McBurney School

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McBurney School was a college preparatory school in Manhattan run by the YMCA of Greater New York. Among its alumni are actors Henry Winkler [1] and Richard Thomas [2], novelist J. D. Salinger[1], physician Lewis Thomas [2], journalists Ted Koppel and Gordon Joseloff[3], musicians Adam Horovitz and Richard Goode, historian David Brion Davis, financiers Bruce Wasserstein[4], Felix Rohatyn[5], and Noel Ashman film producer/club owner



5 West 63rd Street

"Established in 1916 as a part of the educational program of the YMCA of Greater New York, McBurney School commemorated in its name one of the pioneers in work with boys and young men during the latter years of the nineteenth century[6], the first paid secretary of the YMCA of New York. For many years the School was a part of the education department of the West Side Branch, first on West 57th Street and then, in 1929, at 5 West 63rd Street where a separate portion of the larger building was prepared for the School. By 1935 the educational work of the City Association had increased to a point where a Schools Branch was justified. The direction of this Branch centered in McBurneys' 15 West 63rd Street building and provided for the operation of four, sometimes five, schools. This arrangement continued until, by 1957, increases in enrollment called for the accommodation of 450 boys. It was decided, therefore, to discontinue all of the departments except McBurney and the Evening High School and to prepare in 15 West 63rd street a proper setting for a college preparatory school. In September, 1958, the first part of the renovation was finished, and the building at 15 West 63rd Street was ready for McBurney use." [7]

Due to the construction of Lincoln Center only a block to the west, the value of the school property increased dramatically after 1965. In the mid-1980’s the YMCA sold the property for residential development.[8] [9] In spite of mergers and a move to 20 West End Avenue, McBurney shut its doors and auctioned off its contents on August 3, 1988. The New York Times reported:

The closed school was the product of a merger between the 60-year-old McBurney School and the Baldwin School...The combined institution later merged with the Riverside and Carnegie Hill Schools, under a parent organization called the Baldwin League of Independent Schools... the organization paid $5.5 million for the four-story building on West End Avenue at 60th Street, spent $3.8 million on remodeling and moved in two years ago...the decision to close was made last week... the school's location - in a neighborhood of automobile dealers, parking lots and taxicab repair shops - had turned out to be a 'detriment.' In the library yesterday, bidders flipped through old yearbooks, hunting pictures of such well-known McBurney alumni as Felix Rohatyn, the chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, and Henry Winkler, the actor known as The Fonz. Mr. Giannone found the yearbook showing a member of the class of 1956 whose nickname was Dumbo. The name was listed as Ted Koppel, now of ABC News.


McBurney may be best remembered as the destination of Holden Caulfield when he left all the equipment of the Pencey Prep fencing team on the subway in Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye[3].

Administration & facutly


  • 1916–1918: Newel W. Edson
  • 1918–1952: Thomas Hemenway – also oratory teacher. (b. Sept 10, 1889 - d. Feb. 26, 1969)
  • 1952–1962: Benjamin D. Chamberlin (retired Feb. 1, 1962) (d. age 59, May 21, 1962
  • 1962-1972: James Quinn Ph.D.
  • Aug 1972–Apr 1973: E. Duane Meyer, Ed.D
  • MARCH 1973-1983 Anthony F. Capraro III, Ph.D.
  • Late 1983 Mar 1984: Andrew Thomas Carr Stifler
  • Mar 1984–Mar 1988: Lawrence N. Tallamy
  • 1920: Adolf Augustus Berle: Head of “Junior School” (b. 1866; d. Nov. 19, 1960)
  • Andrew Thomas Carr Stifler (1982–1982): Andrew Stifler, Headmaster at the McBurney School and former college counselor at the Dalton School; he now is director of development at Hill School (K-8), Middleburg, Virginia

Anthony F. Capraro III, Ph.D.(Yale PhD) is now President of Teach in Purchase NY and Chair/Founder of, a non profit corp to help ,monority/inner city/students from, low income families attend college.

Faculty & staff

  • Edson Fisher Scudder (d. Jan 1, 2003): Chaired the History Department from 1953 to 1981
  • Robert Lincoln Litch: Physics and art appreciation teacher. Joined McBurney in 1925. Retired for the second time at age 76 in 1950 (he was 76 years old in 1950)
  • James Fisher-Northrop: Business manager in the 1970s (d. at age 88, Nov. 1, 2003)
  • Earnest Barrett Chamberlain (Jan 22, 1883–June 1972): Taught history from 1920 to 1923
  • Owen Paris: Swimming Coach in the 70s
  • Carlos de Wendler-Funaro, PhD (Columbia 1958) (Oct 12, 1898–Feb. 15, 1985): Before becoming an entomologist but taught foreign language at McBurney; he donated most of his insect collections to the American Museum of Natural History
  • Francis H. Ingoldsby (d. Apr 20, 2004 at age 98): A linguist, but served in nearly every capacity over 39 years at McBurney — teacher, adviser, coach, college guidance counselor, associate headmaster and headmaster
  • Alfred Carl Mohr (Mar 2, 1904–Jul 22, 2002): Dean of McBurney’s Modern Language Department; also had been a member of the Department of Germanic Languages & Literature at Yale (Bachelors from Yale 1926, Masters from Columbia 1932)
  • A. M. Black, head of the Social Science Department in the mid 1930s
  • William Haywood: Math Instructor
  • Peter McCaffery: Teacher and Coach and co-author of the new McBurney Charter
  • Richard (“Dick”) I. Mayes ’52 (d. Mar 15, 1992): Teacher
  • Donald Arthur Crane: Biology Teacher, 1960s (now director of govt relations at W.R. Grace?)
  • Hudson Bowman: History Teacher, 1940s
  • Rev. Robert Howell Schumann (d. age 56, Jan 7, 1977): English Department Chairman & Priest at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 139 West 46th Street
  • William F. Deme (Jun 18, 1913–Dec 23, 1974): Dean of Students
  • Thomas Gerald Monaco, PhD (Dayton 2003) (at McBurney 13 years): Coached football, wrestling & baseball, taught history and handled AD duties (now Upper Division Director at Summit County Day School, Cincinnati). He left McBurney as Head Football Coach after the 1980 season. Assistant coaches Rick Starace and Joe Puggelli became Co-Head Football Coaches. Football was started in 1964 by Head Coach, Tony Capraro, who became Headmaster after returning to Yale in 1966 for graduate work and as Head of the Scholar/Athlete admission program.
  • Bob Scully: Coach in the 50s & 60s, had Jason Robards and Joey Luft (Judy Garland’s son).
  • Joe Puggelli: English Department Chairman & Football Coach 80s (now living in Seattle). Joe was co-head coach with Rick Starace in 1981. Puggelli coached defense, Starace did offence, and both handled special teams. Pugglie was also editor of “Entertainment New York Magazine.”
  • Ingeborg Pederson: Chemistry Teacher
  • Reverend R. Mark Coonradt: Taught religion at McBurney 1962 to 1968. Also served as Senior pastor of Rutgers Presbyterian Church (d. Jan 13, 1987)
  • Debbie Isaacs: Learning specialist (married C.M. Kaminer)

