Centennial Gala Celebrates 100 Years of Tech Excellence
More than 400 Brooklyn Tech alumni, students, faculty and friends gathered on Saturday, November 19 at The Glasshouse NYC for a spectacular celebration of the 100th anniversary of Brooklyn Technical High School, one the nation’s most acclaimed educational institutions. The Centennial Gala not only was a milestone event but helped launch a $20 million initiative to meet the challenges of new educational frontiers — and the next 100 years of excellence.
The evening was filled with music, dinner, dancing, awards, and special guests. Kicking off the evening, cocktail reception host Russ Salzberg '69, legendary New York sportscaster and host of the “Get a Load of This” podcast on the YES Network introduced Crystal Hudson, New York City Council Member for Tech’s District 35, Brooklyn as she presented Tech with a proclamation in honor of its centennial year.
A series of special guests and elected officials joined the celebration, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, alumnus Jumaane D. Williams ’94, New York City Public Advocate, Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Borough President; and alumnus Zellnor Myrie '04, New York State Senator. “Tech has always produced extraordinary alumni,” said Mayor Adams. “And it will continue to do so, as it grows in diversity in every way. The spark of curiosity, exploration and ingenuity is ignited in every exceptional young person at Tech, regardless of their street, avenue or place of residence. Brooklyn Tech is unlike any other educational institution in the nation.”
Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed performances by the BTHS String Quintet and BTHS Jazz Band, Grammy Award-Winning performer Stephanie Mills, finalist on “The Voice” Bryan Bautista '10, and a trio of Tech singers – Akie Bermiss ’01, Cindy Hospedales '02 and La Toya Lewis ’01. Jeanine M. Aguirre-Ramirez '88, award-winning journalist and Sarah Natochenny ’05, acclaimed voice actor (Pokémon) served as emcees. Gala Chair Edward T. LaGrassa '65 introduced the crowd to Courtney Ulrich '90, the new executive director of the Alumni Foundation.
Awards were bestowed on some of Tech’s most notable alumni and friends including the Abramson Family, the newest Titans of Tech.
Dr. Mathew M. Mandery, Ed.D '61, Chief Educational Officer of the Foundation, presented this segment of the Abramson Family Tribute, honoring:
Jack Abramson '32
Allan L. Abramson, MD '58
David H. Abramson, MD '61
Richard S. Abramson '63
Founders Awards were presented by the Foundation’s Vice Presidents David Lee '78, and Bola Oyedijo '92, and Anthony P. Schirripa '67, to the founders of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation:
Michael Weiss '57
Achilles Perry '58
Mathew M. Mandery, Ed.D '61
Denice Clarke (DC) Ware '83, President of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation announced the following honors:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Elizabeth A. Sciabarra
Centennial Commissioners Award
Louise and Leonard S. Riggio '58
Ms. Ware further noted that Louise and Len have made a generous contribution for future generations of students at Tech's “Incubator of Dreams,” committing $1 million to the Centennial Fund initiative and a generous $500,000 donation from James T. Fantaci, Esq. '64. “Critical thinking has been the hallmark of our Tech experience,” said Ware. “But so have lifelong friendships, a spirit of service, staying connected and giving back. These are the things that keep us bonded in blue.” She emphasized the significant impact of Tech’s 90,000+ alumni and 140 graduating classes have had on its students.
Student Body President Jediah Thomas '23 addressed the crowd and the challenges that Tech students had to face in recent years. “It is not the opportunities or network that define Tech,” he said. “It is the environment that develops Technites who rise to occasions and combat the challenges of society. I am, my peers are, and all of you are a testament of this. By breaking past the limits of yesterday, we create room for tomorrow.”
The evening concluded with a lively dance party as guests celebrated the legacy of Tech and its impact on the world today. As Len Riggio has stated: "There can be no democracy without excellent and inclusive public education."
Tech has always produced extraordinary alumni. And it will continue to do so, as it grows in diversity in every way. The spark of curiosity, exploration and ingenuity is ignited in every exceptional young person at Tech, regardless of their street, avenue or place of residence. Brooklyn Tech is unlike any other educational institution in the nation.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams
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