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HISTORY OF THE MADISON ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Beginnings
In 1995, Madison did not have a functioning Alumni Association. Graduates needed a source to obtain information about fellow alumni, keep in touch with activities taking place at Madison, and generate funds to help support various programs at the school. With the encouragement of faculty member Sonia Lerner, Thelma Kaplan Stevens '50 began the process of structuring an alumni organization and served as its founding president. By 2010, the Alumni Association had over 1,000 members!

Today, the Association runs several social and fundraising events, publishes a newsletter twice a year, honors remarkable graduates at a Wall of Distinction ceremony every two years, provides an alumni directory, assists classes preparing for reunions, and connects alumni via a new Web site.

We award four scholarships to Madison students and fund various needs, including new computers, sports and band uniforms, musical instruments, a new electronic scoreboard, and college visits. The Wall of Distinction board, which is prominently placed at the entrance to the auditorium, has been a source of pride for the school, its students and visitors.

Background
A dedicated team of Madison alumni volunteered their time and skills toward building our Association. First, attorney Bob Sharon '53 incorporated the Madison Alumni Association under state and federal laws. In 1997, the Madison Alumni Association, Inc. became a State of New York not-for-profit (501c3) charity and also received tax-exempt status from the State of New York. The Association was then able to solicit tax-deductible gifts from alumni to be used for scholarships and projects that cannot be funded under the existing NYC school budget.

CPA Harold Wohl '53 took on the management of accounting responsibilities for the Association, preparing annual statements required for the US Internal Revenue Service until his retirement. CPA Bob Konigsberg '57 replaced Hal in 2008.

In June 1996, Bernice Rotter Schmid '50 and Thelma Kaplan Stevens '50 created and published the first issue of the Madison Alumni Newsletter. They continued as Editors until Sandra Goldberg Roche '50 and Dick Kossoff '53 took over. Frieda Gottfried Weitz '54 and Judith Naomi Ophir Fish '64 became the editors in 2009.

Stanley Kaplan '35 generously financed many of the Association needs, and as First Vice-President was completely involved in all alumni activities.

In 2001, Dick Kossoff '53 initiated the "Wall of Distinction" honoring Madisonians who have made extraordinary contributions to our society. By 2010, fifty outstanding alumni had been honored at these well attended ceremonies.


Other accomplishments of the JMHS Alumni Association:
2001 - $10,000 was provided by the Association for an electronic outdoor scoreboard. The new Sports Complex was named in honor of alumnus Marty Glickman, one of Madison's greatest athletes.

2002 - $500 was given to the Music Department for the purchase of much needed replacement uniforms for the Madison Marching Band.

2003 - Madison student records on documents dating back to 1927 were rapidly deteriorating in a basement storeroom. In order to save these irreplaceable records, the Alumni Association contributed $10,000 so that all records could be transferred to microfilm and an alumni directory published.

2004 - An Alumni Association scholarship of $1,000 was established as an annual award to a JMHS student for academic achievement and for service to Madison and the surrounding community. Later, two more $500 scholarships were added.

2005 - Principal Joseph Gogliormella recognized the Alumni Association for its ongoing contributions to the entire sports program. The school dedicated its newly refurbished athletic field as the James Madison High School Alumni Association Field.

2006-2010 - Funds were provided for computers, uniforms, upgrading the Honor Boards, and renting buses to take students to prospective colleges. A new Alumni Web site was developed in 2010.

2011- 2013 - We are proud to be funding the school newspaper, The Madison Moment. We assisted needy students after Hurricane Sandy, added more scholarships to be given to deserving graduates; we are providing technology and replacing the old blackboards, and are continuing to give back to our school.

Presidents of the Association have included Thelma Kaplan Stevens '50, Jane Castorina Gordon '56 , Sandra Goldberg Roche '50, Dick Kossoff '53, and Martha Weinstein Alpert ‘57

See other sections of this site to learn how to participate in the Association.


 


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