Former Trustee in 1982:

  • Melissa R. Mather (married to John W. Kunstadter)

Notable alumni

  • Doug Waggener
  • Rodolfo Ruibal, PhD (Columbia 1955)
  • Stephen Koch (who married Ellen R. Dickman Jan 14, 1989)
  • Dave Mugrabi
  • Peter Gold: trapeze artist / circus aerialist with Flying Vargus
  • Mary Raider (works at PBS) (married Richard H. Gowan in 1988)


  • John David "Johnny" Marks (1927): wrote the music to “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” (b 11-10-1909 – d 9-3-1985)
  • Orison Swett Marden: Founder of the New York Legal Aid Society and Founder of International Legal Aid Organization (b. May 22, 1906 – d. Aug 25, 1975)
  • Edgar Dawson: Played tennis in 1922, 1925 Champion Swordsmen at McBurney
  • Lionel Perera
  • William S. Giovani
  • Holden Collier
  • F.G. McPherson (captain)
  • Albert P. Mitchell (class of 1922) (d. age 75, June 6, 1980)


  • Henry Thomas Randall (att McBurney early 30s) (Aug 29, 1914–May 31, 1994)
  • Malcom King Fleschner (graduated McBurney 1935) (Mar 15, 1918–Jul 27,1999)
  • Jerome David Salinger (attended from 1932 to 1934) (b. Jan 1, 1919)
  • Marion Beckett Howorth, Jr., MD (attended McBurney in the 1934, 7th grade – 1936 range, graduating from Choate 1939) (resides in Oxford MS) (b. Dec. 5, 1922)
  • Jack Hackett: Swimmer in spring 1935
  • William O. Aalto
  • Robert H. Bendig
  • Robert W. Bennett
  • Archibald E. Blainey
  • Samuel S. Board, Jr.
  • William J. Eckhardt
  • Henry Felberbaum
  • Karl P. Fischl
  • Edwin F. Coffin, Jr.
  • Royal H. Christ
  • David Cahn
  • Warren W. Burns
  • Herman W. Frey
  • Charles Gilbert, Jr.
  • Russell M. Gilbert
  • S. Page Hancock
  • Robert A. Hutchinson, Jr.
  • Robert C. Judell
  • Edmund N. Janes
  • Robert Brown ('38)
  • Leon Quinto ('38)
  • Kingsley Colton ('38)
  • Gerald McLaughlin ('38)
  • Marry Lash ('38)
  • Nelson Samson ('38)
  • Wynn Kron ('38)
  • Warren Schwed ('38)
  • Ward Sheffe ('38)
  • Perry Griffin ('38)
  • Anthony Wollner ('38)


  • Martin Mayer (1943): Best selling author (b. Jan 14, 1928)
  • Merrell Collier Elliott (graduated approx 1948) (Feb. 13, 1930–Mar 23, 2004)
  • Haynes Bonner Johnson (1948): Pulitzer Prize winning columnist (Washington Post) (b. July 9, 1931); Journalism Professor, Univ Maryland
  • Andy Wing (artist, b. 1931)
  • Felix George Rohatyn: Financier who engineered the bailout of NYC in the 70s (b. May 28, 1928)
  • Frank Clementson Gordon, Jr. (graduated around 1941) (May 16, 1923–Sept 21, 1995)


  • Ted Koppel (b. Feb 8, 1940) Entered McBurney ’53, graduated 1956 at age 16) (ABC News Anchor) (Nicknamed “Dumbo” in the 1956 Yearbook) (aka: Edward James Koppel)
  • Carl Chiaventone Margate: graduated in the mid 50s (d. Jan. 10, 2004)
  • Alan Tobias (tennis 1956)
  • Loren F. Ghiglione (1959), Haverford Col. '63, Editor, Publisher & Pres. THE NEWS, Southbridge, MA.
  • Jim Giannone (1958)
  • George Joseph Collins (approx 1958): Former CEO of T. Rowe Price and avid yachtsman. Competitive Swimmer for VMI, played baseball (b. July 31, 1940)
  • Joseph A. Wetzel (1952): Famous museum exhibit designer (Joseph A. