High School Yearbooks shed light on Alumni

The Stuyvesant High School that my father attended was the breeding ground for FOUR Nobel Laureates [ Roald Hoffmann (1955), Joshua Lederberg (1940), Richard Axel (1963),Robert Fogel (1944)], the current Attorney General Holder, a handful of U.S. Senators, celebrities such as Telly Leung (this year’s commencement speaker), Lucy Liu, Tim Robbins, James Cagney (1918), jazz musician Thelonious Monk (1935), four-time Oscar-winning producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1924) and many other notables in a variety of fields.

“Stuy” continues to turn out great students (including my son). Each year approximately a dozen of its 800 grads go on to Harvard, another dozen to MIT, a few dozen to Cornell, a long list attend U. Chicago, Princeton, Yale, Penn, Cal Tech, etc.

About 20 years ago, New York City decided to erect a NEW gorgeous, 10-story, state-of-the-art building to honor this “jewel in the crown” of public education. One of the building’s unique features are the escalators that move students two floors at a time, between even-numbered floor, and between odd-numbered floors. It houses an olympic-sized pool. Another amazing touch are the glass bricks interspersed around the halls and stairwells. Many contain artifacts donated by individual alumni or an entire graduating class. Others are empty, awaiting future installations. They are like little jewel boxes of memorabilia that add a sense of history to a modern building. Yet another charming touch was the re-cycling of an entire classroom from the “old building” to the new. That new room contains the old wooden desk sets with the lift up lid like my father may have sat in in 1937. History is now taught in this vintage room.

The school has photos and more info at its website, but its yearbooks can provide additional info about alumni, as shown in the image below.


About Billie Tekel Elias

Author of upcoming book, Pearl's Party...and you're invited.
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