrote columns against the
daily pledge of allegiance conducted by
Dr. William Roeder over the loudspeakers in each home room and against the
Board of Education’s ban on "leftist" speakers in public schools.
The paper interviewed the Freedom Riders and reviewed the murder of
Patrice Lumumba. Editors Hurwitz, J. Michael Nadel, Mark Blitz, and
Joshua Chasan, and writer John Hochman (all 1962) produced the
irreverent humor supplement,
The Instigator, as
60's progressed, The Spectator
served more and more as the voice of Stuyvesant’s students. By the
1970s, The Spectator
reported student criticism leveled at the faculty, supported
anti–Vietnam War demonstrations, and conducted debates on issues of
censorship, cheating, and student politics. Thanks to the work of
Martin Saggese and Arlene Pedovitch (1976), Tom Allon (1980), and
Paul Golob (1981), to name only three editors,
The Spectator documented
be said that The Spectator was my life-altering
experience. I entered SHS thinking that I would one day have a
career in Chemistry, but that was quickly put to rest when it
became clear that I was a lousy Math student.
wanted to throw in the towel and go to my neighborhood high
school, Erasmus Hall, but a kind, very understanding guidance
counselor, Mr. Okean, gave me the courage to stay, work through
the rough spots, and find my way.
and History were my favorite subjects, so, I joined
The Spectator as a reporter. I learned everything I could
about the paper.
became News Editor, and I found SHS invigorating. Once, I got
out of bed in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter of
Dec., 1957 to take an early morning walk on the upper East Side
with former Pres. Harry Truman. I introduced myself as a
reporter from one of the nation's finest high schools. I
interviewed him about Russia's math and science education vs.
our own. I was 16. What an unforgettable experience!
was my life and made me realize what I wanted to do after
college. In my senior year, I was named co-editor in chief with
Alan Weinblatt. I also won first place in a writing contest
sponsored by NBC News. The prize was a summer job in the NBC
Newsroom, where I worked throughout college with legends in
I think back to Mr. Okean’s quiet advice. Without that, I might
be selling televisions instead of producing and writing TV news
programs and documentaries for ABC News for the last 31 years.
I'll always remember Harry Truman's first words to me: "What's
on your mind, sonny boy?"
Morton Fleischner '59
I vaguely remember coming back to
The Spectator office at the beginning of the 1960-61
year and finding that we had been moved from our former quarters
so that "The Cyclotron" could be installed over the
summer! There was a some piece in The Spectator that
year along the lines of "Does Stuyvesant have the Bomb?" and if
so, what we would do with it.
In this case, evidently, the pen
did prove mightier than the sword: The Spectator
continues to thrive (well, publish) and the Cyclotron has fallen
into a wormhole.
Steve Monblatt '61, Arlington,
In 1958, I was
living on Lincoln Place in Brooklyn. One side of the street was
districted for Boys’ High; the other side was districted for
Erasmus, where I wanted to go. Erasmus was friendly, coed, and
academically reputable, but I lived on the "wrong" side of the
district line down the middle of my block. So my dad went to the
Board of Education and met with Fred Schoenberg, deputy
chancellor and former Stuyvesant principal and student. Fred
Schoenberg told my father that I should test for Stuyvesant, get
in, and then score better than 85% in Latin my freshman year.
Then I could transfer to Erasmus since it was the only school in
the city that offered Greek!
I got in to
Stuyvesant (from PS 9-The Brotherhood School), did well in Latin
(with Dr. Blanche Joffee), but I never transferred to Erasmus
because I fell in love with The Spectator. I decided
early on that I would be solo Editor-in-Chief in the first term
of my senior year, which I did, and that’s one reason I
was accepted by Columbia with tuition scholarship.
the amazing students on The Spectator solidified
my sense of self-worth and my commitment to excellence and
integrity. I respected the courage of Quinn and Brody. I also
worked with the dynamic Irving C. Fischer,
MD (1927), Founder/President of the SHS Alumni & Scholarship
Association, and I edited the Alumni Journal (1961-62),
which put me in touch with Stuy greats from 1904 to 1962!.
I am still
proud of the Gold Medal for Journalism that teachers like J.
Stanley Quinn and Sylvia Brody "persuaded" Principal Fliedner to
award me at graduation.
Neal H. Hurwitz
'62, Campaign & Executive Director, The Campaign for Stuyvesant/Alumni(ae) & Friends Endowment Fund, Inc.
Stuyvesant alumnus Richard Garza, Socialist Workers Party
candidate for NYC Mayor in 1961, is interviewed by Neal H.
Hurwitz ’62, Editor-in-Chief, The Spectator, and
Paul Berman '62, Staff Reporter (at right)
Co-Editor Arlene Pedovitch '76 and I were co-business managers
of The Spectator while writing many news articles (almost
always with a joint byline), and then served as co-editors
(probably the first to make that transition!). We were truly a
team, and we remain close friends nearly 30 years later.
Marty Saggese '76
Yes, we were
quite the duo, and we came up with a proposal to do work for
the Alumni Association, a newsletter, in return for some
funding for The Spectator. We also did in-depth
interviews with prominent Stuyvesant alumni.
The years at
Stuyvesant were formative years of our lives, and for me,
enriched from the beginning by the years working on The
In the 1970s,
The Spectator trained aspiring journalists who cared
less about math and science and more about the high adrenaline
stakes of Woodward and Bernstein.
In the stuffy
basement office of 345 East 15th Street, The Spectator’s
staff labored around the clock to cover news and sports of the
vast Stuyvesant community. Those days and nights focused on
over whether the school's underground newspaper, the
Voice (a Spectator rival), could distribute a sex
survey to students.
alleged elitism of Stuyvesant and other specialized high
we won't go.” The student opposition to the return of
military registration (aka "Selective Service").
course, the perennial news story: "Students Fight City
things change . . .
Tom Allon '80 Publisher and CEO, Manhattan Media (Our
Town, Westsider, Avenue, etc.)
respectful, if somewhat vapid, Spectator of the 1920s and
1930s evolved into an independent paper during the 1960s. There
were signs along the way that growing independence would one
day culminate in crisis.
1960, an article in the Daily Mirror charged that
Principal Leonard J. Fliedner had censored several Spectator
stories and had revoked several graduation awards for student
editors. In 1976, school officials barred the Voice, a
student publication, from conducting a survey on student
these conflicts, however, was as explosive as those of April,
1998. Festering tensions between faculty, administration, and
students erupted with the publication of The Spectator’s
April Fools issue.
Micah Lasher’s first issue as editor-in-chief. It featured a
wraparound spoof edition of The Spectator called “The
Defecator,” which contained articles poking fun at faculty
members and the college advisor. Inside the wraparound, Lasher’s
column called for the end of Stuyvesant teacher employment
practices based on seniority.
days later, the day before spring break, Spectator
editors found the assistant principal of technology in the
paper’s windowless office changing the computer passwords. The
room’s locks had also been changed. The New York Times
reported that Principal Jinx Cozzi Perullo, “had halted
publication of the school newspaper indefinitely after months of
infighting that pitted student editors against one another and
against their faculty adviser. Those disputes were inflamed by a
handful of articles criticizing the conduct of individual
teachers and the policies of the city teachers' union.”
said that the paper would not reopen until a charter had been
crafted by The Spectator’s staff and approved by
the administration and the Student Union. The
Spectator was shut down.
educational response would have been to sit down and talk about
how we could fix this and make a better paper,” Lasher recounts.
“Administrators defeat themselves and create controversies
which arise not from the content of the coverage, but from the
students charged that the paper was shut down to appease angry
faculty members over editorials on United Federation of Teachers
politics, teacher hiring practices, and faculty conduct.
According to the Times, the day after the April Fools
issue, Perullo and leaders of the teachers union held a meeting,
in which the teachers complained about being “bashed” by the
teachers thought that kids should write about ‘kid things,’”
Perullo said in an interview that appeared in the Times
on April 17, 1998. “I believe it’s the kids’ right to write
about things that involve their lives, and teachers are a very
large part of their lives.”
was lacking, Perullo maintained, was a written set of guidelines
defining the roles of each position, the procedures for
selecting the editor-in-chief, the relationship of the editorial
board to the advisor, and rules for other aspects of the
April 22, 1998, the Student Union president and vice president
drafted a letter supporting Perullo. It stated, “Perullo has
always been an advocate, protector, and benefactor of
students...She has encouraged us to speak our minds, to find the
truth, and critically evaluate the state of our school.”
Publication of The Spectator resumed on April 24 after
two weeks of shutdown.
With help from
Columbia's School of Journalism, The
drew up a charter. It specified that
editor in chief and editorial board
would select the new editor in chief. It also clarified that
“student journalists, in concert with a faculty adviser, will
make the final content decisions for
And that was
how it was in the 1950's and 1960's..
three years on The Spectator, the charter primarily
protected the paper against interference from the
administration. Because of its existence, we could print
important and controversial material without first struggling
with an administrator for consent. We often cited this in our
editorials, in an effort to fully exert our unique freedom as a
high school newspaper. The charter’s guidelines for choosing new
editors, and its definition of the staff’s relationship with its
faculty advisor sometimes left room for dispute. But these
guidelines formed a concrete basis for our independence and a
blueprint for our values. The charter represented The
Spectator at its best.
Abbie Zamcheck '03
Founded in the 1973-74 school year,
the Voice became one of the most successful, and
controversial, publications in the school's history. Loosely
modeled after "New York" magazine in its combination of serious
journalism and service features, the Voice was a
student-oriented publication that encouraged freedom of
expression. After the administration limited student-run
publications in the 1975-76 year, the Voice operated
independently from school departments and budgets, and the
publication made a small profit from direct sales and paid
Gail Froiman '77, Sr. Chem.
Engineer, US Environmental Protection Agency
Student Government (GO, Student Union)
“We are proud of the fact that in this great school of ours,
the system of Self Government has reached its most perfect
form and that it has never failed to give entire
satisfaction to both faculty and students,” wrote senior
Francis Farago in the 1916
Indicator. “Our Arista League, our
Students' Committee, the various clubs and societies, the
athletic teams, and Student Aid Organization, every wheel in
the institution has called forth nothing but praise from
those who have come in contact with it.
In 1915, Stuyvesant established a General Organization to
“regulate” the establishment and management of all teams and
clubs, and to provide for their support. Since that time,
our G.O. has continued faithfully to serve the needs of the
Stuyvesant student body. Its financial support of our school
teams and clubs has in no small way contributed to the
success of our school in interscholastic competitions,
whether they be of an athletic or scientific nature. By
supporting the General Organization every Stuyvesantian can
truly feel that he has helped his school attain its fine
From the time of its founding, the General Organization was
centralized by the Board of Education, and a G.O. existed in
every public high school. In 1938, the G.O. introduced its
first constitution, which established a legislative branch,
known as the Executive Council, that included the school’s
G.O. president, vice president, and secretary, as well as
the presidents of each grade, and representatives from the
major clubs. The administrative branch consisted of a number
of committees responsible to the G.O. president. The Board
of Governors--the president, vice president, secretary, and
a faculty advisor--served as the administrators.
In 1970, the Board of Education created the position of
Coordinator of Student Affairs (COSA). At each high school,
the COSA acts as a liaison between the students and the
In October, 1973, Stuyvesant students voted in favor of
adopting the Constitution of the Student Union, establishing
a senate as the most important body and demoting the
executive council to a “basic groundwork team” for the
In 1979, the Student Union demonstrated "student power" in a
walkout. Two thousand students boycotted class on October 2,
marching from Stuyvesant to the Board of Education’s offices
in Brooklyn to protest a coaches’ dispute that delayed the
start of the fall athletic program.
The elevator stops, and reliable Ambrose
opens the door. Out steps a student hidden behind a pile of
publications. You attempt to question him, but he brushes by
you with a curt, "Got no time, bud!"
Undiscouraged, you follow him to a room
where, through the half-open door, you observe him setting
the newspapers and magazines he carries down on a desk.
Leaving, you begin to question him, and this time you
receive grudging replies.
"I'm working on the Business Board," he says
in answer to your first query.
"What is the Business Board?" you ask in awe.
"That's the group of boys responsible for the
distribution of the school publications," he responds,
disappearing around a corner of the corridor. Determined to
get to the bottom of this interesting riddle, you try to
trail him to his lair, but he leaps up the stairs faster
than you can follow, and thus escapes you. Fortunately,
however, you see another boy similarly laden, and start
talking to him. "So you want some information about the
Business Board?" he asks. "Well, come on. I'll take you to
some fellows who can tell you all about it."
He leads you to a small closet on the fifth
floor, which turns out to be the book-room. You attempt to
get inside the "office," but you find it too crowded.
However, one of the boys emerges and proves to be more
talkative than his predecessor.
"Who's in there?" you inquire.
"Well," he replies, "first of all, there's
Mr. Mostow, the faculty adviser, who supervises Constantine
Soloyanis and Richard Neudorfer, the managers. Then there
are the other members of the Board: Max Bonfeld, Alan
Prince, Joseph Goldreich, Morris Silber, Arnold Lear, Judah
Baron, Larry Rosenbaum, Seymour Kurtz."
"They look pretty tired," you remark.
"They should be," he retorts. "They came to
school at 7:15 this morning."
Speechless, you stagger away.
From the 1941 Indicator, courtesy of
Arnold A. Lear '41
I was Chairman of the Social Committee in my Junior and
Senior years. I worked on the Junior and Senior proms, both cancelled
for lack of student support/ticket sales. We did have a number of dances
with Hunter College High School, Julia Richmond High School, and I think
Marty Paull '64 Architect, Martin Paull Design Studio and
teacher at Southern California Institute of Architecture at UCLA.
As Social Committee Chair, I was a part of the G.O. I
remember when Jerry Nadler '65, Dick Gottfried '64 and Dick
Morris '64 showed up it was like a strong wind blew into the
place. Someone at the time commented that they were running
for President, not of the G.O., but of the country!
Marty Paull '64, Los Angeles, CA
Orch, Band, Chorus
Science Talent Search
The first club to form at Stuyvesant, in
March 1907, was the Chess Club. The Camera Club was formed a week after the Chess Club, and the
following year the Sketch Club launched, with twenty members.
When we graduate
from high school we shall not reminisce about the delightful
Algebra or Trigonometry course we once took...but we shall talk
or wish to talk of the fun we had in Stuyvesant...in other
words, the social life of the school.
contribute the major portion of this social life. They are the
organs which help bind us into a great unit. Many clubs work
hand in hand with other bodies of the school, such as our
It is interesting
to note that the school celebrities, that is, students who have
in some way or other distinguished themselves from the mass, are
members of several clubs, and often contributors to our various
publications. We have noted that those most active have also the
highest ratings. Are these two things synonymous? Does a club
quicken the interest of the boy with school in general? We are
inclined to think so. We think that school clubs may give
students the added impetus that helps them reach scholastic
Last of all, the
clubs unify Stuyvesant, give the school that
break-through-the-line spirit. Join us, and we’ll hit the line
'35, in the Caliper, December 1934
were wonderful years for me at Stuyvesant. I did a lot of stuff at
school---Photo Club, Ham Radio Club---W2CLE-"We're 2 Crazy Little
Electrons", Cyclotron, Social Committee, Tennis Team (we played on
asphalt courts under the Williamsburg Bridge and they were awful).
kid from Bensonhurst, I found it quite wonderful to make the City my
world, go to Carnegie Hall and Philharmonic Hall, go to MOMA (it was
25 cents to get in for under-16 year olds) and get exposed to art
and design, go to the Donnell Library to borrow classical music
records, go to EJ Korvette's to buy records, hang out on Canal
Street buying electronic parts (I was a serious phone freak
and built a lot of stuff). I'm still close with friends I was close
with then. The cultural and intellectual exposure and transformation
most people hope for in college happened for me as a teenager. It
was very powerful and has lasted.
