New York, NY (November 29, 2005) – The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Association today announced the successful completion of its $10 million campaign in support of the high school. Leonard Riggio, a co-founder of the Alumni Association, joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and Caroline Kennedy, Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools, at the event to celebrate alumni supporting New York City public schools. The celebration today was held at Gracie Mansion to recognize the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Association’s commitment to public education and commemorate the close of the first phase of their fundraising campaign.
The campaign was initially launched in 1998 by a committed group of Brooklyn Tech alumni.
Half of the campaign’s funds will provide a permanent endowment for an active alumni program and the other half will be spent in the current period for curriculum development and faculty training initiatives.
Over the past 20 years, the Alumni Association has funded major projects in the school including a state of the art robotics laboratory, modernization of the school library, and the completion of a new athletic facility.
The library improvements were donated by the family of alumnus William Mack and the athletic facility was created with the support of alumnus Charles Wang and Take the Field.
In addition to capital projects, the Alumni Association has also successfully launched many work/study programs with local businesses, including Con Edison, and sponsored student participation in national and international science and technology competitions.
“Our goal is not just to support Brooklyn Tech, but to send an important message about the value of public education in New York City and beyond,” said Leonard Riggio ‘58, Chairman of the fundraising drive, and newly appointed board member of the Fund for Public Schools. “Widespread access to quality public education is the first responsibility of a truly democratic society,” he said.
“I would like to thank Len Riggio and the entire Brooklyn Tech Alumni Association,” said Chancellor Klein. “The celebration today demonstrates what can be accomplished when alumni get involved and support New York City’s public schools.”
“We salute the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Association for setting a wonderful example,” Ms. Kennedy said. “I hope that all public school alumni will follow their lead and reconnect with their schools.”
About Brooklyn Tech
Brooklyn Tech was founded in 1922 as a high school which would emphasize science, math and technology, the school applies rigorous standards and accepts only the most highly qualified students for admission. An all-male school for much of its history, Tech turned co-ed in 1972.
From the beginning, one aspect of Brooklyn Tech’s proud history is clear: the overwhelming majority of students complete their studies, go on to receive a college education and achieve much success in later years. The list of notable alumni is extensive: it includes Nobel laureates, astronauts, leaders in education, entertainment, business, government, science and technology. To this extent, Brooklyn Tech serves as a model for public education.
Located in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, the school has a student population of 4,200 which ranks it as one of the largest in America.
The school has also created a “Tech Hall of Fame,” which commemorates the accomplishments of some of its distinguished graduates. To date, 20 members have been inducted with 5 new members added in 2005. Many of these honorees have served as mentors and advisors to students. Films lauding their achievements are shown in the school’s auditorium.
As an interesting sidelight to its campaign, the foundation has created a ‘Name the Classroom’ program which has resulted in more than 30 gifts ranging from $25,000 to $350,000. Donors also have the opportunity to name a seat in the auditorium for $1,000, allowing for wider participation by graduates.
The Tech campaign received lead gifts from Leonard Riggio ’58, Charles Wang ’66, Norman Keller ’54 and Denise Sobel, the family of William Mack ’57 and James Fantaci ’64.
About the Fund for Public Schools
The Fund for Public Schools is the non-profit organization affiliated with the New York City Department of Education. Its mission is to inspire belief in public schools and our ability to make them better; to increase private sector support of public education and to encourage every New Yorker to participate in our City’s schools. Working together with the DOE Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Fund seeks critical funding for system-wide educational reform initiatives; helps businesses partner with individual schools and programs; supports volunteering and reaches out to the entire City to create awareness about our public schools’ needs. For more information about the Fund for Public Schools, visit www.fundforpublicschools.org.