Centennial Homecoming A Success
October 28th, 2004
On Sunday, October 10, a beautiful autumn day, Stuyvesant’s Centennial Homecoming 2004 celebration took place at Midwood Stadium in Brooklyn.
Shuttle bus service from Stuyvesant to Midwood Stadium began at 9:00 A.M. in the morning, and Parent Coordinator Harvey Blumm was stationed at Stuyvesant to monitor the bus service, which ran approximately every 15 minutes.
“Everything is running smoothly,” said Blumm. “There has been a great turnout. We have filled up buses with team members, cheerleaders, students, alumni, and parents.”
According to Blumm, there was a “huge security presence,” when the buses arrived at the stadium. Approximately 125 police officers were present, and those attending any of the day’s events had to go through metal detectors upon entering. This was a formality set forth by the Department of Education (DOE).
“They wanted to make sure everything was safe,” said Principal Stanley Teitel.
Festivities at Midwood began at 9:30 A.M., with a continental breakfast served in the hospitality tent.
At 10:30 A.M., the Stuyvesant Peglegs Junior Varsity Football team played the John F. Kennedy Knights Junior Varsity team.
Following the game, spectators watched from the stands as many important speakers got up and gave a special ceremony to honor Stuyvesant’s Centennial. The emcee was Roger Clarke, class of '85, who is currently a news reporter for “New York One.”
Chairman of the Stuyvesant High School Centennial Homecoming Committee Philip Newman spoke next, followed by Teitel, who welcomed everyone to the homecoming game, and then spoke about the history of Stuyvesant.
President of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni association, Sari Halper-Dickson, class of ‘87, spoke about her experience as a trainer for the Peglegs when she was a student.
Next, Reverend Samuel Nicolas, the Director of International Affairs at the State Comptroller's Office, spoke representing New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi. He then presented Teitel with a hundredth anniversary certificate and told him to "continue the good work."
A representative, Alexis Penzell , spoke at the game in place of DOE Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. He said that Klein “sends his regrets that he can't be with you,” and that, “homecoming epitomizes what Stuyvesant is to you.”
State Senator Martin Connor spoke as a proud Pegleg parent.
Next, Assemblyman Keith Wright spoke a few words to the crowd, followed by PSAL representative Marty Oestricher.
Next the coach of the Thurgood Marshall Harlem Hellfighters, Duke Fergerson, spoke to the crowd. He wished Stuy a “happy birthday and happy centennial,” and said he hoped for a “good, clean game.”
A number of representatives from the Parents’ Association then spoke about Stuyvesant pride, and one said that it was a “gorgeous fall day.” Included in the speeches was a mention of Dr. Richard Axel, a Stuyvesant alumnus of the class of ‘63, who this year was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.
Chairman of the Campaign for Stuyvesant Dr. Paul Weichsel, class of ‘49, spoke to the crowd about the Campaign for Stuyvesant Alumni(ae) and Friends Endowment Fund, Inc. He also presented a check for $5,000 to the Stuyvesant fencing team, and a check for $10,000 to the Stuyvesant High School Football Parent’s Association, to be used for Stuyvesant’s athletic teams and student organizations.
Assistant Principal of Physical Education Martha Singer introduced the Principal of Thurgood Marshall Academy, Dr. Sandye Johnson, and presented her with a plaque that represents the school’s participation in the varsity football game.
The final speaker before the game was New York City Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. He presented a proclamation that officially made Sunday, October 10 Stuyvesant High School Day.
After a rendition of the National Anthem by the Stuyvesant chorus, at 2:00 P.M., the Stuyvesant Peglegs began to play the Thurgood Marshall Hellfighters.
At halftime, with the Peglegs in the lead many spectators took advantage of the break to get lunch, with a large selection to choose from by the main entrance, including hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, bagels, and more. A special halftime ceremony honored Stuyvesant athletes, both past and present, and fans watched as the Stuyvesant cheerleaders performed. Winners of a raffle were read off, with prizes including tickets to a New York Jets Football game, gift certificates, and tickets to a Broadway show.
After an exciting game, the Stuyvesant Peglegs beat the Thurgood Marshall Hellfighters by a score of 20 to 14. The game was taped by National Football League Films in conjunction with NFL ESPN nationwide. Following the game was a performance by Shelter NYC, a metropolitan area club band.
Overall, the day was a huge success.
“It couldn’t have been better,” said Newman, who estimated that about 2,500 people attended Centennial Homecoming 2004. “I want to thank everyone who participated in today’s events,” he said.
“It is really wonderful to see that there are so many groups that want to help Stuy,” said Blumm. "Especially
for an event [geographically] far from Stuyvesant, this was a spectacular success. Having been involved in any Centennial events, it seemed to be a very smooth running and well organzied event."
"I was just so pleased with the student participation," said Newman. "Everyone made the commitment and it showed in the day.”
“There isn't a sport that I'm aware of that builds greater character and maturity than football,” he said. “You have to have a real passion to play that game."
Net profits from Centennial Homecoming 2004 will go to the Student Union, which will distribute the funds to Stuyvesant’s student organizations and athletic teams. Stuyvesant students also enjoyed free Centennial Homecoming “Go Peglegs” T-shirts and subsidized food.
“Homecoming totally exceeded my expectations,” said junior Emily Hoffman. “I came because I am in Arista, but I ended up having a really great time. The cheerleaders got me into the school spirit. Plus, the hamburgers helped too.”