Marty Paull '64
Architect/teacher, Southern California Institute of
The Aero Club
There was the Aero Club, a group of Stuyvesant model
airplane-building enthusiasts. These were depression-era years and few
of us could afford gasoline-powered models. So the bulk of our activity
was in building rubber-powered models, competing with each other and
learning how to improve flight-duration performance. During warm
weather, we competed in Central Park's Sheep Meadow, a venue for which
we learned to obtain permission from Park authorities. Sometimes,
during competitions in Central Park, one (or more) of our planes would
fly out of the park, and out of sight, mostly toward Central Park West.
Generally we would get notified by a finder as to where to pick up our
In the auditorium at Stuyvesant, Aero Club contestants could
achieve flying times of five minutes or more, barring someone opening a
balcony door. Of course this would upset the contestant and cause much
of a ruckus. We had to learn how to handle distractions such as this.
Thus, participation in Aero Club activities gave us much experience and
insight in the field we were preparing to enter as engineers.
William Solomon '40
ARISTA, the name of Stuyvesant's Honor
Society, means the "best". It is now a chapter of the National Honor
Society, governed by the National Association of Secondary School
Principals. Stuyvesant's Arista was founded in 1910
From the 1924 Indicator
From the Arista website
ARISTA...is an organization dedicated to upholding the four pillars
of Character, Scholarship, Leadership, and Service. Once selected,
ARISTA's members are asked to complete a service requirement of 4
credits per month and to uphold all the pillars for which this
organization stands. Their service allows ARISTA to provide a number
of important and useful programs to the school and student body.
first of these programs is the Peer Tutoring Service, sponsored by
the Tutoring Committee. Peer tutoring allows any student who is
having trouble in any subject to get help. Also, The Tutoring
Committee sponsors numerous Peer Study Workshops throughout the
year...New this year is tutoring online...
Special Events Committee sponsors college trips throughout the
year... The Committee also sponsors ARISTA's annual Dance-A-Thon
which raises money for a charity organization. This year, we hope to
expand ARISTA fund raising activities to include events such as an
in school Walk-A-Thon...
ARISTA's School Service Committee and Community Service Committee
offer many volunteer opportunities both in school and out of school.
Their activities include: monitoring for department offices,
ushering for school theater productions, volunteering at parent
teacher conferences, working at Soup Kitchens, tutoring at local
elementary schools, participating in various walks (such as the MS
Walk and the AIDS Walk), and innumerable others.
Matthew P. Kusulas '99 President, ARISTA
You get your first opportunity to
apply for ARISTA after three terms. You have to fill out an
application and write two essays. I applied that way during my
sophomore year and got in. Then I ran for President at the end of my
junior year and won the election.
I supervise everyone, but it’s more
than that. There are different roles that overlap. There’s a vice
president of service, tutoring events, and administration, and
there’s an executive vice president, but some roles don’t fit into
any of those job functions, so either I’ll do the work or I’ll
spread it out among other members. I make sure things are running
In Arista we have about three hundred
members, though for a short time after the induction ceremony there
are over four hundred, including the 150 or so seniors who will be
Being elected President of Arista is a
real honor, but the job also has a lot of stress. It’s taught me
many things about leadership and organization, so it’s been a great
learning experience. I’ll be happy I’ve had it, and I know I will
leave the position as a better person.
Tenesha Patrick '03 President,
Big Sibs - from the 1994 Indicator
I was the President of the Astronomy Club in
'53-'54. Steve Maran '55 (later a NASA director of space sciences)
was a close friend and he was President the following year. We spent
time together as members of the Board of the Junior Astronomy
Club in NYC and Brooklyn. I was student director of the Brooklyn
College Observatory. My biggest effort was as a variable star
observer and I was included in a July 25, 1955, LIFE magazine
article (pictures and all) on junior astronomy. It included a light
curve of a variable star based upon my observations
during 1953-55, while I was at SHS. Over the years I have continued
as an active variable star observer. I've always had a variety of
telescopes but my astronomy has usually been of the stargazing
variety, showing objects to the neighbors and local kids.
Charles Aronowitz '54
With interest in astronomy strong at
Stuyvesant, teachers Howard Natter and Myron Wechsler taught a
telescope making course. A class is pictured above, standing
proudly with their six inch reflectors. This class picture appeared
in a review of telescope making at Stuyvesant in the November 1960
issue of Mechanix Illustrated.
The Chess Club
One of the first student clubs at
Stuyvesant, in 1907, was the Chess Club. A first match was
successful against the Ethical Culture School, but we lost to the
Morris HS team. The Chess Club team alumni(ae) stay involved through
the Club’s website.
In the spring of 1992, Empire Chess
reported on the NYC public school chess Championship, in which
more than two hundred students from grades 1 through 12
“NYC’s Stuyvesant High School
recaptured some of its glory from years gone by, by completely
overpowering the other 15 schools competing for team honors.
Stuyvesant had locked up first place without having to play their
final round, but they did, finishing with a commanding 17.5 out of a
possible 20 points.”
The Chess Team
I was the captain of the
chess team at Stuyvesant, and I was proud that we contributed a North
American championship trophy to the cases by the entrance doors of the
old building. William Arluck was our supervisor then.
I took chess very seriously
during those years, and I traveled to tournaments up and down the east
coast. If memory serves, the bigger tournaments were held somewhere in
the East during my junior and senior years. I recall trips to
Washington, D.C., and to the University of Connecticut.
Costs for a big tournament,
usually held over a long weekend, included the entry fee, travel, and
hotel, unless the tournament was held in NYC. I think it is
important for the school--and, as needed, the alumni--to support all
kinds if extracurricular activities, including both chess and football
and tons of stuff in between. The danger of an environment like
Stuyvesant is that it can foster an attitude that the only important
things in life are those that can be graded on an exam. The school
should be trying to foster well-rounded individuals.
Dan Goncharoff’ '78
Manhattan Champions: 1911
City/Greater NY Champions: 1940, 1961, 1962, 1963,
Eastern Champions: 1958, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976,
National Champions: 1971, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1990,
Pan American Tournament: 1993 (top honors), 1996
1970: Chess team moves to undisputed
dominance of high school chess; wins every competition it enters,
including city, state, and regional championships. The team is led by
Jon Jacobs '72, whose games receive wide acclaim and are published in
the New York Times and Chess Review.
Elina Groberman ’00 won three consecutive New York
State women's championships from 1996-98. She tied for first place
in the girls-under-18 Pan-American championship in Brazil in 1998
and played in the World Junior Chess Championships in France in 1997
and in Spain in 1998 and 1999. At age 17, Elina becomes U.S.
National Women's Chess Champion.
Once upon a time, in the 1970's, a threatened City-wide transit
strike prompted the formation of the Commuters Club and
publication of a newsletter, The Straphanger. President Eric
Schutz '81, said "There's more to New York transit than grime
and crime. We think the buses and subways in this city should be
not only functional, but also beautiful, the way they once were.
We want to see them restored to their old glory." The faculty
advisor, principal Gaspar Fabricante, pointed out that, "It's
getting more obvious that the transit system is in trouble.
During the strike I slept in my office at school for three
nights. That caused a lot of comment at the school. Everyone is
more conscious of the fragile nature of the system."
favorite activity of the Club was riding the entire New York
subway system on a single 20-cent fare, a feat that requires
about 20 hours of planning and 20 hours of riding.
Members of the club--shown here in a picture from an article in
the January 24th 1981 NY Times--met to discuss the
reasons for and implications of NYC pulling 635 new Grumman
Flexible buses from service. Neal Axelrod '82, the Club bus
specialist, had studied the buses long before their introduction
in Manhattan, and documented problems with their use on Staten
Reassuringly, he said, "The M.T.A. might take hope from history,
though. When the GM buses came out in 1960 they had the same
problems the Grummans are having now. General Motors took them
back and strengthened the undercarriages, and they're still
working fine today."
Jewish Culture Club
year was 1936 – and Hitler was spreading his venom throughout the
world. In Manhattan, every Sunday the American Nazi Bund in full
German uniform would parade on East 86th Street. Anti-Semitism was
everywhere including our dear High School.
Fall of 1936 a group of Jewish Students from STUYVESANT got together
and wanted to organize a club so that they could spread accurate
knowledge about Jewish culture, holidays, etc. According to School
regulations we needed twenty students and a Faculty Advisor to form
a Jewish Cultural Society Club and would be given room in the School
and a time when to meet. We met these criteria. However, our
Principal Mr. Sinclair Wilson repeatedly could not find a room for
us to meet.
that time one of the Superintendents of the Board of Education was a
man named Jacob Greenberg. I did not know him but I wrote to him
explaining our predicament – that our principal was continually
refusing to allow a Jewish Cultural Society to exist.
not hear directly from Mr. Greenberg but 2 months later Mr. Wilson
called me into his office and asked me “… what day would you like to
have a room for the club? “
Bernie Silverman '37
The Cyclotron Committee
Being able to split atoms
became a pressing need during the cold war, when the Soviet Union seemed
to be moving ahead with an aggressive program of nuclear advancement.
Stuyvesant responded to this pressure by forming the Cyclotron
Committee, whose mandate was to build a working atom-splitter. The
following is adapted from articles appearing in the December 6, 1961,
issue of The Spectator:
The Cyclotron now being installed in the
basement is the pride of SHS, the only one to be built by high school
students in the United States. Construction of the Cyclotron was begun
in 1957, following the launch of the first Soviet satellite. It was
ascertained that a Cyclotron was in almost every junior college in the
USSR. The students at SHS took charge of the Cyclotron Committee, a
group of about 50 boys under the supervision of Mr. Alfred Bender of the
physics department. Bender commented that at long last “boys will be
able to operate and observe principles that are just talked about in
classrooms now.” The cost of the atom buster is about $10,000 and
contributions came in from the Hebrew Technical Institute, matched by a
donation from the Board of Education. The American Iron and Steel
Institute contributed a half-ton of steel for the magnetic yoke. The
Phelps Dodge Corporation gave five miles of copper wire needed for the
coils of the magnet, and the Collins Electronics Corporation donated a
transmitter needed for the control system.
The progress of the Cyclotron has been
keenly followed by the Atomic Energy Commission, and by several
corporations, such as Collins Radio Company, and the Sylvania Company.
When completed, the Cyclotron
will be used to put into practice the nuclear theories taught in
chemistry and physics. Classes will be invited to observe the splitting
atoms and transmutation of elements. The project was four years in the
making and is due to be completed in early December, 1961. If not
student constructed, it was estimated that it would cost $75,000. The
labor alone saved $40,000. Attempts were made elsewhere but failed. They
already have requests from other schools and hospitals to use it.
The Indicator of 1962
suggests that the cyclotron was completed, but there seems to be no
existing record of its performance.
Bender with Cyclotron
Sing a song of atoms, a pocket full of
Four and twenty scientists in a
When they turned the switch on the men began to bawl.
Wasn't that a pretty dish for David Lilienthal?
The Spectator, September
started the project in 1956. Mr. Abraham Kerner of the Chemistry
Dept was our faculty advisor, as Mr. Bender was too busy with his
own extra-curricular activities to help us, although we were in his
AR lab. I still have all of the original documents and drawings for
the machine with the official received stamp of the B of E on the
cover. Mr. Kerner arranged for delivery of the iron and copper
during two phone calls from the phone booth in the lobby. I was with
him in the phone booth. It was absolutely unforgettable. I remember
the conversations verbatim. I got the big vacuum tubes for the
oscillator from RCA when Gen Sarnoff visited Stuy to get his
honorary diploma (1958?). The steel bars were too big to machine at
Stuy or even at Brooklyn Tech. To get the steel machined, we rented
a man and van, loaded the heavy bars on the truck and drove them up
to the high-energy physics lab in the Pupin Building at Columbia
Univ. We unloaded the bars on the loading dock and sent the truck
away. The lab director was really mad at us, but finally agreed to
have the blocks machined!
Some of us were also building a 'pickle-barrel'
nuclear reactor, but that didn't get anywhere due to extreme
problems with Mr. Schenberg, the Supervisor of Science at the B of
E. He was a real political hack and we simply ignored him after two
meetings on Livingston St. Getting us to meet with him was another
self-promoting effort on Mr. B's part. Dr. Fleidner was very upset
with us for getting the newspapers involved, after Bender, Efron,
and Schenberg all copped-out on us. Mr. Yard, the physics lab tech
helped us a lot, as did the very grumpy electric shop teacher whose
name I have forgotten.
As I recall, that year Mr. Kerner won a big award
for outstanding teaching and then retired. He was a very crusty old
guy and taught us not to take crap from 'the system'. After many
months of hearing platitudes from Bender, et al, we asked Mr. Kerner
to help us. We had a short meeting with him and he went to the phone
booth in the lobby with us. He called information and got the number
of the American Iron and Steel Institute. He called and asked for
the President. When the guy came on the phone, Kerner asked him if
they could donate a few thousand pounds of soft steel to our project
at Stuy. The president said no problem and the steel arrived about
two weeks after we mailed the specs. He also called the President of
Phelps-Dodge Copper Corporation and asked him if he would donate
1000 lbs of #10 enamel-insulated copper wire. The response was
amazing! He just asked, "What kind of enamel insulation?" We didn't
know what to say, and he suggested double weight Formvar was the
best, The wire arrived before the steel. Later that term, when Gen.
Sarnoff came to visit, I just politely asked him if RCA could donate
a couple of 833 vacuum tubes and he said ok. Perhaps these were the
bestlessons I learned at Stuyvesant.
Martin Gersten '58
The cyclotron project attracted the interest of the Board of
Education, culminating in a visit from an official from Livingston
Street, Brooklyn, whose name I have forgotten, but whose
responsibilities encompassed science curricula for the entire city.
He visited the room where the cyclotron was under construction
(formerly the G.O. offices) and among the questions he asked was
how much uranium we would require to make it work. Clearly, he was
apprehensive regarding safety issues, but completely misinformed
about the nature of particles generated in an accelerator. We never
envisioned the capability to accelerate a uranium nucleus; hydrogen
would have been just fine for us.
Harold D. Doshan '58
I was on the Cyclotron
Committee headed by Mr. Bender. I remember that most of the material was
donated and special cinder blocks (with lead aggregate) had to be used.
The neighborhood was really nervous about the whole project. They had
nightmares of atomic bombs being built by the eggheads of Stuyvesant.
Steven J. Wallach '62
From my cyclotron days: I was reasonably active
in '58-'59, especially in the math area. After that, I was only
peripherally involved except for Bender's electronics class
in '61-'62. There was a lot of soldering of copper tubing for
cooling the system. And there were Erector set parts used for cable
clamps and braces for power connectors. The cyclotron had two dees
but only one was active and one was dummy...There was talk of making
medical isotopes, but no money or space had been allotted for a "hot
lab", so this part of the project went bust. It also meant that
while we had a machine, it couldn't be put to any practical purposes
that would allow it to pay for itself, as first envisioned. A
low-power test was run in the spring of '62, enough that Bender was
able to declare that the goal of a working cyclotron at Stuyvesant
had been achieved. It is my understanding that the first full-power
operational test later that year tanked the electrical system for
the building and surrounding area! And the budgetary and safety
problems were never overcome. No one knows what happened to the
I think some of the problems were exacerbated by
professional and personality clashes between Mr. Bender and "Doc
Ef." Efron was disdainful of Bender not having a Ph.D. and Bender
liked to point out that the Physics Department Chairman (Efron) had
never been a physicist! (Efron's PhD was in Comparative
Education...) I remember instances when Mr. Bender played practical
jokes on Dr. Efron designed to show in front of students and faculty
what Bender called Efron's "lack of physics fundamentals." One of
these tricks involved building a tiny transistor audio oscillator
into an old radiotelegrapher's headset. Bender then showed it to
Efron and told him that the headset had been making a "funny noise"
ever since it was dropped in class, and could he possibly explain
what was happening. Efron gave an elaborate explanation of induced
hum from the room wiring and fluorescent lighting. After he left,
Bender explained the hoax and made a point of saying that "any
decent physicist would have caught on to the trick."
