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Serious Play

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Extracurricular Stuy-Style

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 immigrant kids?

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 more.

Paul Levitz '73, President & Publisher, DC Comics & MAD magazine (Time Warner)






Student Guide

Box Seat


Stuy 2.0 Website


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From its start in 1904, Stuyvesant HS students created their own publications. Although The IndicatorCaliper, 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.


Thinking Back

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 Indicator

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The Indicator

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

We gathered together,

All shiny and hopeful,
Smiling and happy,

Every hair in place,

In pursuit of one common goal,

The perfect smile

In our yearbook.


Student Guide

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The Student Guide

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. 



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(Cover by George Segal '41)


On 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 define itself:

Caliper represents 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.

By 1914, Caliper was regarded as the best high school literary magazine in the country.  Caliper continues to publish students’ artwork, short stories, and poems today.


Thinking Back

My 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 senior years.

Robert W. Fogel '44, Nobel Prize Laureate, Economics, 1993


Thinking Back

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


Thinking Back

The Caliper literary 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
Manhattan 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


The Spectator

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The 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.”

Early 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) . 

Then, 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 well.

As the 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 an era.

Thinking Back

It can 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.

I 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.

English and History were my favorite subjects, so, I joined The Spectator as a reporter.  I learned everything I could about the paper.

I 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!

The Spectator
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 broadcast journalism. 
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.

And, I'll always remember Harry Truman's first words to me: "What's on your mind, sonny boy?"

Morton Fleischner '59

Thinking Back

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, VA

Thinking Back

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.

Working with 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. (1998-current)

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)

Thinking Back

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 Spectator.

Arlene Pedovitch '76

Thinking Back

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 these highlights:

  • The fight over whether the school's underground newspaper, the Voice (a Spectator rival), could distribute a sex survey to students.
  • The alleged elitism of Stuyvesant and other specialized high schools.
  • "Hell no, we won't go.” The student opposition to the return of military registration (aka "Selective Service").
  • And, of course, the perennial news story: "Students Fight City Budget Cutbacks."

The more things change . . .

Tom Allon '80 Publisher and CEO, Manhattan Media (Our Town, Westsider, Avenue, etc.)

The Spectator Shutdown

The 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.

In 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 sexuality.

None of 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.

It was 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.

Eight 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.”

Perullo 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.

“The 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 administrators’ censorship."

Several 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 newspaper.

“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.”

What 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 newspaper’s management.

On 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 Spectator staff drew up a charter.  It specified that the outgoing 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 The Spectator.”

And that was how it was in the 1950's and 1960's..


Thinking Back

During my 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




The Voice

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 advertisements.

Gail Froiman '77, Sr. Chem. Engineer, US Environmental Protection Agency




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Student Government (GO, Student Union)

1921 Indicator


“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 record."

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 administration.

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 senate.

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.


Business Board

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 


Social Committee

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 some others.

Marty Paull '64 Architect, Martin Paull Design Studio and teacher at Southern California Institute of Architecture at UCLA.


Thinking Back

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 





Big Sibs












Folk Singing

Orch, Band, Chorus



Liberal Arts

Jewish Culture









Science Talent Search


Pajama Day


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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.

Joining clubs

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 other words, the social life of the school.

The clubs 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 publications. 

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 attainments.

Last of all, the clubs unify Stuyvesant, give the school that break-through-the-line spirit. Join us, and we’ll hit the line together.

Samuel Berger '35, in the Caliper, December 1934

Thinking Back

Those 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).

As a 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 Architecture, UCLA





Aero Club


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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 model.

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

1921 Indicator







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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 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.

The 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... 

The 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 

 Thinking Back

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 properly.

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 graduating.

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, ARISTA 

Big Sibs

Big Sibs - from the 1994 Indicator






Astronomy Club


Thinking Back

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.



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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 participated:

“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


Chess Team Highlights

Manhattan Champions: 1911

City/Greater NY Champions: 1940, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1975

Eastern Champions: 1958, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1987

National Champions: 1971, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1999

Pan American Tournament: 1993 (top honors), 1996 (winner)


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.



Commuters Club


Commuters Club

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."

A 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 Island.

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  

Jewish Culture Club

The 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.

In the 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.

At 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.

I did 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



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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 bombs
Four and twenty scientists in a Cyclotron.
When they turned the switch on the men began to bawl.
Wasn't that a pretty dish for David Lilienthal?

The Spectator, September 1961

Thinking Back

I 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


Thinking Back

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

Thinking Back

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

Thinking Back

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 machine.

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.

Thinking Back

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 supply.

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 Architecture, UCLA

Thinking Back

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.

Abraham Baumel, Stuyvesant principal '83–1994



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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
Winners: Affirmative

Resolved: That the height of buildings to be erected in Manhattan should be restricted
Winners: Negative

Resolved: That Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield is better for use in the Stuyvesant High School than Eliot’s Silas Marner.
Winners: Affirmative

Resolved: That in the public schools of NYC women occupying the same positions as men should receive the same pay.
Winners: Negative

Stuyvesant 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 League tournaments.

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 Singing

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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 Stuyvesant.

Claude Epstein '61


L'Étoile – Fall ’55

The French publication of Stuyvesant HS
issued by the Language Department.

(From Morton Fleischner '59)


The German club gets endorsement
from German/American rocket scientist
Wernher Von Braun 



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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.

The Math Society Publication





Thinking back: from the Math Team Alumni "mojo-working" website,

Math Team? Is that like fencing, but with pencils?

The 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.

There 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 Science.

In 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.

The 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, 1971

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 Olympiad

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


1910 Indicator


Thinking Back

"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 decades.

I 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 well as   the fervor and drive to get up and travel more than 1 hour to school every day.

I 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)


The Orchestra at the new Stuyvesant




Pajama Day

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Pajama Day

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.


Photo Club

Thinking Back

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 this magazine.

Maurice Wolf '51


Student 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 efficiency
of the station proves that none but experts are in the ranks of the Radio Club.
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 club.


From The 1920 Indicator



1921 Indicator

The Rifle Club - 1952 Indicator




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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 wacky scenery.

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 occurred.

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 third.

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.

Meanwhile, the 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


Thinking Back

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
Living 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.

 Thinking Back

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 students.

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 office, 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 back-to-back.

Paul Golob '81 Editorial director, Times Books

Science Talent Search  

Science Talent Search

The 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 results.

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 memory.


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 (F)

1945 Edward Malcolm Kosower (1st), Andrew Streitwieser (9th)

1947 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 (F)

1960 Melvin Hochster (2nd)

1961 James Ivan Lepowsky (F)

1963 Henry Martin Smilowitz (F)

1964 Arthur Stanley Menikoff (F)

1974 Eric Steven Lander (1st), Francis Barany (F)

1975 Paul Andrew Zeitz (1st)

1976 Denise Anne Maximilian Taylor (F)

1977 Daniel David Blau (7th), David Ross Grant (F)

1978 Julie W. Pan (F), Jonathan Todd Kaplan (F)

1979 Gregory Bret Sorkin (6th), Ashfaq Munshi (10th)



1980 Lisa Joy Randall (Tied for 1st), Paul Neil Feldman (8th)
Brian Randolph Greene (Alternate)

1981 Joel Martin Wein (F)

1982 Ogan Gurel (3rd), Noam Elkies (8th), Richard Ke-Jen Chang (F),
Tammy Gay (Movsas) Zietchick (F)
, Joel Naom Hirschhorn (F)

1983 Jeanie Pui Ching Lo (9th), Wieslaw Czeslaw Topolski (F)

1984 Atom Sharkar (6th), Jessica Gabrielle Riskin (9th)
Bonnie Robin
Zietchick (F)

1985 Michael Friedman (3rd), Audrey Zelicof (9th)
Paul Chan (F), Junjiro
Horiuchi (F)

1986 Mariann Meier Wang (F),  Carl Hyun-suk Park (F)

1987 Elizabeth Lee Wilmer (2nd)
Julie Yui Tu (F),
Chen-Wei A. Lee (F), Hyoung Yoon Park (F),
Alexander Wharton Grannis (F)

