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STAMFORD HIGH HONORS 1940s ALUMNI

More than 30 alumni from the 1940s, as well as two from the 1930s, were welcomed back to Stamford High during a reception on Thursday, May 31st in the school’s music auditorium.  The Stamford High Madrigal Singers, led by Music Director Gloria Sinaguglia, performed and Assistant Principal Matthew Forker and Robert Augustyn, a guidance counselor and the Master of Ceremonies, both SHS alumni, welcomed the guests, most of whom had not been in the school for decades. Alumni shared memories from their days as SHS students, including packing into cars with rumble seats and leading “snake” dances through the downtown after football victories. They recalled favorite teachers and the difficulties of attending school during World War II, when many classmates left for the battlefield.  To the amusement of current students and faculty, the alumni sang a rousing rendition of the fight song “Here’s to Old SHS, ” led by Carmine Vaccaro of the Class of 1949, who was dressed in orange and black, the school colors.  Alumni were taken on a tour of Stamford High’s Wall of Fame and to the Media Center, where a restored historic 1930s mural called “Sports” that once graced the music auditorium is on display.  Students and teachers from the 1930s were models for the mural and the alumni recognized several faces.  The event was planned by the Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association, which periodically plans events honoring the history of Stamford High, which was founded in 1873. Refreshments and SHS souvenirs were provided by students involved in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and DECA organizations and student journalists interviewed the alumni for a story in the school paper, The Round Table.

    

 

More than 30 alumni from the 1940s, as well as two from the 1930s, were welcomed back to Stamford High during a reception on Thursday, May 31st in the school’s music auditorium.  The Stamford High Madrigal Singers, led by Music Director Gloria Sinaguglia, performed and Assistant Principal Matthew Forker and Robert Augustyn, a guidance counselor and the Master of Ceremonies, both SHS alumni, welcomed the guests, most of whom had not been in the school for decades. Alumni shared memories from their days as SHS students, including packing into cars with rumble seats and leading “snake” dances through the downtown after football victories. They recalled favorite teachers and the difficulties of attending school during World War II, when many classmates left for the battlefield.  To the amusement of current students and faculty, the alumni sang a rousing rendition of the fight song “Here’s to Old SHS, ” led by Carmine Vaccaro of the Class of 1949, who was dressed in orange and black, the school colors.  Alumni were taken on a tour of Stamford High’s Wall of Fame and to the Media Center, where a restored historic 1930s mural called “Sports” that once graced the music auditorium is on display.  Students and teachers from the 1930s were models for the mural and the alumni recognized several faces.  The event was planned by the Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association, which periodically plans events honoring the history of Stamford High, which was founded in 1873. Refreshments and SHS souvenirs were provided by students involved in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and DECA organizations and student journalists interviewed the alumni for a story in the school paper, The Round Table.

  

SHS HONORS FIVE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS FROM THE 1950s

Stamford High’s glory days of the gridiron during the decade of the 1950s were celebrated on Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 when five state championship teams were honored with plaques on the Wall of Honor in Boyle Stadium. Players and coaches from the teams of 1950, 1952, 1953, and the perfect 9-0 seasons of 1958 and 1959 were feted at a pre-game reception and during halftime of the Black Knights victory over Danbury High.

On display were plaques for each team and for 10 All-State players from the decade: Fred Dugan (1950), John Hagan (1950), David Alexander (1952), Bruno Amato (1953), Ricky Gianetti (1957), Ed Fitzgerald (1958), Jim Mazurek (1958, 1959), Rolly Wahl (1958, 1959), Joe Frattaroli (1959) and Bob Westhelle (1959). Hagan, Amato, Gianetti, and Frattaroli were among the players in attendance. Also honored posthumously with plaques were SHS’ most celebrated and victorious head coaches, Michael A. Boyle (1907-1938), Paul J. Kuczo (1929-1957) and Walter (Buddy) O’Meara (1958-1959). Family members of Mr. Kuczo and Mr. O’Meara traveled to Stamford to join the festivities.

 

The Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association and parents of the SHS cheerleaders and football players hosted the players, coaches and families in a tent erected in the south end zone. In addition to the Waskowitz Trophy (given annually to the state championship team and retired at SHS in the 1970s) several photographs and memorabilia were displayed and admired by the guests, who had many memories to share. At halftime, the SHS cheerleaders assembled on the football field and the guests of honor were escorted through a line of honor by the cheerleaders to the roar of the crowd. Master of Ceremonies Bob Augustyn highlighted the championship seasons of each team before the players were introduced. The plaques honoring the five championship teams from the 1950s will be erected on the Wall of Honor, which was established at a ceremony in October 2007 to commemorate Boyle Stadium’s 70th anniversary and to honor its last state championship teams of 1970 and 1971. The Wall, currently located on the side of the home stands, will be redesigned and moved to a more prominent location under the scoreboard during the restoration and renovation of Boyle Stadium, which is currently underway and expected to be completed by 2012.