Matt Deming '62, Engineer, Boy
Wizard (emeritus);-) Sr
advisor, The Geek Group.
I was on the Cyclotron
Committee after it had started construction. I remember that the
room used was originally the student store where items like the
plastic book bags could be purchased. I have a memory of using
some Erector Set parts as supports for things like vacuum hoses,
to prevent kinking. It always seemed appropriate to me that we
all had Erector Sets and we'd use our own construction toy parts
to help build an atom smasher.
Construction of the room by a contractor would have
started around January 1961. They did a lot of work with
concrete block to make an inner room in which the actual chamber
would be housed. The chamber, BTW, was a six inch diameter x
about 1.5" thickness. It was the same as Lawrence's original
though we had only one "Dee" and he had two. I think the total
space used for the inner and outer rooms was more than the
student store alone which is why I think another room (the
Spec?) was also involved.
One of my favorite Cyclotron experiences was going to (sneaking
into) the IEEE show at the Coliseum with a few others from the
Committee. The tube DC power supply we had had too much ripple
in its output and the main guys in our group latched on to a
company at the show that made excellent power supplies. I think
they supplied us with the parts to build a solid state DC
The construction by the students went on for quite a while after
that. There were problems with the vacuum in the chamber, the DC
supply (above), making the magnets took a while, etc. I really
can't remember when it was "finished" but I think it might have
been as late as 1964. There were plans to make isotopes for Beth
Israel Hospital. To my knowledge, it never worked. But it was a
wonderful project and the idea that at 14 years old I had worked
on an atom smasher has stayed with me always.
Martin Paull '64
Architect/teacher, Southern California Institute of
There was a room that must
have been where the cyclotron was constructed. When I came to Stuyvesant
all that remained of the cyclotron were remnants of things, including a
couple of magnets that were like a giant vacuum tube. Most everything
had been cannibalized. But I can tell you with certainty that it never
worked at Stuyvesant any more than it did for Ernest Orland Lawrence,
and he was awarded a Nobel Prize for his invention of the cyclotron. The
Russians never succeeded in getting one to work, either.
Stuyvesant principal '83–1994
The Debate Team
Since 1906, the debate team
has been a fixture at Stuyvesant, giving students (including many whose
native language is not English) to polish their logical, rhetorical, and
communications skills. Here are the topics debated in 1907:
Resolved: That Japanese residents should be
admitted to United States citizenship
Resolved: That the height of buildings to
be erected in Manhattan should be restricted
Resolved: That Goldsmith’s
Vicar of Wakefield is better for use in the Stuyvesant High School than
Eliot’s Silas Marner.
Resolved: That in the public schools of
NYC women occupying the same positions as men should receive
the same pay.
has had one of the largest and most successful debate teams in the
country. Stuyvesantians had so many years of success in the National
Catholic Forensic League that they retired the Cardinal Cooke Trophy after several
consecutive years of topping the Catholic Forensic League.
Debate Team Highlights
1927: NYC debating championship:
1927, 1929, 1931
1962: Debate team, supervised by Mr.
Kaye, performs better than teams of the previous few years; wins honors
at the National County Forensics Association’s Annual Congress; wins
three matches at the St. Peter’s tournament in New Jersey.
1963: Debate team logs unprecedented
record of 22-6 against the best teams of the New York metropolitan area;
places second in the state at the Hamilton College invitational debate
tournament. The team gains admission to the National Forensic League,
which means it can now participate in nationwide contests.
1964: First in the
Stamford invitational tournament and third in the Canisius tourney.
1965: Debate team wins many competitions,
including the New York University, Columbia, and National Forensic
1976: Second in Bronx
High School of Science open debating tournament.
1984 and after: With the arrival of Julie
Sheinman as speech and debate coach, the debate team (now two hundred
strong) ranks among the top ten high school debate teams nationwide,
winning every major tournament in all seven speech categories and both
debate categories. Nearly every year, the Stuyvesant team dominates the
annual Villiger Tournament, winning the Lincoln-Douglas debates, is
crowned National Forensic champion, and wins the New York State Forensic
League Speech Sweepstakes.
Folk Song Club
When I went to Stuyvesant, folk music was becoming very popular. A
small group of us formed a Folk Song Club. We held weekly meetings
where we played guitars and other instruments and sang folk songs.
Our first president was Carl Baron '60, and I was VP. We held joint
meetings with our sister school, Hunter College HS. Some of us
formed an old-timey band (now it would be called “roots” music) and
named it the Myopian String Quartet. The members included my
classmates David Turkheimer, Edward Stevens, Douglas Metzler, and
me. We performed briefly in New York.
Recently I ran into Carl Baron again. He is playing in a
contra-dance band, while I am playing in an English country dance
band in the Philadelphia area. Our interest in this music started at
Claude Epstein '61
The French publication of Stuyvesant HS
issued by the Language Department.
(From Morton Fleischner '59)
German club gets endorsement
from German/American rocket scientist
Wernher Von Braun
The Math Team
Stuyvesant math teams have won
almost every competition in NYC and New York state, as well as
many national contests. The team practices at the zero period every
morning in preparation for the Interscholastic Math League competition,
the Mathematical Association of America competition, and the New York
Math League competition, in all of which the team has compiled a
consistent record of victories.
Math Society Publication
Thinking back: from the
Math Team Alumni "mojo-working" website,
Math Team? Is that like fencing, but with pencils?
Math Team, vintage 1967-1970, was like a basketball team. There were
lots of guys on the team, but only five on the court at any time.
Unlike basketball, injuries and fatigue were rare. Substitutions
occurred only because of wrong answers.
were several meets each semester. Two or three teams would meet at
one school on a Friday afternoon. All players, even those on the
bench, worked the same problems. Each player worked alone, with a
time limit for each problem. The only scores that counted were those
of the five designated players. Substitutions were allowed between
problems. Scores were tallied and citywide rankings were kept. In
Fall of 1969 and Spring of 1970, if memory serves, we creamed Bronx
addition to the citywide meets, there was one national contest. We
called it the MAA exam, after one of its four sponsors, but its real
name was the Annual High School Mathematics Exam (AHSME). Nowadays
there are two more national contests, both invitation-only, and an
international one too. Stuyvesant students often do well in these.
Indeed, most of our information about Math Team members after 1975
comes from the widely publicized results of the USA and
International Mathematical Olympiads. Kiran Kedlaya, an NSF postdoc
in Berkeley's math department, sadly not a Stuyvesant alumnus,
maintains a Web page on various math contests, including problems
and solutions for the last several years.
ideal team structure was one captain, three seniors, one junior, and
a healthy supply of alternates. The captain was the guy (or, since
the early 1970s, girl) who knew the most. He led the morning
practice sessions, which took place daily (except Friday?) during
zero period in room 510. The captain might order substitutions
during meets when a starter found himself a couple of quarts low.
More often, the starters would change only between meets, based on
performance at the prior meet. The junior member became the captain
the next year.
Math Team Highlights
NYC championships: 1943, 1954, 1961,
Interscholastic League championships: 1965, 1967,
1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980
1974: With Eric Lander '74 as
co-captain of a strong team, math team wins every competition it enters.
1975: Paul Zeitz '75 wins the Math Olympiad in 1975
1977 Two Stuyvesant
members, U.S. math team wins the International Mathematical
1981: Twelve Stuyvesant members of the
U.S. International Math Olympiad, with Gregg Patruno '81 and Noam Elkies '82 among the top eight. In citywide Interscholastic Mathematics League
competitions, five senior trophies and five junior
trophies are awarded to Stuyvesant team members.
More on the mojo website!
Music: Band, Orchestra, and Chorus
"Despite all of the wonderful
academic opportunities offered to us
at Stuyvesant, I believe that my life was most strongly influenced
and shaped by my 3 years of participation in the Band and Orchestra.
The respective musical directors, John Bart and Walter Stoffregen
were superb musicians, teachers, and conductors, and served as my
personal springboard into a musical career that I cherished for
believe that the ability to "perform" in front of an audience,
together with the creativeness and self-assurance developed during
my "music career" at Stuyvesant, played a significant role in my
ability to successfully practice law and advocate before judges and
juries during the past 34 years. More importantly, the pure love of
music and performing developed during my Band/Orchestra years at
Stuyvesant gave me untold pleasures...as well as the fervor and
drive to get up and travel more than 1 hour to school every day.
still remember nearly every concert and musical piece we performed
during my time at Stuyvesant. The Music Department Gold
Medal awarded to me at graduation is something I will cherish my
entire life, and still ranks as one of my proudest accomplishments,
something I really wanted! Play on!
Les Martin '62 (who was First Trumpet, and is
now NY matrimonial attorney)
Orchestra at the new Stuyvesant
One upon a time there was no Pajama
Day...and of course there were no females either. All that changed
in 1969. Here’s an account (adapted from an article in the 1996
Indicator) of how Pajama Day started:
Certain Stuyvesant seniors
were jealous of what they imagined to be the glamorous life of
suburban high school students as seen on TV: football pep rallies
(attended by people other than the players!), outdoor barbecues,
bonfires of raked leaves in the fall, and most important, slumber
parties! In comparison, their lives as apartment-dwelling “eggheads”
seemed dull and “nerdy.” The leader of this group, Waldo, felt that
“The Best School in the Nation” should not be outdone by the average
suburban high school, so he decided to have a slumber party at Stuy.
However, Waldo thought that a slumber party was simply a party held
in the evening at which everyone wore their pajamas, not
understanding that people were supposed to sleep over! Anyway, Waldo
convinced about 100 of his classmates to secretly stay after school
until 10:30 pm one Thursday night in December. Since the entire
class was just as clueless as their fearless leader, nobody
questioned the sanity of the idea.
When the long-awaited Thursday finally
arrived, the hundred spirited seniors eagerly hung out in school
until sundown, after the teachers had gone home. Then they put on
their pajamas and began the party. They ran around the halls in
their slippers playing a giant game of freeze tag. Finally, they got
hungry and decided to order in pizza, but were told that due to the
“current inclement weather conditions” all deliveries are canceled.
Unbeknownst to them, it had been snowing heavily. A quick assessment
of the situation revealed that it would be impossible to go home at
10:30 as planned; they would have to spend the night at school!
Making the most of an unexpected situation, they continued the
party, dining on the delicacies mistakenly left out by the cafeteria
staff the previous day, and then they watched the falling snow which
lulled them off to sleep around 2 am.
Five and a half hours later, the
students were awakened by the stern voice of the Principal at that
time, Dr. Fliedner, who had arrived to find 100 students in pajamas
camped out inside the front door of the school. “What are you doing
here?,” he asked. “Why are you all in your pajamas? It’s against
regulations to sleep in school. You could all be expelled!”
Waldo exclaimed: “Sleep in school? We
only do that in classes! We all just got here extra early because
today is Senior Pajama Day.”
Embarrassed, Dr. Fliedner answered,
“Oh, I must have missed the announcement. Carry on!”
So carry on they did, proudly
flaunting their pajamas all day, and all the seniors who weren’t
wearing pajamas felt out of it and stupid, and the juniors were
jealous. So when the next year rolled around, the new seniors
organized a “Pajama Day”...
And so it goes.
I remember the
Photo Club as a very vibrant organization. We had photo
competitions and I learned a lot. I went on to be a freelance
photographer for the Daily Mirror, operated a citywide
photo news service with two other Stuy students and also ran a
monthly magazine with them sponsored by the Daily Mirror
as a Junior Achievement enterprise called the Hi-Sports,
which covered all schools in the City. I was the Photo Editor of
Maurice Wolf '51
transmits a message to four of his classmates in the classroom
at Stuyvesant High School, NY. April 1918
The "Radio Engineers of Stuyvesant,” so a recent
visitor called the members of this ultra-scientific organization.
The club maintains a complete transmitting and
receiving station, in addition to which every member has his own
station at home. Each piece of the
aparatus was costructed by the members of the club. The remarkable
of the station proves that none but experts are in the ranks of the
The transmitter is of the "rotary spark” type, and has a radiation
of 2.5 amperes. With this set signals have been sent over a distance
of one hundred miles.
The receptor consists of two regenerative sets, one
for short waves and one for long waves. A two-stage amplifier is
used in conjunction with each set. With the former, amateurs within
a radius of 850 miles have been copied. Signals the the Largest
government stations in the world, such as Nauen, Germany; Eiffel
Tower, France: Koko Head, Honolulu Glaci Bay and Cliftten, Ireland,
have been received on the long wave set.
On the roof of the school buildibg, a four-strand,
ninety-foot aerial, of the T type, has been erected. The club has a
first-grade experimental license and official call of
The club’s membership is divided into two divisions,
Senior and Junior. To become a Junior member, the applicant must
receive and send five words a minute, and pass a simple theoretical
examination. Senior membership necessites a speed of fifteen words
per minute and a knowledge of every phase of the theory of wireless.
Weekly lectures on highly scientific advancements of
the Radio art are given by the members. Space permits the mention of
but a few of the excellent papers delivered before the club. They
include “Short-wave Regenerative,” by Thedore Berger; “Duplex
Radio-Telephony,” by Herman D. Alpern; “Underlying Principles of
Radio.” by Jerome Sackheim, and “The Wavmeter,” by Yale Golobe. Some
of the members of the club have viited the hgh-pawered radio station
at New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The members of the club wish to express their deep
gratitude to their faculty advisor, Mr. Raymond D. Brownleee,
chairman of the Physics Department, for the work he has done for the
From The 1920 Indicator
The Rifle Club - 1952 Indicator
The History of SING!
For many, SING! (which
originally was spelled SING, without the exclamation point) is
Stuyvesant’s main event--an annual competition between grades in which
the theater is the battlefield and song, dance, comedy, and creativity
are the weapons. In the weeks leading up to the performance in early
spring, Stuyvesant’s halls are filled with dancers, band troupes, and
SING! is a student-run
musical competition. Three teams (seniors, juniors, and the combined
sophomore and freshman classes) each write, cast, and create a
full-scale production, performing it before a large audience and a panel
of alumni judges. An early “New Haven” performance is not scored, but
two “Broadway” productions, usually held on Friday and Saturday nights,
are judged for script, acting, dance, music, and technical quality. For
the senior class, it’s a matter of pride to come in first. But
upsets--almost always achieved by an enterprising junior class--have
Students create everything in
SING! except the some of the music--new lyrics are usually written to existing songs, allowing the band time to learn the music and singers and dancers to
practice the numbers before the new lyrics are complete.
Biology teacher David Cronen
was coordinator of student affairs when SING! came to Stuyvesant in
1973. He recalls, "Physics teacher Arnold Bellush and I went to
schools in Brooklyn in the ’50s and early ’60s, where they had
already established SING! The original SING! was simply a lot of
songs put together and with a theme. Especially since the girls had
just come into the school, Mr. Bellush thought it might be a good
idea to bring the tradition to Stuyvesant, and so SING! was born.”