1988 Chetan Nyak (1st), Janet Tseng (2nd)
Meiville Chen (Alternate), Mohamad Shahan
Ali (F),
Aurika Wanda
Checinska (F)

1989 Lucy Shigemitsu (F), Rose Du (F)

1990 Bianca Santomasso (10th), Alexander Sragovich (F),
Esther Chen (F),
James Chien Hsun Liao (F), Mitchell Wong (F)

1991 Debby Ann Lin (7th), Yves Jeanty (8th)
Linda Tae-Ryung
Kang (F), Petal Pearl Haynes (F),
Tien-An Yang (F),
Yves Jude Jeanty (F), Sunmee Louise Kim (F)

1992 Michail Leyb Sunitsky (F), Zachary Gozali (F), Vanessa Wun-Siu Liu (F),
John Alexander Abraham (F)

1993 Martin Adrian Fisch (F), Erwin Lin (F)

1994 Johnson Chen (F)

1995 Aleksandr Leonidovich Khazanov (7th), Chit-Kwan Lin (F)

1996 Ting Luo (4th), Dudley William Lamming (F),
Bruce Mizrahi Haggerty (4th), James Park (F)

1997 Elaine Wan (F)

1998 Jesse Keith Anttila-Hughes (10th)

1999 Kirsten Graham Wickelgren (F)

2000 Evan Matthew Fink (F)

2001 Jerry Moy Chow (F), Caroline Minh-Phuong Nguyen (F), Dmitriy Aronov (F)

2002 Nikita Rozenblyum (6th), Albert W. Leung (F)

2003 Varun Kumar Narendra (F), Joel Brewster Lewis (F), Alex Levin (F)

2004 Matan Harel (F)



Siemens/Westinghouse Winner

2004 Yin Li (1st)

"N.Y. Teen, Yin Li '04, Wins Westinghouse Competition"....
submitted by Alan Dash '51

Yin LiDec 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 School.


Thinking Back

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




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Theatrical Productions


In 1920, the Indicator looked back:

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.


Thinking Back

It was 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 expensive.

OK, we 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.

With a 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.

I’m proud that Stuyvesant theater is bursting with life!

Steven Shapiro, former English teacher


Thinking Back

I was 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 schools.

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 James Thurber.

(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 70s.

Richard Sedano '75

Thinking Back

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

Backstage Techies

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 Society

Training Corps

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The Stuyvesant Training Corps

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 his head.  

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 passed on. 

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.

Thomas Marshall Davidson, Sr. - Son of Garrison Davidson '23
















Track & Field





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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.


The 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 athletics.

Track has 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.

The Flying 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.

There were 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 after 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 National champions,

Our Soccer team has always been strong, having won the Manhattan crown more the twenty times, and one season only two goals were scored against them.

Baseball was 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.

Basketball has 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.

Stuyvesantians 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 Intercity Championships


How Did it Happen?

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.





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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, Queens.



Dec 1912:



Baseball Team Highlights

Manhattan/Division championship: 1911, 1953, 1961, 1972, 1974, 1978

NYC championship: 1928


Thinking Back

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






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Red Sarachek


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 records.

Doc Ellner and Boys at the Bench - from the coach's scrapbook

Basketball Highlights

Boys' Basketball


1907: Places second PSAL city championship.

Dec 1907: 

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

1930: Tri-Boro championship.

1931: PSAL scoring record.

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

1988: City championship.

2001: Division championship.


Girls' Basketball

1980: Team forms

Division championships: 1980, 1981, 1982

In the News, Feb. 1914, NYT


Jack Molinas: Stuyvesant’s Wild Card

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 his craft.

“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.

Thinking Back

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 was.

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

Thinking Back

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, Caiti

Standing: Alexander (tallest), behind Doc Ellner

Stuyvesant's Greatest Basketball Team - 1949 - from Doc Ellner's Scrapbook



Thinking Back

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 Square Garden.

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. The game 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.

Herbert Finkelstein January '51 Sports Editor, The Spectator





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Bowling Team Highlights




Division championship: 1961, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003

City 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 1934!

James Cagney '17 Streetfighter

Anthony DiBiase '53 Welterweight Golden Gloves Champion


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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,
To the winds your banners fling,
Let the blue and scarlet flutter,
Let the 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.