    

 

 

Historic Mural Returns to SHS

Stamford High School celebrated the restoration and return of a historic 1934 mural called “Sports” by celebrated author and artist James H. Daugherty at a ceremony held on November 18, 2009 in the school’s small music auditorium, the original location of the mural. (Stamford Advocate Article)

More than 380 SHS alumni, friends and local businesses made contributions over a two-year period to help return the 8’3” X 11’4” mural as a gift to Stamford High to commemorate the 135th anniversary of its founding in 1873. It was-mounted in a prominent location in Stamford High’s Media Center. Seven murals depicting culture, history, school life, industry and the arts were painted over a six-month period by Daugherty as part of a New Deal Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). They graced the walls of the octagonal school’s music auditorium for 36 years before being ripped from the walls during a school renovation in 1970. A graduating senior, Frank S. Bowne, recovered six of the original seven murals from a dumpster. One was lost. They later found their way into the hands of an art restorer, who sold two of them to prominent collectors in California. The remaining four murals became the property of the City of Stamford after funds were raised by the Daugherty Murals Committee to buy them back from the art restorer. Today, one is mounted in the library of the University of Connecticut in Stamford and another is at the Ferguson Library. A third remains in storage until funding is secured to restore it. “Sports” is the smallest of the seven murals and depicts student athletes. SHS students and staff served as models for some of the 200 figures in Daugherty’s work.
Major donors of $2,500 or more to the mural project include the City of Stamford; State of Connecticut; the Ruth W. Brown Foundation; Robert N. Rich, president of the Class of 1944; Betty Ruth and Milton Hollander; First County Bank; Patriot National Bank and more than 380 alumni through the Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association. It was restored by a five-member team led by Joseph T. Matteis, Jr. of the Clinton Fine Arts Workshop in Clinton, Connecticut, who also restored the murals at UConn and the library, as well as other Daugherty murals in Greenwich and Darien. The painstaking work began in April and took more than 2,000 hours.
“As alumni, we are so proud to be a part of this project to return one of the Daugherty murals to our alma mater,” said Diane Sentementes Sierpina, who co-chairs the Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association with Sharon Goldstein, an SHS parent. “We believed that at least one of the murals belonged back at Stamford High and are glad that other alumni and supporters felt the same way, even if they were students here long after the murals were gone.” Alumni donations ranged from $5 to $5,000.
The murals might have been forgotten if not for the efforts of the murals committee formed a decade ago by John Solum of Westport, an expert on Daugherty’s murals, to raise funds for their return and restoration. Among those involved on the committee is Lisa Daugherty, the artist’s daughter-in-law, who attended the November reception. One of the guest speakers at the November event was Rebecca Lawton, a national authority on Daugherty’s work and curator of paintings and sculpture at the Amon Carter Museum of Art in Ft. Worth, Texas. Other guests included Mayor Dannel Malloy, Stamford High’s Wall of Fame honorees and graduates from the 1930s. The murals were brought to life in 1997 for more recent Stamford High students and their families through the efforts of former SHS Principal Anthony Pavia, a former history teacher, who led the effort to get replicas of the murals created and placed in the original location in the renovated small auditorium and around the school’s corridors. Those replicas remain in place today.
The FOSH Alumni Association would welcome information about any of the students and faculty who served as models for the Daugherty murals. Please contact us at stamfordhighalumni@yahoo.com

 

 

135th Anniversary Reception

The Alumni Association hosted a reception for SHS graduates from the late 1920s and early 1930s on Oct. 29, 2008 in the small auditorium. A tour of the main building, opened in 1928, took place. Several graduates were interviewed for articles on Stamford High’s 135th anniversary that appeared in The Advocate and the Stamford Times prior to the event. (Click here for link to article). Many thanks to SHS alumni Lillian Shanen Rosenswaller (Class of 1929), Anna Hogan Dunn (Class of 1932) and William Ericcson (Class of 1935) for sharing their memories with us. 

 

Boyle Stadium Wall of Honor Established

The Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association, in collaboration with the Stamford High Gridiron Club, hosted a ceremony on October 20, 2007 commemorating Boyle Stadium’s 70th anniversary. A Wall of Honor was unveiled to recognize Stamford High School’s state championship teams and individuals who made the greatest contributions to the teams’ success on the Boyle Stadium field. The ceremony was postponed from its original date of October 19, 2007 due to rain.

The first honorees were National Football League Hall of Famer and Player of the Year Andy Robustelli, Black Knights Football Coach John Hagan, and the 1970 and 1971 Black Knights State Football Champions, the last in SHS’ illustrious gridiron history. The teams and the individual honorees had their names enshrined on plaques that were mounted on the west stands. Sixteen players and four coaches from those two teams attended the pre-game reception hosted by the Stamford High Gridiron Club and the special half-time ceremony led by Master of Ceremonies Len Gambino.

Special guests at the ceremony were Robert Bromfield, Genevieve Vacca, Sister Rose Mary Vacca and Evelyn Vacca Simone, all SHS graduates, and their families. Mr. Bromfield’s father, Llewellyn Bromfield Jr., was the senior engineer on Boyle Stadium’s construction, a project he conceived in 1933. Genevieve, Sister Rose Mary and Evelyn are the daughters of Alfonse Vacca, who was the renowned architect of Boyle Stadium.

All the honorees and guests were escorted onto the Boyle Stadium field by the Stamford High cheerleaders and enjoyed a concert by the Stamford High Marching Band. In the coming years, the Stamford High Gridiron Club and the Friends of Stamford High Alumni Association have plans to recognize and honor all of the Stamford High state championship teams that played their home games in Boyle Stadium.

JOIN THE FOSH ALUMNI NETWORK

To join the Friends of Stamford High Alumni online community, created by Harris Connect for SHS, please visit http://www.graduateconnections.com/stamford. Registration is free.

SHARE YOUR SHS MEMORABILIA

The Alumni Association seeks memorabilia from your days at SHS for display in the showcases around the school. Please email us if you would like to share an item and tell the story behind it.

FRIENDS OF STAMFORD HIGH ALUMNI DIRECTORY AVAILABLE

The 2012 edition of the Stamford High Alumni Directory will be available this spring through the publisher, Harris Connect. More information to follow.

FOSH Alumni Association