The first year’s theme was program cards:
When SING! started at
Stuyvesant, however, students scorned the idea. Elli Barasch '73 says
he became the director of the first senior SING! primarily because no
one else wanted the job. (Actor Paul Reiser, also of the class of 1973,
agreed to be band director.) After all, SING! was replacing the much
beloved Student-Faculty Talent Show, which began in the mid-1960s and
was coordinated by Arnold Bellush. The show shared many of SING!’s basic
characteristics: students wrote the material and built all the sets and
props. Performances depended on talented--and devoted--students and
teachers alike. The talent show generally consisted of a school-oriented
satire and drag show, but as Barasch recalls, “We couldn’t blast the
teachers much, because the scripts were pretty well censored. Since the
teachers also participated, it would have been bad form for a colleague
to appear to condone another’s lambasting.” Nevertheless, the seniors
were so angry about the change to SING! that during the first Saturday
night performance they reportedly protested by appearing on stage drunk,
and their romping parody far exceeded the bounds of the judges’
tolerance. In an unusual--perhaps unique--outcome, the seniors finished
One other feature of the first Sing was that is was
in early June in a non-air conditioned auditorium, contributing to
the intensity of the experience.
freshman-sophomore performance, with Tim Robbins '76 playing the
lead, was earnest and the story was good, but the execution was uneven
and the program ran twice the allotted time. They placed second. The
juniors had some good actors, they sang well, their story was peppy and
concise, and their victory was a landslide.
After that first year,
student opinion of the competition changed quickly. Anita Scheff '73,
former president of the Stuyvesant Drama Club, recalled, “Some of us
protested its beginning and tried to stop it, petition and all. The
following year it turned out that I was a SING! judge.”
Mr. Bellush continued to be
the SING! advisor for more than twenty years, and in November 1995, just
before his retirement, he unveiled major reforms, including new,
transparent guidelines for appointing student directors; a fifty-minute
limit on performances; and a ban on heckling--an aspect of SING! that
had been an integral part of the show’s culture.
Vincent Grasso, who served as
COSA for fifteen years, commented in 1999, “They do things differently
now than they did then. In the ’80s they were more into a good script,
good songs, dancing, and acting. Today there aren’t as many singers,
they don’t do as many songs, and the dancing is basically all hip-hop.
We had a variety of types of dancing years ago. Other than that I see no
difference. The student spirit has always been the same.”
The production has often
pushed the envelope in its satirical portrayal of school life, but in
the last few years, the trend has been to move away from SING! plots set
entirely at Stuyvesant, although comedic references to the school are
usually abundant. Recent SING! productions have been set in a mental
institution named “Yuts” (“Stuy” spelled backwards), the Kennedy White
House, and a 1920s speakeasy. Faculty members are now often invited to
perform cameos in SING!, sometimes with a line or two, and occasionally
even with a song.
Twenty-five years ago, SING!
was a large musical production. Today, it is even larger - a heavyweight bout between
creative talents in each grade. The shows sell out every year, and
teachers curse the productions for capturing the attention of so many of
even their best students.
Adapted by Abbie Zamcheck '03, with assistance from Lindsay Long-Waldor '04,
from the article “SING!’s Secret History,” by Katherine Liu '81, which appeared in the 1999 edition of Stuyle (an end-of-the-year
Spectator publication), as well as from notes received from Richard
Sadano '75 and SING! advisor Annie Thoms
SING is among the most
exhilarating and cherished memories I have of my four years at
Stuyvesant. It was a time of innocence, joy, playfulness, expression,
and romance. SING was a catalyst that brought so many of us together. It
transcended cliques and gave us something meaningful to rally behind and
work together toward. SING was a work hard, play hard, and a constant
celebration of laughter.
Bob Averack '74
“Stuyvesant,” the song closed the
senior SING show in 1975 and was sung again that year at graduation. The
lyrics are by Michael Kaplan '75 set to the music of “Happiness,” from You're a Good Man,
Charlie Brown (courtesy Richard Sedano '75.)
Stuyvesant is Baskin & Robbins
McDonald’s and Blimpie’s
The three o'clock crunch.
Stuyvesant is streaking a concert
Chemistry, math and
Throwing up lunch.
Stuyvesant is everything that I'd hoped it'd be.
Stuyvesant means so much to you and me.
Stuyvesant is waiting for subways
Getting up early
Yet I return.
Stuyvesant is people together
Learning to learn.
Stuyvesant, you taught me more than I've ever known.
Stuyvesant, I'm no longer alone.
Stuyvesant is liking some people, loving some people, too.
For Stuyvesant, oh Stuyvesant, oh Stuyvesant, my school
Oh I love you.
Stuyvesant is part peanut butter
Ten million pills
And a name of our own.
Stuyvesant though it may not be perfect
It's all that we've got
We call it our home.
Stuyvesant, these past couple years have been good to me.
Stuyvesant, please, please set me free.
Stuyvesant is liking some people, loving some people too.
For Stuyvesant, oh Stuyvesant, oh Stuyvesant, my school
Oh I love you.
SING! played a crucial part in
my experience at Stuyvesant. In those years, each SING! competition was
designated with a Roman numeral, much like Super Bowls or world wars. My
understanding is that the SING I was held in the spring of 1973 and that
the seniors did not take it seriously, allowing the juniors to win. The
same class '74 then won SING II the following year, starting a
tradition that the seniors would win every year. That is, until the
class of 1981 came along. Here’s the story:
Sometime between 1974 and
1977, SING moved from the spring semester to the fall. I don't remember
SING VI from my freshman year (December 1977), but I can report pretty
extensively on the next three years. In December 1978, I had a
supporting role in Soph-Frosh SING VII, whose plot told the story of an
earnest song-and-dance kid who gets his big break in showbiz while
evading bad guys who want to foil his ambitions. The lead role was
played by Wendell Brown '81 who
was sort of a celebrity at the school because he had performed in
several television shows, did commercials regularly, and even had a
prominent role in a movie (Up the Academy) during our time in high
school. The juniors put on a show that was a domestic comedy of some
sort, and the winning senior show took place in ancient Greece. I
remember that because all the guys were wearing togas. Like all SING
scripts, these shows were musicals, but all the songs were actually
parodies--popular songs or show tunes with new lyrics written by the
In the spring of my sophomore
year, 1979, my friend and classmate Steve Newman and I began talking
about writing a script ourselves to enter the competition for Junior
SING VIII the following fall. The way the process worked was that each
class held an organizational meeting at the beginning of the school year
at which a director, a "coordinator," (effectively the show's producer),
and a script judging committee were elected by popular vote. Then,
potential scripts would be submitted for consideration a few weeks
later, and, after one was chosen, the process of auditions, casting,
rehearsals, and so on would begin. Since Steve was (and is) a very
talented musician, we thought that one way to differentiate our script
from the others would be to write original music rather than song
parodies. So in the spring of 1979 we began outlining a plot and
composing original music and lyrics to accompany the story. We continued
working through the summer, and we were about 75 percent finished by the
time school began in September.
When we returned to
Stuyvesant, though, we were told that SING! would be shifted to the
spring (the organizational meeting would be moved to December) and that
the school play, Man of La Mancha, would take its place in the fall
semester. So we took the time and finished our script, polished the
songs, recorded a cassette tape of our songs for the script judges, and
submitted our script right after New Year's. And it was chosen.
Our show, To Hell with
Heaven, was a boy-meets-girl story, but it took place in the
afterlife--actually, in a way station between earth and the afterlife,
with half the people going to heaven and half going to hell. The stage
was split in half, with the hero, George, on one side and the heroine,
Geraldine, on the other, neither knowing his or her ultimate
destination. They are surrounded by attendants dressed in white, all of
them wearing the suitably ambiguous letter H, and at first they
think they're in a hospital, until the truth dawns on them. Other
characters enter the story as it goes along, including God himself (a
disembodied voice over the loudspeakers), Geri's rock-star fiancé,
George’s mother, and George's conscience,
who appears as a tuxedo-clad nightclub singer who emerges from the
audience and clambers onstage to sing a song of encouragement at a
pivotal moment. (I would end up playing this role myself.) In the end,
love wins out.
The script-judging committee
liked our script but was cautious about using so much original music, so
they asked Steve and me to substitute a few traditional
song-adaptations. They did, however, let us keep two of the songs we had
written ourselves, making To Hell with Heaven the first SING entry to
feature original music.
The competition was held over
two evenings, Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10, 1980. (The original
performance dates were supposed to be in mid-April, but the subway
strike forced a postponement.) We were up against a talented senior
class, whose show was a western called Marlboro County, U.S.A., and a
soph-frosh spy caper that took place in the Soviet Union. The seniors
gave an unusually lackluster performance on Friday, whereas we knocked
’em dead. But on Saturday we were a little bit off, while the seniors
came roaring back. Everyone knew that no senior class had lost since
that first SING back in 1973, so everyone waited expectantly for the
judges' ruling to be announced. I still remember where I stood--in the
left-hand aisle, toward the back of the auditorium--and being mobbed by
my friends and classmates after Dave Cronen, the teacher who was the
coordinator of student activities, announced that by the slimmest of
margins, Junior SING had won.
On Monday morning, I came to
school early, as was my custom, and headed to The Spectator
which was in the basement, on a hallway just off the auditorium stage. I
dropped off my bags and wandered onto the stage itself, savoring the
moment once again. My reverie was interrupted by one of my acquaintances
from the senior class, who had had a lead role in all the school plays
and in SING. He spotted me and came over, mock-menacingly, like an
old-time gangster, and said, "If you value your life, you'll get off
this stage." I wisely retreated to safer ground.
The next year I was the
editor-in-chief of The Spectator, and so I didn't have time to
participate in Senior SING IX as fully as I had done in the past, but I
did serve on the script-judging committee. We selected another script
written by Steve Newman, also with some original songs, called A Fair
Shot, which told the story of a man who writes poems for greeting cards
but dreams of bigger things. It, too, won the competition when it was
performed in April 1981, making us the first class in seven years to win
Paul Golob '81 Editorial director, Times Books
Science Talent Search
Science Talent Search
Science Talent Search has been an important event at
Stuyvesant since its inception in the 1940's, sponsored for many years
thereafter by Westinghouse and, beginning with the 1998-99 academic
year, by Intel. The forty Finalists are announced each February,
followed by a dinner in Washington DC, a visit to the White House,
meetings with Senators, Congressmen and press. Finally, in March there
is the selection of the winners. Until 1968, there were five named as
winners, ten thereafter, and sometimes alternates. Winners are awarded a
substantial scholarship, and receive attention in the press.
The students are
striving for prizes, fame, careers, or maybe a little extra something to
put on their college applications. Those entering the contest generally
invest significant time and effort in their research or project. Some
spend summers working on their research projects at universities and
laboratories. Others work before, between, and after classes. A number
of teachers and administrators provide material and academic assistance
to the students as they choose topics, execute projects, and present
Stuyvesant, with its
science and math emphasis, gets to prove itself. And, as one alumnus
notes, "In the past, nothing has been sweeter than seeing more Finalists
from Stuyvesant than Bronx Science or any other school in the
nation." Stuy and Bronx Sci together "owned" the contest for many years
with their strong showings.
In 2003, Westinghouse
and Siemens started another major science contest. And Stuyvesant's Yin
Li '04 took First Place for $100,000! His subject:
"Characterizing the Prion Properties of a Translational Regulator
Expressed in Mouse Brain," which studied nerve proteins that may aid
Joshua Proschan and Arthur Frankuchen, at the
Cathode-Ray cascilloscope wave form study, Ellis Cooper and William
Barth, at the Power Triode, Tony Naro and Barry Schindler, at the
Tesla Coil used for high frequency wave. March 26, 1959
Westinghouse/Intel Science Talent Search Winners and Finalists
Malcolm Kosower (1st),
Andrew Streitwieser (9th)
Gary Felsenfeld (6th),
Leonard Stuart Taylor (F),
Ariel Charles Zemach (F)
1948 Alan Richard LeSchack (8th),
Paul Martin (F),
Gerhard Rayna (9th)
1949 Martin Barry Brilliant (F)
1950 Paul J. Cohen (F), Elihu Lubkin (F), Edward
Charles Posner (F),
Alan Sussman (F)
1951 Robert Rosen (F),
Peter Bernard Schneider (6th),
Robert Schmidt Feldstein (F)
1952 Ilmar Raudsep (8th)
1955 Roald Hoffmann (6th)
1959 Kenneth Murray Berman
Melvin Hochster (2nd)
James Ivan Lepowsky (F)
1963 Henry Martin
1964 Arthur Stanley Menikoff (F)
Eric Steven Lander
Paul Andrew Zeitz (1st)
1976 Denise Anne Maximilian Taylor (F)
1977 Daniel David Blau (7th), David Ross Grant (F)
1978 Julie W. Pan
Jonathan Todd Kaplan (F)
Gregory Bret Sorkin
(6th), Ashfaq Munshi
Lisa Joy Randall
(Tied for 1st),
Paul Neil Feldman (8th)
Brian Randolph Greene (Alternate)
1981 Joel Martin Wein
Ogan Gurel (3rd), Noam Elkies (8th),
Tammy Gay (Movsas) Zietchick (F),
Joel Naom Hirschhorn (F)
Jeanie Pui Ching Lo
(9th), Wieslaw Czeslaw Topolski (F)
1984 Atom Sharkar
Audrey Zelicof (9th)
Paul Chan (F),
1986 Mariann Meier Wang (F),
Hyun-suk Park (F)
Elizabeth Lee Wilmer
Julie Yui Tu (F),
Chen-Wei A. Lee (F),
Hyoung Yoon Park (F),
Alexander Wharton Grannis (F)
Janet Tseng (2nd)
Meiville Chen (Alternate),
1989 Lucy Shigemitsu (F),
Bianca Santomasso (10th),
Esther Chen (F), James
Mitchell Wong (F)
Debby Ann Lin
Yves Jeanty (8th)
Petal Pearl Haynes (F), Tien-An
Yves Jude Jeanty (F),
Michail Leyb Sunitsky (F),
Zachary Gozali (F),
Vanessa Wun-Siu Liu (F),
1993 Martin Adrian Fisch
Erwin Lin (F)
1994 Johnson Chen (F)
Aleksandr Leonidovich Khazanov
Chit-Kwan Lin (F)
William Lamming (F),
Bruce Mizrahi Haggerty (4th),
James Park (F)
Elaine Wan (F)
Jesse Keith Anttila-Hughes
1999 Kirsten Graham
2000 Evan Matthew
2001 Jerry Moy
(6th), Albert W. Leung (F)
2003 Varun Kumar Narendra (F), Joel Brewster Lewis (F),
Alex Levin (F)
2004 Matan Harel (F)
2004 Yin Li
"N.Y. Teen, Yin Li '04, Wins Westinghouse Competition"....
Alan Dash '51
Dec 8, 3:14 PM (ET) By BEN FELLER
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 17-year-old from New
York City won a leading science competition for high school students Monday
for research that helps explain how the brain works.
Yin Li, a senior at Stuyvesant High School, emerged ahead of
five other students to win the 2003-04 Siemens Westinghouse Competition in
Math, Science and Technology.
Li, who plans to study neurobiology and molecular biology in college, won
a $100,000 scholarship. He discovered a protein with properties that could
be related to neural function, and his work explores how protein synthesis
may govern the strength of connections between neurons.
"Through creative and original research, this young scientist has
increased our understanding of how the brain works on the most fundamental
level," said judge Victor Ambros, professor of genetics at Dartmouth Medical
Mr. Bender was
actually Dr. Bender, on the faculty of Brooklyn Polytech at the same
time as his tenure at Stuyvesant. Aside from supervising a class in
applied physics, in which everyone was assigned a practical experimental
project, he was responsible for a series of early morning seminars in
which those of us with the inclination to enter the Westinghouse Science
Talent Search (now taken over by Intel) covered all aspects of science
and mathematics, with an emphasis on important discoveries over the
years. This review of science went on for several months prior to the
actual Westinghouse exam. As I recall, 10 of us received honorable
mentions in the 1957-1958 program.
Harold D. Doshan '58
In 1920, the Indicator
March 2, 1909 marked the advent
of dramatics in Stuyvesant. On that day the Irving Dramatic Society was
organized by Mr. W. Palmer Smith. Under his guidance the annual
Christmas Play and the Public Speaking Contests were first introduced.
On Wednesday September 29, the Society presented its first play, written
by two of its members, Ralph Colp ’10 and Emil Freudenfels (c.’10).
On December 24, it presented its first Christmas play, a dramatization
of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” On May 27, 1910, the Society undertook
the difficult task of presenting James A. Herne’s powerful play, “Shore
Acres.” The production was a marked success, many present declaring that
it approached professional excellence in its production.
1911 from the NY TImes
From the 1911 Indicator
Over the years, we see little mention of
theatrical productions. Until girls were admitted to Stuyvesant in 1969,
theatrical performance was hampered, and even after they were admitted
the theatricals were limited to musicals until English teachers Steven
Shapiro and Judy Kocela Hawk decided to mount a modest production of Arsenic and Old Lace.
1994. I wasn’t yet an assistant principal, and our renegade group
wasn’t considered a real theater group. We weren’t allowed to use
the theater for rehearsals, so we rehearsed in classrooms. The day
before the performance, our request to use the theater with stage
lighting was turned down. We weren’t “legit” and stage lights were
said, if we can’t rehearse in the theater with the lights on, we’ll
rehearse in the dark--and that's what we did. The next evening they
turned the lights on, and we gave a superb performance. The
following year we did The Man Who Came to Dinner.
great many ups and downs along the way, we now have a full theater
program under the auspices of the English Department, with a charter
and an advisor--the Stuyvesant Theater Community. We present four
productions each year: one-act plays, Shakespearean tragedies,
musicals, and comedies. After 9/11, the kids, in collaboration with
their advisor, Annie Thoms, wrote, published, and produced a play
about the tragedy called With Their Eyes.
proud that Stuyvesant theater is bursting with life!
Steven Shapiro, former English teacher
involved in a theatrical production of Kaufman and Hart’s
“Once in A Lifetime” which is a three-act comedy about the
early days of talking motion pictures. The play was a
cooperative effort between Stuyvesant and Hunter College
HS (our "sister school" then) and was presented in the
auditorium at Stuyvesant Spring, 1967. I was the Stage
Manager and also had a small speaking role. We had a fairly
big company made up predominantly of juniors from both
Ed Elgart ‘68
Some memorable productions
(1972) Lysistrata - Clearly motivated by the Vietnam
War, this production was a romp featuring all the male actors
holding up the middle of their tunic costumes signifying the sexual
starvation of the Greeks, and a tour de force as Lysistrata by
Elaine Mercandette '75.
(1974) Cyrano - Another tour de force by Daniel Oreskes '74 with
remarkable drama and period costumes.
(1974) Thurber Carnival - An ensemble exploring the warm stories of
(1974) Students Against Sexism - An experimental effort to convey
stories, songs, and poetry about sexism in American society,
including Daniel Oreskes '74 as a man waking up one day and
discovering he is pregnant.
(1975) You're A Good Man Charlie Brown - I just enjoyed this terrific
ensemble cast doing one of my favorite shows.
I should add that Sterling Jensen, and then Tom Dolan, both of the
English Department, were well-loved as theater advisors through the
Richard Sedano '75
I was a photographer for
The Spectator, and did some work with
Stage Squad for a couple of shows. The paper and stage work were things that I continued doing when I went to MIT, and I'm pretty sure that the skills that I learned doing those activities (people coordination and
management, etc) are the things I learned in school that most serve me today in my career.
Steve Berczuk '83,
Software developer and author
Stuyvesant began as a school
of manual training. There were foundry, joinery, wood-turning,
pattern-making, metalworking, milling, construction, and machine shops.
Over the years these skills became outmoded, and the need for such shops
disappeared--until, that is, theatrical productions came into full
swing, and students combined all these skills backstage. Here is a
user’s manual for being a backstage techie:
First and foremost, a techie
must have the urge to create. Without this basic desire, everything else
is superfluous. Without it, none of the flats the techie hammers, none
of the storefronts she constructs, none of the stairs she assembles will
have the vitality or indescribable beauty that emanates from a set built
by someone who has lavished time and affection on it. Everything else
can be learned, but this inborn drive can never be taught.
Before the building starts, before the wood is ordered or
the drills charged, a set must be designed and plans drawn up. The tech
director, fearless leader of her band of techies, must reach across crew
lines and, along with the art director and executive director, work to
conceive a set that will be her masterpiece. Together, these three
imagine wondrous inventions, such as platforms that open to create two
cabins within a larger ocean liner and levels connected by curving
stairs that are perfect for sword fighting. At the end of their furious
and frenzied session, a design has been born, and the techies prepare to
attack their task.
The basic skills of this noble profession start with
knowledge of one's tools. They are instruments of precision and brute
force, the means by which sets are made possible. They are the bridge
between the two-by-fours and plywood and the objects they have the
potential to become. The ultimate tool is the screw gun, which any good
techie knows better than she knows her own mother. She knows its
temperament; the differing pressures needed to set a screw into lauan,
Homasote, or plywood; the power of its chuck; the variations in its
capabilities; the warmth it emits when put to hard work.
After the screw gun, numerous saws follow. First comes the
jigsaw, which curves and loops to create grandfather clocks and
tabletops. Next is the miter saw, whose chopping bite cuts effortlessly
through a four-by-four Finishing the trio, the table saw, complete with
a vicious spinning blade and bright yellow finger guards, provides
clean, sweeping cuts, precisely slicing plywood to its proper size. The
ways of these instruments are learned through use. Nothing but feeling
their power can teach a techie the might they hold.
Once the sets are made, the last screw screwed, the last
stair braced, the last flat flown, the job of running crew begins. The
darkness of backstage is the techies' domain, wherein their job is to
amaze and awe the audience, taking them from a castle on the foggy moors
of Denmark to a café in the heart of
Havana. Techies know more than the stage floor and dressing rooms where
the actors rehearse their lines. They creep on catwalks, two stories
above the stage, to weight backdrops. They know which fly bar lowers
curtains, which one makes the lights descend, and on which bar nothing
but a fire curtain hangs.
A true techie glows with pride when her creations are placed
under the glare of the stage lights. Yet she herself should never feel
the heat of those Fresnels or strip lights, because the running crew
must be swift, silent, and invisible. Techies work together in the pitch
darkness of the blackouts, pushing platforms, moving tables, noiselessly
flying hundred-pound backdrops off and on stage. A techie must be quick
on her toes, with extra screws and gaffer tape always at hand. Should a door weight break, should a molding
screw loosen, she must be ready to repair her handiwork in an instant,
without floundering or getting flustered under the pressure of a live
performance. But, the most important rule of the Techie Gospel is not to
get carried away with the allure of glow-tape, because. pretty as it
looks, when the stage starts to resemble an airport, you know you've
gone too far.
Louisa Bukiet '04
Topics addressed by the '10 Technical
The Stuyvesant Training
The Training Corps was organized as a military instruction unit in December 1915.
Captain Henry F. Davidson, father of Garrison Davidson '23 (who was the mascot of the STC growing up), was the Drill
Instructor. Henry Davidson fought at the Battle of San Juan Hill where a
large drinking cup in his hand diverted a large enemy bullet aimed at
Many members of the STC
fought in World War Two, a number at very high rank, and the bonds
developed at Stuyvesant and in the war enabled these men to meet on a
regular basis over the years until many were well into their 80s. A
regular newsletter connected the group all those years. The STC was
renamed “The Last Man’s Club” and lasted until virtually the last man
For example, for the 1974
meeting, members included Bernard Miemann, Edgar Chapman, George Ellner,
Vincent Federici, Walter Wood, Harry Isaacson, Fred Marsh, J. Florian
Mitchell, Richard Mugler, Theodore Novak, Alfred Reutershan, Hugo
Rogers, Arthur Sanfillippo, Alois Scharf, Kenneth Spear, George Titus,
Harry (Red) Freedman, Peter Hahn, Sidney Wilde, Arnold Hanson, Bill
Tannhauser, Charles Gillhaus, Bill Sands, David Newberger, Richard
Leslie, Lee Kramer, Alfred Hausrath, Sidney Berliner, Joe Hasto, Sidney
Tobias, Jerry Turner, Ken Morton, Elmer Rogers and Joe Rizzuto.
The institution of the
Stuyvesant Training Corps lasted almost an entire century.
Davidson, Sr. - Son of Garrison Davidson '23
Track & Field
In various NYT articles the teams are referred to as the
"blue and red", the "red and purple", the "scarlet and blue", the "dutchmen",
and the peglegs.
Sports at Stuyvesant
As they have in all other
extracurricular activities, Stuyvesantians have excelled in athletics.
In every sport there are crescendos and slumps, of course, and the
memory of defeats is as keen as those of the triumphs.
In preparing this book,
heroic efforts were made to compile as complete a record as possible of
Stuyvesant’s stats in sports over the past one hundred years, but the
task is formidable. With apologies for gaps and occasional inaccuracies,
we can at least assert that the spirit of the Scarlet and Blue is as
intense today as it was 100 years ago.
The First Five Years,
as recorded in the 1909 Indicator
From September 1904 to June
1905, football, basketball, baseball, track, and tennis teams were
organized and the Athletic Association, with Guido Cavallaro as
President, was founded. Even at this early time, 1905, it was evident
that Stuyvesant was destined for basketball supremacy. The second game
the team played resulted in Stuyvesant’s first athletic victory, for
they triumphed over the Morris Second Team on January 7, 1905. During
the season, the Stuyvesant Team also defeated the Second Team of DeWitt
Clinton and of the High School of Commerce.
In baseball, with easily
imaginable difficulties and discouragements to be conquered, Stuyvesant
put a team on the field that played a hard schedule and improved
steadily as the season progressed. In track athletics, there was the
greatest interest and enthusiasm, and at the first spring games at
Pastime Oval, May 5, 1905, fifty percent of the school’s
enrollment took active part.
Apart from their successes, the
mere fact that within five months there appeared in every major sport a
team wearing the Scarlet and Blue, is sufficient proof of the spirit and
loyalty that has characterized Stuyvesant in the past; the fact that
half the school entered the track meet shows what was being done to
unify the student body; and the establishment of societies and clubs
inculcated a desire for self-culture that has resulted very
advantageously for the members.
First Fifty Years of Stuyvesant Sports, as recorded in the Spring 1959 Box Seat:
All of us know
of the recent athletic triumphs of Stuyvesant High School. Few
of us, however, are familiar with our school's glorious past in
world of sports, a heritage that has extended through the last
fifty years. In that time, the Red and Blue has compiled on two
of the most impressive records in annals of high school
always been a leading sport at SHS. The Peglegs have achieved
the imposing record of having won more the twenty City
Championships, having taken the Manhattan Diadem thirteen
consecutive times, from 1944-1957, and having triumphed in
numerous outside meets. A team from Stuyvesant ran away with top
honors in 1929 at the Penn Relays, the largest track meet in the
country, and they were viewed as the fastest team in the east.
Until 19 years ago Stuyvesant held its own annual indoor track
meet, the largest of its kind.
Dutchman's most renowned athlete, and the greatest schoolboy
sprinter in the country, was Frank Hussey. In 1924 he
represented the United States in the Olympics, running on this
country's 400 meter relay team, which broke the World record for
the event. Hussey, in his brilliant sprinting career, set the
PSAL record of 9.6 for 100 yard dash and also duplicated the
national mark for the 70 yard dash. Other PSAL record holders
from Stuyvesant in John Reiul, was ran the 120 yard high hurdles
in 15.8 seconds, Norman Elson, whose time the 200 yard low
hurdles was 24.7 second, and Bob Williams, who did the 1000
meter run in 2:16.4. Paul Cuffari set the record to the shot put
in 1948 with a toss of 56" 11", which stood until this year.
several sports which won fame for the Red and Blue that are no
longer among our thirteen teams, the maximum number of
competitive tournaments offered by the Board of Education to a
school. Until the mid-30's we had an ice-hockey team. In 1928,
the Puck-ushers copped the Manhattan-Bronx championship as they
went through there entire schedule without yielding a match.
Another sport the bring memories to the older alumni is rowing.
In 1922 our shell placed first the New York Rowing Association
High School Regatta, upsetting New Rochelle and Clinton in a
close finish, and setting a record 4:32 for the course.
1928 was not
the only year our football team was victorious. As early as 1920
we captured the unofficial City Crown, and have won it often
since. In 1922 we managed the virtually impossible, as we went
through our entire season without our opponents scoring a single
point against us.
year, the Dutchmen have been the top in fencing. We have won 7
city championships and have always reached the semi-finals.
Former Stuyvesant fencers Norman Armitage, Silvio Giolito, and
Albert Axelrod represented the USA in the Olympics and have been
team has always been strong, having won the Manhattan crown more
the twenty times, and one season only two goals were scored
one of the original sports at Stuyvesant, the team being founded
in 1905. It started slowly, waiting until 1928 to win its first
championship. Coach Bill Marks is said to have lost 12 pounds
during the season.
also done well at Stuyvesant. Back in 1918, Whitey Mayer scored
all of Peglegs' 23 points in a victory of Morris. Jack Molinas,
who held the PSAL scoring recon for one game until two years
ago, starred in the pros, with George Yardley as his substitute.
have also been associated with speed skating and boxing. In 1921
Sam Rein, representing the Peglegs, emerged as the only winner
from New York in a dual meet with Chicago. While attending SHS
in '53 Tony DiBiase won the 147 pound tile in the Golden Gloves
How Did it
It’s the wonder of the ages!
How did Stuyvesant ever do it? No gridiron--no diamond--no pool--no
courts--no track--no rifle gallery--no gymnasium. It must have been the
spirit of the boys plus some dedicated coaches that did the trick.
Practice for the team was held at Van Cortlandt Park, Central Park,
Macombs Dam Park, in armories, and in any hall or ballroom or swimming
pool or street that the coach could dig up. And yet Stuyvesant High
School fielded a team in every known sport, and best of all it excelled
in nearly all of them. It even found time to stage 48 Annual Indoor
Track Meets--more than any other school in the city.
In baseball, with easily
imaginable difficulties and discouragements to be conquered, Stuyvesant
put a team on the field that played a hard schedule and improved
steadily as the 1904–1905 season progressed,
George Cooley was the first
faculty advisor coach , assisted by semi-professional coach Eddie
Doyle; Cooley was followed by Bill Marks, who stayed on for thirty years.
Principal Ernest von Nardroff fell off the roof of the Stuyvesant dugout
in the excitement of winning the 1928 NYC championship against
Richmond Hill High School in a game played at Dexter Park, in Woodhaven,
Baseball Team Highlights
1911, 1953, 1961, 1972, 1974, 1978
NYC championship: 1928
In June 1953, the Stuyvesant
baseball team was crowned Manhattan champions. We beat Benjamin Franklin
High School, a team that had won several championships in the preceding
years. Ben Franklin and the Stuyvesant Peglegs tied during the regular
season, both with 7-1 records. This demanded a one-game playoff. On a
Tuesday afternoon, we played a game that ended in a 3-3 tie after going
to fifteen innings. On Wednesday of the same week, we traveled to Van
Cortlandt Park only to have this game end in a 5-5 tie, again going
fifteen innings. On Thursday, we again played at Van Cortlandt Park. The
Peglegs were losing two to one in the top of the seventh, which was
normally the last inning. With two out and no one on base, we rallied to
score two runs. Tony Bartalucci '53, pitching on one day’s rest, held
Franklin scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, to bring in the win for
Stuyvesant. Howie Tepper '53 and I were the Peglegs’
captains, and the other team members were Larry Ammaturo, Fred Gilligan,
Larry Hefter, Art Reckler, Howie Rosencrantz, Pete Salzer, and George
Smith (all '53 graduates), and Ernie Glantz, Joe Levine, Bill Miller,
and George Weinstock '54 graduates).
Art Horowitz '53
The 1952 Baseball Team
Fifty Years Later: Larry Hefter,
Art Reckler, Art Horowitz
Tony Bartilucci, Jo Levine
Nathan Militzok '40 - First assist in the NBA
Even as early as 1905 it was
evident that Stuyvesant was destined for basketball supremacy. The
second game the team played resulted in Stuyvesant’s first athletic
victory, as Stuyvesant triumphed over the Morris second team on January
7, 1905. During the season, the Stuyvesant team also defeated the second
team of DeWitt Clinton and of the High School of Commerce. Their
remarkable supremacy in the sport was inscribed so many times on
championship basketball trophies that the other schools complained
bitterly over Stuyvesant’s monopoly. Abner P. Way was the first
basketball coach; then followed the great regime of John P. Clark. Sam
“Doc” Ellner then carried on for twenty-five years. All three had great
Doc Ellner and Boys at the Bench - from the
1907: Places second PSAL city championship.
1908: City championship
1909: Basketball team defeats Central
High School in Philadelphia to become champions of the eastern region;
moves on to beat freshmen teams from
Columbia, Yale, and CCNY; and is named champions of the East.
1918: Champions of the East
1931: PSAL scoring
1949: Basketball team reaches finals in Madison Square
Garden but loses a heartbreaker to Lincoln by one point, decided in the
last seconds of the game.
1963: Improves over previous few years, winning three out of six games.
1966: Best season in
recent years, finishing up with a .500 record
1980: Team forms
Division championships: 1980, 1981,
In the News, Feb. 1914, NYT
Jack Molinas: Stuyvesant’s
Jack Molinas, class of June
1949--one of basketball’s greatest talents and most notorious
criminals--started shaving points back in his Pegleg days.
He would go
on to become a rising star in the NBA before he was expelled in 1957 for
betting on his own games. Later he was sentenced to fifteen years in
prison for fixing college matches. (He served five years before getting
parole.) He was murdered by the mob in 1975.
Molinas was a genius at
manipulating scores according to the point spread--the number of points
a team had to win or lose by in order for his bookie, or buddy, to
collect. Just playing his best was the easy way out. In his biography of
the Stuyvesant graduate, The Wizard of Odds, Charley Rosen writes,
“To Molinas, playing a rigged ball game was more exhilarating than
playing it straight. He had to be mindful of the score, the game clock,
the point spread, and even the substitutions. . . . If he let Stuyvesant
get too far ahead too early in the game, Ellner would empty the bench
and Molinas would lose control of the outcome.” In addition to
challenging his wits on and off the court, his schemes landed him around
$200,000 when he was still a student at Columbia.
As a young teen, Molinas
often took part in crap games in the Bronx Science schoolyard, but that
was the closest he came to attending Stuyvesant’s rival. Bronx Science
was the logical choice for Molinas, who lived nearby on the Grand
Concourse. But the lure of Stuyvesant’s athletics department and a
letter from varsity basketball coach Samuel “Doc” Ellner convinced
six-foot-four “Jacky” that the forty-minute commute to 15th Street was
worth his wager.
When he started Stuyvesant in
1946, the school was still on a split schedule. Molinas had the
afternoon shift, which meant he was unable to practice with the Peglegs.
But he managed to do the minimum to earn A’s and B’s, in order to save
time for his gambling ventures. It was then that he started betting on
Stuyvesant games, in addition to his other deals.
Later, when Molinas joined
the Stuyvesant basketball team as a junior, he was a quick success. That
year he trailed only teammates Sal Mannino, and Joe Caiati as the Peglegs’
third-highest scorer. Although Molinas didn’t begin his high-stakes
gambling in high school (even before Stuyvesant he was already
surrounded by bookies), at Stuyvesant he experimented, and he perfected
“He wasn’t dumping any games
(junior year),” says Bernie Reiner, an early acquaintance of Molinas, in
Wizard. However, he’d think nothing of blowing a strategic lay-up
or throwing the ball away so that Stuyvesant would still win but would
finish under the spread.”
By Molinas’s senior year, the
Daily News referred to the team as “Molinas & Co.,” and the Bronxite
led Stuyvesant to the 1949 Public Schools Athletic League title game
against Lincoln High School.
Some say Molinas threw the
game for $800. Others swear that the allegation was forged later in his
career, and that he played his best. In any case, the game ended shortly
after Molinas missed a free throw, badly. Stuyvesant lost 40-41.
It was a Saturday morning in October 1939. I
had just transferred to Stuyvesant after my freshman year at Haaren High
School, a very tough school in Hell's Kitchen. I didn’t really know
anyone at Stuyvesant, but had seen a notice for a try-out for the
basketball team. I thought I had some ability so I showed up that
morning. Sam “Doc” ElIner was the varsity coach and his very good
friend, Red Holzman, then a CCNY star, was assisting Doc in picking
additions to the team. Red later became a noted coach of the Knicks.
There must have been at least a hundred guys
who showed up that morning. They set us up in teams of five and then let
us play each other for about five minutes. It wasn’t very easy to play
among those tile pillars in the old gym. Then they would pick one or two
of the ten to form another five and so on until there were about ten
guys left. Happily I was one of the survivors of that ten who were
invited to be on the team. It was especially memorable since Red
personally came up to congratulate me since I was a little guy like he
It would be wonderful if I could finish this
memory by telling you how I went on to become a star basketball player
for Stuyvesant. In truth, I was no more than a journeyman player, but
the memory of that Saturday morning is still fresh.
Howard P. Aronson '42
In the late 40s and early 50s, Stuyvesant's Basketball
Peglegs were referred to as Columbia University's farm team given the
number of players that entered and played for Columbia. Whitey Brandt and Jack
Molinas are two players that come to mind from the class of '49 and/or
'50. Capt. Fred Jonasz, USN (Ret) '50
Sitting: Minaker, Mirksy
Kneeling: Maratos, Gould, Molinas, Johnson,
Standing: Alexander (tallest), behind Doc Ellner
Stuyvesant's Greatest Basketball Team - 1949 - from
Doc Ellner's Scrapbook
As a Brooklyn and NYC sports fan, I’ve had my share of traumas: Mickey Owen, Bobby
Thomson, Alan Ameche, 1941. High on my list of sports traumas is the
1949 Public Schools Athletic League basketball championship game that
ended Lincoln 41, Stuyvesant 40.
For a time during the 1949
season, it seemed doubtful that the Peglegs would even be in the
playoffs, as they trailed Metropolitan in the Manhattan Division I race.
But after a victory in a tie-breaker, Stuyvesant was in. And then they
got hot. Always an underdog, they beat Commerce and Taft and were set to
play heavily favored Lincoln in the city championship game at Madison
Lincoln was a tall, powerful,
and experienced team. The Honest Abes had been in the final game three
straight years without winning a title. Stuyvesant hadn’t been in a
final game since 1931. Doc Ellner’s boys were led by superstar Jack
Molinas '49, who was backed up by Stan Maratos '49 and Gary Mirsky '51, Artie Menaker
'50, Stu Johnson '49, Reggie Gould '49, and Joe Caiti '49.
Stuyvesant played with speed
and confidence. Using a stifling zone defense, it led for thirty-one
minutes of the thirty-two–minute game, twice by as many as 9 points.
Molinas paced the team with 16 points followed by Gary Mirsky with 10.
unfortunately turned on a non-call on an obvious foul committed by the
biggest Lincoln player, Sid Youngleman, against Stuyvesant’s smallest
player, guard Artie Menaker. Lincoln won the ensuing jump ball, and
Youngleman scored to give Lincoln its first and only lead. Stuyvesant
missed a desperation shot, and Lincoln ran out the clock.
I was one of ten thousand
fans watching the game in the old Garden that day, and it still hurts.
January '51 Sports Editor, The Spectator
Bowling Team Highlights
Division championship: 1961, 1975,
1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003
championship: 1975. 1994
Ray Arcel '17
International Boxing Hall of Fame, Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; Trained
20 world boxing champions, the first in 1924 (Abe Goldstein), and the
last in 1982 (Larry Holmes); five of his fighters won world titles in
James Cagney '17 Streetfighter
'53 Welterweight Golden Gloves
Stuyvesant Cheerleders at the Centennial Homecoming
The Scarlet and the Blue
(Written in 1910 and set to the tune of
the Princeton team song, “The Orange and the Black”)
Although Clinton’s sons have favored the
black and crimson hue,
And the blue and orange flutters o’er the
Commerce ship’s brave crew,
We will own the potent hammer and the
books of knowledge true,
While Stuyv’sant stands defender of the
Scarlet and the Blue.
Through the fleeting years of school life
’midst the scenes we know so well,
As the mystic charm to knowledge we
vainly seek to spell,
We shall find a solace tender, though our
honors be but few,
’Tis the friendship of our comrades,
’neath the Scarlet and the Blue.
When the cares of life o’ertake us,
mingling fast our locks with gray,
Should our dearest hopes betray us, false
Fortune fade away,
Still we’ll banish care and sadness as
old mem’ries we renew
And recall those days of gladness ’neath
the Scarlet and the Blue.
Stuyvesant, Dear Old Stuyvesant
(Written in 1910 and set to the tune of
“For It’s Always Fair Weather”)
Oh, Stuyvesant, dear old Stuyvesant,
the winds your banners fling,
Let the blue and scarlet flutter,
shouts of vict’ry ring!
For it’s always fair weather
When Stuyvesant boys get together.
Though the world should forsake thee
We will ever loyal be
For it’s always fair weather
When Stuyvesant boys get together.
We’ll be loyal forever,
To the Scarlet and the Blue.
(Written in 1914 and set to the tune of
We will always stick to you;
Up with the Scarlet and the Blue
Wahoo, wahoo, rip, zip, bazoo!
From the 1908 Indicator
The fencing team was Stuyvesant’s
pride and joy. Manny Leibel, its coach, was a fine tutor, and he had the
happy faculty of being able to get his stars to come back year after
year to assist him. Year after year, he produced winning teams. His boys
went far in the sport. Norman Armitage (Cohn) '23 was national champion many times in the saber, and was on
six Olympic teams. Silvio Giolito '37 and was national champion at foils and,
with Austin Prokop '38, was on the 1948 U.S. Olympic
team. Albert Axelrod '38 was a national champion in foils and was on
the U.S. Olympic team five times
Fencing Team Highlights
championship: 2003, 1939
championships: 1938, 1941, 1954, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967,
1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988,
1993, 1994, 1995; 2004
Eastern Championship: 1955, 1958
1910: Fencing team forms.
1932–1945: Five NYC championships, six trophies, and two second-place awards.
1937: PSAL Team Championship; PSAL individual
Champion, Simon Podberesky
1938: Senior Albert Axelrod graduates and goes on to become one
of the greatest American fencers in history, a member of five
consecutive U.S. Olympic foil teams. He wins numerous National
Championships and an Olympic Bronze medal in foil in 1960.
1940-1942: Wins nineteen
1955: Castello Trophy.
1958: Stuyvesant lost the City Championship by a
single touch in a classic match between Stuy's captain, Steve
Fajen against the great Gene Glazer, who went on to become NCAA
Mens Foil Champion in 1960. One of the team's starters, Andrew
Kaplan, later went on to help start the Israeli Olympic Fencing
Santonocito '62 is captain.
1963: Undefeated. Captains are Larry
Miller '63 and Tom Musliner '63).
1964: second consecutive undefeated season. Co-captains Frank Lowy
'64 and Jeff Kestler '64 place third and first in the city individuals
1965: Undefeated regular
season, but loses to Far Rockaway in the semifinals of the city
championship playoffs. Jimmy Kuhn '65 is captain.
regular season, but places third in the city championship finals,
trouncing Brooklyn Tech but losing to Martin Van Buren on the touches.
1971: Fifty-eighth consecutive Public Schools Athletic League victory.
In individuals, Captain Jim Krause '71 comes in first to win the Iron
1973: Falls short of winning
city championship by losing to Brooklyn Tech in the semifinals.Natalie Blagowidow '73
is one of the first female
fencers, stays active in the sport
1988: Ben Atkins '89 captures first place in the
under-seventeen Junior Olympics in Cleveland
1989: PSAL Ironhorse Award winner: Ben Atkins '89
Norman C. Armitage
C. Cohn, in high school, may well have learned about fencing at
Stuyvesant, but he does not fence until his freshman year at
Columbia. Soon to become Norman Cudworth Armitage, his nom-de-guerre
and new legal name, he rapidly progresses.
part of the color guard that carries the U. S. flag in the 1948
opening ceremonies, and he is the lone flag bearer in 1952 and in
1956. He participates in 7 olympic teams.
than three years after taking up the sport, he wins the Intercollegiate Fencing Association
sabre championship. Armitage fences in the national
championships twenty-five times, finishing among the top three in
sabre twenty-two times, and wins ten championships, in 1930, from
1934 through 36, from 1939 through 1943, and in 1945.
chemical engineer and later a patent attorney, Armitage suffered
third-degree chemical burns on his right hand and arm in a 1936
accident, and doctors said he would never fence again. Yet he made
the Olympic team that year, was on the bronze medal sabre team in
My Stuyvesant team had Hal Goldsmith (# 3), Nicolas Godfried Maria
Luykx (a very special friend and #4), Duncan Kennedy (# 5) and a
shifting # 6. The Coach, Manny Leibel, had never fenced; his son,
Jay Leibel '47, was #1 when I was a junior at Stuyvestant, and he
later fenced for Columbia. I was # 2 as the result of a coin toss
with Hal Goldsmith! (# 1 was a chubby fellow whose appearance is
pretty clear, but whose name slips me...---Note: we try to get this
While at Columbia, I fenced weekly at the Salle Santelli and Eddie
Lucia was my special coach. I knew the Olympic fencer Albie Axelrod
'38 and many others.
# 1 fencer (all foil) for Stuyvesant was Mike DeVito. At
Columbia, I won the Easterns in foil; at the U. of Cambridge I
fenced foil and then foil and saber for the varsity, in 1957-1960.
Alfred P Rubin '48 Distinguished Professor
Emeritus, International Law, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy,
I entered Stuyvesant in the tenth
grade in the fall of 1951. I attended the afternoon session, but I
went to the morning session in my junior and senior years. Soon
after we arrived, there were team and club presentations in the gym
for newcomers. I loved baseball, but I had to wait until spring to
try out. To keep in shape during the winter, I needed a sport to
hold me over. First, I went out for football. I got through the
selection process, but I needed a signed permission slip from my
parents in order to play. When they didn’t sign it, football was out
for me. Next, I thought of basketball, a sport New York kids play
well. I soon learned that the starting five for the next couple of
years had already been selected, and that it would be hard for me to
Just as I was considering this
dilemma, a fencing team member, Pat Petix '52, approached a group of
us, inviting us to see the team’s presentation. Never having seen
the sport of fencing, I was curious. I had always liked swordplay in
the movies and in books, so I went to see what it was all about. It
looked challenging, and I signed up.
We only fenced foil, and the team
members did all the coaching. We did have a so-called faculty coach,
Emanuel “Manny” Leibel, who was an English teacher and never fenced. He
gave us legitimacy, though, and offered encouragement to the team.