Stuyvesant! Stuyvesant!

(Written in 1914 and set to the tune of “Tammany”)

Stuyvesant! Stuyvesant!
We will always stick to you;

Up with the Scarlet and the Blue
Stuyvesant! Stuyvesant!

Wahoo, wahoo, rip, zip, bazoo!

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From the 1908 Indicator



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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

Division championship: 2003, 1939

City 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 consecutive matches


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 Team.

1962: Bruno 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 competition.

1965: Undefeated regular season, but loses to Far Rockaway in the semifinals of the city championship playoffs. Jimmy Kuhn '65 is captain.

1966: Undefeated 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 Horse Award.

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

Norman Armitage

Norman 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.

He is 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.

In 1928, less 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.

A 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 1948.

Thinking Back

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 name!!...)

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.

The # 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, Tufts

Thinking Back

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 break in.

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 us.

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. Olympic team.

Joe Paletta '54, NCAA foil champion, U.S. national foil champion, and member of the U.S. Olympic fencing team


Thanking Back

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

Thinking Back

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 the fence-off.

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 the epee.

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

1962 Fencers


Thinking Back

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 victory. 

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.

Thinking Back

Two 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 Nichtern.

The 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.

James D. Kuhn '65, Co-Captain of the 1965 SHS Fencing Team.












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Edward V. Kolman



Sherwood Schwarz




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 stalwarts:
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 against Jefferson.














Football Team Highlights


Beats Clinton: 1916, 1992, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1941, 1942, 1947, 1950, 1954, 1968, 1984

Bronx Manhattan Champions: 1922, 1942, 1954

City 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 Joseph Saltman.

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 out….

In 1921, 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 championship.”

Thomas Marshall Davidson, Sr. - Son of Lt. Gen. Garrison Davidson '23


Thinking Back

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


Thinking Back

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


Thinking Back

I was 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 possession.

Mel Shaftel '60


Thinking Back at the Centennial Homecoming Game

I was 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!

Coach 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.

An 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


Thinking Back

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 football team


Thinking Back

I echo 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 party-hearty lifestyle).

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








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Gymnastics Highlights

1974: Girls’ team is formed.

1977: Girls’ team wins division championship.

1980: Girls’ team wis has 2nd consecutive undefeated season.

1983: Girls’ team is in undefeated season

1994: Boys’ team wins city championship.

1996: Girls’ team wins division championship.

1997: Boys’ and girls’ teams win city championships.

1999: Girls’ team wins division championship.

2000: Boys’ and girls’ teams win division championship





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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), 1931

Bronx/Manhattan championship: 1933,1937,1943,1950,1975

Girls' Soccer Highlights:

Division championship: 2001,2002,2003

City championship: 2004



Thinking Back

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


Thinking Back


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 going.

Marco Ellman '75



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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 - Water Polo

1925: City championship.

1929: City relay championship.

1962: Manhattan championship.

1963: Places third in city championship.

Paul Pederson ‘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 point

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



1977: Division championship, undefeated regular season.

1992: Ties Brooklyn Tech for City Championship

City championships: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000.



Thinking Back

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

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James B. Herbert '33 - famous for the number of races he won at MSG.


Track, Field, and Cross-Country

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 championship.

1970: Track team wins Manhattan championship.

1974: Track team wins twenty-five indoor track medals.

2001: Boys’ outdoor track team wins division championship; boy’s cross-country team wins division championship.

2002: Boys’ indoor track team wins Manhattan championship.


Cross Country


1916: Cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.

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 Manhattan championship.

1944: Cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.

1945: Cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.

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 seconds.

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 championships.

2000: Girls’ cross-country team wins Manhattan championship.

Francis (Frank) Hussey '24

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.



Thinking Back

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

Thinking Back

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 the meets.

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, NJ




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Girls' Volleyball Highlights

Manhattan Division titles 1975, 1976, 1977

Division championships: 1982, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002.

Boys' Volleyball Highlights

Division championships 2001, 2002.




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Wrestling Highlights

City championship 1974, 1986, 1987, 1988.

Division championship: 1992.


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