As I remember, whenever he came to practice he wore a coat and tie
and brought the New York Times crossword puzzle, which he
worked on while he smoked and watched us train, occasionally
glancing over his reading glasses when he had something to say to
Each fencer had to purchase his own
equipment. I went down to Giorgio Santelli’s Fencing Company in
Greenwich Village on a Saturday morning and picked out a foil, mask,
and glove. I got a ten- or fifteen-minute lesson from Maestro
Giorgio, and was on the subway heading home before noon. I remember
teammate Sam Abate '54, who would buy only an Italian-handled foil
because it looked more like a rapier than the French-handled foil
the rest of us used. Sam was proud of his heritage and enjoyed
showing off his “Italian” foil.
The varsity team members transmitted
their fencing skills to us, and we all learned from each other. It
was a novel and effective teaching method. We practiced daily
outside the school’s auditorium in the hallway downstairs from the
main entrance on 14th Street. Occasionally, when it wasn’t occupied,
we could practice in the auditorium itself. (I recall that the
Surveying Club used the auditorium to practice shooting transit
sights.) When we had access to the auditorium, we practiced in the
front space at the foot of the stage. We preferred that, because we
could sit down when we rested and didn’t have anyone passing
through. But practice in the hallway was the norm.
Remember baseball? Well, when the call
came for players in the spring, I showed up for tryouts in the gym,
but the fencing team captain came in to tell me that, because of
scheduling conflicts, I could not work out with the baseball team
and remain a fencer at the same time. After a long conversation, he
convinced me that I could get a scholarship to NYU or Columbia as a
fencer, whereas there was no guarantee that I would even get to play
baseball. After much thought and agony, I decided to choose fencing,
and I never had second thoughts.
We looked forward to practice each
day. Before fencing with each other, we did several exercises. One
exercise was having one fencer hold his glove against the wall and
drop it without warning, while the other, from an on-guard position,
would try to prevent the glove from falling to the ground by
extending his foil to stop the glove. We worked in pairs,
alternating practicing basics with each other while offering tips
and encouragement. We wore sweatshirts and sweatpants, and when it
was too warm for those we wore gym shorts. (Fencing uniforms were
reserved for the varsity fencing meets.)
Fencing form was emphasized, and at
the team meets we were actually graded on form. Scores from 1 to 10
(10 = high) were given to each fencer by the meet directors/judges.
The form score could decide a tie or close bout. It was an excellent
way to cement the basics into your game, and we all took it very
seriously. It was interesting to hear us rationalize a loss by
saying, “I lost, but I had a 10 in form.”
Our varsity fencing team, which
included Tommy Moshang '54, Ernie Jackson '55, and me, won the City Championship. Tommy and I
were Co-Captains. Our weekly competitions were held on Saturday
mornings in the basement gym of the all-girls Washington Irving
HS. We would all travel from our homes (most of us took the subway)
and gather in the gym prior to the start of the meet. The local
colleges would provide fencers to be directors and judges; high
school fencers also filled in as judges when they weren’t fencing.
We enjoyed the contact with the college fencers and made lasting
friendships with them. Each week, the Sunday New York Times
sports section carried the results of the Saturday meets. We varsity
members bought ourselves Columbia-blue letter sweaters and had our
chenille SHS letters sewn on them. We wore them proudly, and I still
cherish my varsity fencing letter!
Stuyvesant fencers had
excellent access to the local college fencing teams. We were invited
by the NYU coaches, Hugo and Jimmy Castello, to practice with their
team once a week. We would walk from Stuyvesant to Greenwich
Village, to the NYU fencing team room, and get lessons from the NYU
coaches and fencers. Many Stuyvesant grads were members of the
college teams in the area--including Pat Petix and John Farrell, who
were on the NYU team. I later fenced with them on the NYU varsity.
In June 1954, at sixteen, I graduated
Stuyvesant. I wanted to go to the U.S. Naval Academy, but you had to
be eighteen to enter. At my graduation, I was awarded the school’s
Preschel Medal for fencing. My teammate Tommy Moshang went to
Columbia University on scholarship (and became a doctor), while I
went to the NYU Engineering School. (I could have gone to Columbia
on scholarship, too, but Columbia did not offer aeronautical
engineering.) I was offered and took a fencing scholarship to NYU
and attended for two years. I left NYU in June 1956, when I was
selected to attend the Naval Academy. A few years later, in 1959,
the Naval Academy team made NCAA fencing history.
If life is about making good
decisions, my decision to go to Stuyvesant was one of my best. All
my wonderful memories in fencing began there, in that hall outside
the auditorium, where I took the first steps on my journey to the
national championships, the U.S. Pan-American team, and the U.S.
Joe Paletta '54, NCAA foil
champion, U.S. national foil champion, and member of the U.S.
Olympic fencing team
The team starters were
classmates Steve Fajen, who was an amazing fencer, Richard
Rothenberg (now a professor of medicine at Emory), Jerry
Halpern, Alex Kozicharow (tall, fun-loving, with flaming red hair,
who died in a car accident), George Sachs (now metal recycling co
chief in MA), and me.
High school fencing in New York City
was very competitive and Stuy's team was important to the school.
After practice, most of us who were starters would walk to the Salle
Santelli in Greenwich Village to practice under the guidance of
Georgio Santelli, the legendary Hungarian fencer who did more than
anyone else to help establish the sport of fencing in the U.S. We
were also encouraged by Albert ("Albie") Axelrod '38, the greatest
Stuy fencer, who was like a god to us.
Andrew Kaplan '58,
Los Angeles, CA
In the 1956-57 season, Marty Weiss was captain and
Paul Pavlow was co-captain. The six-man squad was rounded out by
Ira Slutzky '57, Steve Fajen '58, Richie Rothenberg '58 and me '58. I fenced in the
number 4 slot. The way PSAL competition worked, each person fenced
two bouts when two schools met. The #1 from one team would fence #1
and #2 from the other team. It was the same for #3 & #4, and #5 &
#6. Mr. Leibel, an English teacher, was the coach. He left either in
the middle or the end of this season and was replaced but Robin
Kazer, a shop teacher. Neither one was a coach, just a faculty
advisor. The older students coached the younger ones. Mr. Leibel was near
retirement and a curmudgeon. Mr. Kazer was young and we all loved
him. He even had us to his home in Stuyvesant Town. We finished in
4th place in the PSAL. The meets were always held on Saturday
morning in the Washington Irving HS gym. About 14 high schools had
fencing teams. I think the best team that year was Forest Hills HS
led by seniors Gene Glazer and Gil Eisner (both of whom went on to
be NCAA champs and Olympic team members).
In the 57-58 season, Steve Fajen '58 was #1, I was #2, Richie
Rothenberg '58 was #3,
Alex Kozicharow '58 was #4 and Andy Kaplan '58 was #5. I don't remember #6
(It may have been Billy Applebaum '58)
Before the PSAL season began there was an Interscholastic Fencing
Tournament sponsored by NYU. Steve, Richie and I made up the 3-man
team. Barringer HS of Newark won and we came in second.
At the end of the regular season, we were tied for first place with
Lincoln HS (led by Herb Cohen, who became a 2-time NCAA champ and
Olympian, and Neil Diamond, who became a singer). They beat us in
In the individual PSAL championship Baez of Alexander Hamilton HS
(can't remember first name) won, Herb Cohen came in 2nd, Izzy Colon
of Morris HS came in 3rd, and I came in 4th. Baez didn't go to
college. Herb, Izzy and I went to NYU and in 1961, swept the NCAA
tournament. Herb was first in foil, Izzy won the saber, and I won
Those are my memories of fencing in Stuyvesant HS. During those two
years there was rebuilding in the school and we had to practice in
the hallways. After our Saturday morning meets at Washington Irving,
we would go to Union Square and heckle the speakers. Since we
usually won, there was a wonderful glow of camaraderie, and I still
have a special place in my heart for Union Square.
Jerry Halpern '58, Brookline, Massachusetts
Long ago (I believe it was
December 1962), Larry Miller '63 was the captain of the Stuyvesant
High School fencing team. It was a “rebuilding” year with the loss to
graduation in 1962 of the then (and still) legendary Bruno Santonocito,
Tom Kalfa, and Mark Berger, all of whom went on to Columbia. (They had
helped win the NYC Public School Athletic League championship
for two years running.) There was little hope of a repeat performance by
the incumbent band of neophytes led by Larry and Tom Musliner.
Frank Lowy '64 and I, with
only one year as fencers and not a single competitive bout (much less a
win) to our credit at the start of the season, were also members of the
team, along with Bob Chernick and Brant Fries, both class of ‘63. Week
after week, we gained experience and confidence, and after defeating
Roosevelt (led by PSAL individual champion Howie Harmetz), we found ourselves--much to our amazement--in the final.
At the time, the title was
determined by a three-team round-robin. The finalists were Brooklyn
Tech, Jamaica, and us. We were decidedly the underdog. When we
arrived--after what seemed like an interminable subway ride--we felt
pretty intimidated. Many of us (including me) would have been happy just
to collect our third-place medals and leave without having to suffer the
public humiliation of losing. We had a support section of one--Larry’s
dad, who had faithfully accompanied the team. Our feeling of despair
only intensified after I lost the first bout decisively.
But Larry would have none of
this. He won as convincingly as I had lost and inspired confidence in
all of us. With his leadership, we suddenly believed that we could
actually win! And win we did, defeating both adversaries and winning the
coveted city championship. In my fifteen years of fencing that followed,
including a victory, together with Frank Lowy, at the 1968 NCAA
championship, I never experienced a more satisfying and unlikely
Jeff Kestler '64
Jimmy Kuhn ’65 presents Stuyvesant HS Fencing Team
Co-Captains David Ferguson ‘05 and Grace Fried ’05 with $5,000 check
from the James D. Kuhn ‘65 Fund for Fencing of The Campaign for
Stuyvesant/Alumni(ae) & Friends Endowment Fund, Inc.
bouts will always stay in my mind on this 40th anniversary of the
great team of 1964 with Co-Captains Jeff Kestler and Frank Lowy. I
guess I remember most about fencing in those days was the inevitable
12th and final bout. Most of us hoped we wouldn't have to be the guy
to fence the 12th bout with the team down 6-5. I had to do it twice
with the City Championship on the line. In my junior year we were
fencing our arch-rival Brooklyn Tech on a day where Kestler had the
flu and we didn't know if or how he would fence. Our team was one of
the best in Stuyvesant history. We didn't lose a match all year and
we had two of the best three fencers on the east coast with Kestler
and Lowy. Chuck Schwartz and David Nichtern were the two "B-slot"
fencers. (They probably would have been in "A-slot" on most teams.)
Mike Block and I fenced "C-slot." Two years later, Mike and I went
on to win the North Atlantic Collegiate Foil Championship at
Syracuse. After some ups and downs, the match went to 6-5 and I had
to fence the dreaded twelfth bout. I needed to win to put us in a
three-bout fence-off. I was the only Junior on the team, and I was
already nervous as hell when Kestler staggered over to me and said
hoarsely that I had to win at all costs for the team. Fortunately, I
was able to rise to the challenge, and I won the match allowing us
to win the City Championship in the fence-off on a 5-4 victory by
following year we were not as fortunate. Unbelievably, against Far
Rockaway, I was once again faced with a match where we were down
6-5. But this time under the rules, all I had to do was win 5-2 and
there would be no need for a fence-off. I didn't give up a single
touch, but due to an officiating error, we were forced into a
fence-off that we lost. I went on to fence at Syracuse, and was
reunited with Kestler and Lowy at the 1968 NCAA Championships in
Detroit where I finished 11th. I didn't pick up another foil until
thirty years later when I returned to the sport, and fenced in the
veteran division, finishing 7th and 8th in the 2000 and 2001
Nationals. I regretted not having competed during all those
intervening years which undoubtedly would have been filled with
great camaraderie and fond memories as was my time at Stuyvesant.
Kuhn '65, Co-Captain of the 1965 SHS Fencing Team.
Edward V. Kolman
In a school like Stuyvesant where intellect and
academic achievement have always been primary, football occupies a
unique slot for the players, the Peglegs, and for their fans. As a
rough sport, demanding long training and the usual long treks to
practices and to games all over the City--Stuyvesant has never had
it's own field!--footballers bonded strongly. To this day, players
from the teams of the 40's and 50's gather for reunions and
camaraderie. Stuyvesant never was a gridiron power for long. But
there have been exceptional players and teams over the years and we
remember those with joy!
Stuyvesant won many games and several championships under the
coaching of Gus Maier, Ap Mason, Chick Saltman, Bill Howard, and the
legendary Murl Thrush. In 1922, Walter Camp, a major sportswriter of
his day, evaluated high school and college teams in his book, The
Spalding Guide, and concluded that the Peglegs were the best
football team on the East Coast.
Since then, we have never been the best in the East perhaps, but we
have been competitive and there are the names of some of our
Lance Olssen '64, who played in the NFL, Don Jackson '69, star QB at
Columbia, John Hagopian '59, Johnny Nicotera '61, Joe LaMonte '59,
Al Garod '61, Ed
Slisky '59, Ed Kreusser '59, and Ron Wurster '61, who was Roger
Staubach's back-up QB at Navy. The '60-'61 team--with Wurster,
Garod, Nicotera, Mark Glasser more---was a very special bunch,
losing to Clinton, but winning 2nd
place in the City in a televised game from Midwood Field in Brooklyn
Football Team Highlights
Clinton: 1916, 1992, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1941, 1942, 1947,
1950, 1954, 1968, 1984
Manhattan Champions: 1922, 1942, 1954
Champions: 1923, 1924, 1968 (Undefeated)
My Father's Team
Stuyvesant’s First Championship Football
Team, the Class of 1923, went undefeated in City play, beating DeWitt
Clinton 14-0 in the Championship game. Three team members went on to
become captains of their college teams. The team included Captain
William Adler, Garrison Davidson, Michael DiVirgilio, Bernard Feurer,
Harold Hockelman, Abraham Kaplan, William Koselink, Ernest Rehm, John
Shaw, Clarence Taylor, William Timm and Abraham Zahn. The December 8,
1922 Banquet, held at the West Side YMCA, also listed “Eddie the Water
Boy” and “M. Slavin, first aid”.
Officers of the Stuyvesant Club in
attendance at the football banquet included President Thomas Hession,
Vice President William Adler, Secretary Leo Kramer and Treasurer Bernard
Feurer. Speakers included Principal Ernest R. Von Nardroff and Coach
In his autobiography, Gar Davidson wrote:
“In 1919 there was only one technical high school in the New York school
system, Stuyvesant. … I traveled by subway from the upper Bronx to lower
Manhattan for four years and was never late for my first class, a
distinct tribute to the reliability of the New York subway system.”
“The school was not a neighborhood
institution as far as I was concerned. The student body was a polyglot
group coming from a great variety of ethnic backgrounds; sons of Jewish,
Polish, Ukranian and Italian immigrants who lived nearby, Irish from
Hell’s Kitchen, Germans, Hungarians and Czechs from uptown and Greeks
from Brooklyn. Most kids being poor headed for work soon as school was
I decided to try out for the football team. … I was successful and
played right end for two years. In 1921 we just missed winning the
championship but in 1922 our team brought Stuyvesant its first
Davidson, Sr. - Son of Lt. Gen. Garrison Davidson '23
I entered Stuyvesant in 1948 as a
sophomore, which meant attending the afternoon session--starting at
12:40 and getting out at 5:40 pm, as I recall. Stuyvesant was on
split sessions during that time, and the (preferred) morning
session, from 7:40am to 12:40pm, was reserved for
juniors and seniors, which made it impossible to try out for varsity
sports until you began your junior year. Freshmen and entering
sophomores were also usually overwhelmed with tough class schedules
(all required subjects) and no study halls or soft
courses, which left no time for sports during the afternoons. So as
soon as my junior year began I made the rounds of team tryouts,
offering my body and soul to whichever coach would take me and
fulfill my dreams of glory and female adoration.
The football coach, Murl Thrush,
grimaced when my puny, 120-pound, five-foot-five body lined up for
audition as a back. Although I caught the one short pass I was
allowed, the defending back simply picked me up on his shoulders and
tossed me onto the mat in the gym. Coach Thrush said, "I don't think
this game is for you until you gain about sixty pounds and can still
run the 100 in under 11.” Given my height, basketball was never an option, nor was
baseball, as I wore glasses and had trouble seeing fast pitches,
though I was a fair fielder. This narrowed my opportunities to the
swimming or track teams. I never considered fencing or the less
macho sports because they didn't seem to me to be girl-attractors. I
was an excellent swimmer and was offered a spot on the swim team,
but my eyes couldn't handle the chlorine even with goggles. This
left only the track team as my path to glory.
Bob Shapiro January '50
I remember the student protest just
before Christmas (either '56 or '57), based on the rumor that
principal Leonard Fliedner was going to eliminate the Football team.
I participated in the demonstration (which I suspect had more to do
with it being just before Christmas break and we were letting off
steam, rather than for any particular cause), which became a sort of
all-purpose student protest about lack of facilities, lack of
student participation in decision-making, etc. It made the front
page of most of the New York papers and later when the student riots
of the Sixties came along, I remember thinking that at Stuyvesant we
were the first.
Andrew Kaplan '58
co-captain with John Nicotera during the 1959 season and second team
All-City [I broke my shoulder in the fifth game or might have done
better.] I went on to Yale and played on the Freshman and Varsity
teams and lettered every year. I was a starter as a Freshman and in
my varsity years. I played a considerable amount with the first unit
my sophomore year, somewhat less my junior year as I recovered from
a back injury and was a starter during my senior year. In college at
that time we were playing both ways so I was both an offensive and
defensive tackle and for four years wore my torn grey Stuyvesant
practice jersey under my Yale game uniform. It was the combination
of the Shot Putting and the Football that allowed me to win the
Stuyvesant S Award at Graduation although I can't remember whether I
was presented the medal by the good Dr. Fliedner before or after he
called off the ceremony. I do however have the award in my
Thinking Back at the Centennial Homecoming Game
delighted to attend the Stuyvesant Centennial Homecoming game and
festivities at Midwood Field in Brooklyn, October 2004, and to be
honored as a Stuyvesant athlete. 1968 football at Stuyvesant was a
banner season. We were undefeated! We were 8-0, and City Champs!
Murl Thrush guided us through the season, where in our 8th game we
defeated archrival DeWitt Clinton, 14-0. Even though there was a
teacher's strike in NY in the very early fall of 1968, the football
coaches of the PSAL decided to work and start the season on time.
They felt that the students should not be denied the opportunity.
Throughout the city, of course, it even meant the only opportunity
for college for some.
undefeated football season is rare in any school's history, but is
particularly noteworthy because of the circumstances of the strike.
Jeffrey R. Friedman, '69
Does Stuyvesant need a
football team? Stuyvesant is a high school that accepts students who
attain a high score on an entrance exam. This leads to the school being
the strong academic institution it is. It is still a high school,
however, and should attempt to graduate well-rounded individuals who
have had the chance to participate in the variety of activities
available in most high schools. The fact that Stuyvesant may be better
known for its chess and math teams is no reason to get rid of the
football team--just as there would be no reason to eliminate a chess or
math team at a school known for its football team.
Personally, I learned a
tremendous amount from playing football at Stuyvesant. I can honestly
say that I learned a lot more lessons that have helped me in life from
playing football than from many of my classes. To this day, my close
friends are people who were my teammates in high school. In addition I
still keep myself fit, although by bicycling as opposed to football at
this stage in my life.
I have often heard people
call chess boring. I have always responded by saying that the only
people who call chess boring are those who don't understand it. You can
say the same about football, which can be as strategically complex as a
grand-master chess match.
Dan Steinbach '84 Co-captain, SHS
my former team-mate Dan's sentiment, in retrospect the lessons
learned from football at Stuy - the importance of keeping oneself in
good physical condition, mental discipline, navigating the politics
of a hierarchy, the value of true friendship, having pride in one's
work, and the list goes on - are things that you could never find in
the classroom. Granted, it is a violent sport and I had my share of
frustrations, but I would have done it over again if I could go back
(although I would have taken my grades and the college application
process more seriously than I had, I learned the hard way - to which
Dan can attest - the wages of getting ahead start on a college
I actually enjoyed chess prior to High School - I could always whip
the bums in the neighborhood, but when I got to Stuy the rep of the
chess team intimidated me. I thought that I had a better shot at
excelling at something like football, or track, as I was always a
decent athlete and thought that at Stuy I would be further above
average than back in the hood. But it turned out that we had some
very good athletes on the team during that period (1983-1985
seasons), and I had to work my way up to a starting spot by senior
year. I trained religiously (I was in the weight room every day an
hour before zero period) and completely immersed myself in the
sport, I was reading every book that I could get my hands on about
the great coaches and players.
Mike Jacobs Ph.D. '86 Defensive Tackle 1st Team 1985 Season
1974: Girls’ team
1977: Girls’ team wins
1980: Girls’ team
wis has 2nd consecutive undefeated season.
1983: Girls’ team is in
1994: Boys’ team wins city
1996: Girls’ team wins
1997: Boys’ and girls’ teams
win city championships.
1999: Girls’ team wins
2000: Boys’ and girls’ teams
win division championship
The Soccer Team
Soccer was introduced into
Stuyvesant by Dr. Frank M. Whitehall. Under his leadership and that of
Henry Shanholt and Artie Jacob, Stuy’s teams were the scourge of the
Public Schools Athletic League. One season, the Stuyvesant team had only
two goals scored against it.
Boys' Soccer Highlights
Eastern States championship: 1921
City championship: 1929 (tie),
Girls' Soccer Highlights:
September 1950 marked my entry
into this special place. A product of low-income parents in a low-income
housing project, I was a high-maintenance child. My record--if released
by the Freedom of Information Act!--would reveal a profile in
underachievement, truancy, and tsuris. Several snotty seniors
tried to sell me an elevator pass, but, coming from Williamsburg, I was
hip to their hustle.
My friends Ivan Hametz '54 and Irv Brazinsky
'54 joined me in
tryouts for the football team. As pretty solid sandlot players, we had a
shot at making Murl Thrush's fine team. We worked out on a hardwood gym
floor. Because we attended the afternoon session, we could not practice
with the varsity. Eventually, we gave up the gridiron for study--a
decision that I regret to this day. Frankly, I was too slow to play in
the backfield and too light for the line. My best shot was on defense,
where a yidische kop and a keen sense of the game provided an
opportunity. I blew it.
During my senior year, I
joined the soccer team under the tutelage of Coach Jacobs. With more
enthusiasm than talent, I played fullback on defense. My first three
games went well for me, though the team lost all three. In the fourth
game, I injured my leg, and--despite lots of methyl salicylate--my
effectiveness diminished. One game (as I vividly recall, it was the same
day that the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in game six of the World
Series), Coach Jacobs benched me. As I departed the soccer field, he
smirked, "Dorinson, you ran off the field faster than you ran on it." I
failed to earn a varsity letter. My sights shifted from the field of
play to academics.
Joe Dorinson '54 & T'63
For the first time since 1913,
the Stuyvesant High School soccer team captured the Bronx-Manhattan
championship--the division title. I was the offensive captain of the team, and I
led the offensive with a front line that bombarded the opposition with
fifty-five goals. Meanwhile, the defensive captain, Oleh Dekajlo '75 frustrated the opposition by shutting
them out in eleven games and allowing our team to be scored against only
six times. Every player could confirm the fact that, when things got
tense, it was Coach Sidney Sheldon’s vocal enthusiasm that kept us
Marco Ellman '75
The Swim Teams
Led by coaches such as Joe
Shipley, Ap Mason, Sig Myers, Lee Sharp, and Jim DeSimone, Stuyvesant
swimmers won many city championships and hundreds of dual meets.
1947 Swim Team
Swimming Team Highlights
1908: Swimming team forms.
1913: PSAL championship.
June 1914 NYT:
1924: Herbert Vollmer Bronze Olympic Medal winner -
1929: City relay
1963: Places third in city
‘65 smashes the city record for the 100-yard breaststroke with a
time of 1:06:40.
1969 Indicator - Swim Meet
Daniel Moore '82 breaks ten NYC and Metropolitan Junior Olympics records; John Witchel '86 holds all the
swimming records for Stuyvesant, misses cut for Olympic team by one
Undefeated in regular season: 1992
Divisions Championships: 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982,
1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988,
City Championships: 1995, 1998,
1999, 200, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
SHS swimming pool
is named for Coach DeSimone
championship, undefeated regular season.
1992: Ties Brooklyn Tech for City
championships: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000.
I was tennis team Co-Captain in 1948-49. The coach
was George Eifert, a shop teacher, who didn’t play tennis and didn’t
coach. However, no other faculty member stepped forward to be the
coach and as he did, the tennis team had its legitimacy. We played a
regular season of matches against other PSAL high schools.
Maurice A. Mufson '49, Huntington, WV
Track, Field, and Cross Country
James B. Herbert '33 - famous for the number of
races he won at MSG.
Track, Field, and
From the start, there has always
been great interest and enthusiasm for track & field athletics at
Stuyvesant. At the Spring games held at Pastime Oval, May 5,
1905, half of the student body was there! Wilmar. H. Bradshaw (1920-1951) and Samuel ("Doc") Ellner coached the sport for about forty years.
Stuyvesant played host to an annual
indoor track meet that helped put its name on the map. From
the first meet, when nine schools entered, to one in 1947 when we
had 115 schools and 2,215 individual entries, the meet grew.
Track and Field Highlights
Early Results: PSAL Championship
(1911); wins Princeton meet (1913); City Championship
(1917); Francis (Frank) Hussey, Captain, ties the world record in
the 100-meter race (1923); track wins Princeton meet and is also
named “best team in the City” (1923); Frank Hussey is a member of
the record-breaking, Gold Medal US 100-meter relay team at the
Olympic Games in Paris (Summer, 1924).
1939: Track team takes first
place in Dickenson meet and third place in the national
championships held in Madison Square Garden.
1947: Track team wins outdoor track
and field competition for the third year in a row
1964: Track team finishes undefeated
in division meets.
1968: Track team wins PSAL outdoor
1970: Track team wins Manhattan
1974: Track team wins twenty-five
indoor track medals.
2001: Boys’ outdoor track team wins
division championship; boy’s cross-country team wins division
2002: Boys’ indoor track team wins
1916: Cross-country team wins
1922: Cross-country team takes second
place in PSAL championship.
1937: Cross-country team takes third
place in the city and wins Manhattan championship.
1941: Cross-country team wins
1944: Cross-country team wins
1945: Cross-country team wins
1974: Cross-country team is undefeated
through the regular season; captures division championship. Six out
of seven of the runners in the borough championship receive trophies
in addition to their third-place team trophy.
1981: Boys’ cross-country team wins division championship, posting
7-0 win-loss record. Team places third in the city championship.
1986: Boys’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.
1987: Boys’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.
1988: Boys’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.
2000: Cross-country runner Sam Jacobson '00 breaks a twenty-five–year–old school record by sixteen
2002: Boys’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship;
Girls Cross Country
1977: Girls’ cross-country team forms; wins division championship.
1978: Girls’ cross-country team wins division championship.
1979: Girls’ cross-country team wins division championship.
1980s–1990s: Girls’ cross-country team repeatedly wins Manhattan
2000: Girls’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.
Francis (Frank) Hussey
Frank Hussey was a world-class
sprinter. He led Stuyvesant’s track team to several City titles and
he came into his own in the Olympic year of 1924. He was especially
strong in the 100-yard dash, and at the Olympic trials in June,
1924, he won his heat with a time of 9.8 seconds. Off he went to
Paris for the Olympic Games. Although Hussey did not place in the
100-meter dash, he was a member of the of the Gold Medal 100-meter
US relay team. Hussey was a member of the Class of '25, but after
the Olympics he decided not to return to Stuyvesant, enrolling
instead at Boston College.
Paris, France- Members of the American 400-meter
relay team, which established a new world record of 41 1/5 seconds for
the event, pose at Colombes Stadium. Frank Hussey, the NY schoolboy
who made his first appearance in "Big Company," made good when he
flashed in front of the first dash and handed Clarke a comfortable
lead. The quartet (shown L-R) are: Hussey, Clarke,
Loren Murchison, and Alf Leconey.
There was the indoor track in
the school, a thirteen-lap track if I remember correctly. It became my
hustle. I discovered that if you kept up the momentum, you could use the
steep banking to maintain your balance while running backwards at a fair
clip. So I would challenge people to a quarter-mile race, backwards, and
I would always come out of it with lunch money. One person I never
challenged was Johnny Gwon '49). I don’t know what his 100-yard time
was, but I’ve never seen anyone break from the blocks faster. There was
no acceleration. He was instantaneously at top speed.
Howard Kaplan '49
One of the track team’s best sprinters
was in one of my classes and offered to audition me himself rather
than my risking showing up for tryouts with no idea of what event or
distance to try out for. He tried me at the 100, the 220, the
quarter-mile, and the half-mile. His decision was that I was best
suited to run the half-mile, the 1,000 yards and the mile relay.
These were also the harder slots to fill, therefore improving my
chances of making the team. He was right, and Coach Bradshaw agreed
to accept me as a middle-distance runner and a backup for the mile
relay team. I was thrilled I had made a varsity team and quickly
became accepted by the other members when they saw I was willing to
kill myself trying when the competition outclassed us, which was
usually the case when the prep and Catholic schools participated in
I was elected team Captain in my
senior year not so much for my prowess in winning medals, which were
few and far between. My elevation to Captain was mostly for following
Woody Allen's advice of always showing up. Sometimes this required
entering two or more events when regulars didn't show. In fact,
absenteeism of other members was responsible for ending my short
career on the track team in my senior year. We were entered in the
prestigious IC4A high school meet, at Madison Square Garden. I ran
in three events to avoid forfeit. I ran my regular 1,000-yard event
and filled in on the mile relay and the 220-yard dash. I completely
exhausted myself, and the next morning, as I was getting dressed to
go to school, I experienced severe muscle contractions, which
culminated in a full-blown convulsive seizure. I had apparently
drained myself of minerals and electrolytes by drinking only water.
We didn't know about Gatorade or minerals then. My doctor thought I
had hypoglycemia and gave me sweets, which I later learned could
have killed me.
I survived, however, and gave my
track pin from the Wingfoot Society to my girlfriend, right around
graduation. The lucky girl I pinned was from Music and Art, which
the three girls I’d dated earlier had also attended. They too had
worn my Wingfoot pin while we "went steady," with the understanding
of the high honor and intimate obligations it conferred. The last
girl to wear it was unfortunately informed by one of her friends
that my pin had made the rounds of M&A and "had more miles on it
than her father's DeSoto.” So the pin came back in a hurry--but, to
my everlasting good fortune, the girl stayed, and we'll celebrate
our fiftieth wedding anniversary this coming December.
Bob Shapiro Jan. '50, South Orange,
Manhattan Division titles 1975, 1976,
Division championships: 1982, 1995,
1998, 2000, 2001, 2002.
championships 2001, 2002.
championship 1974, 1986, 1987, 1988.
Division championship: 1992.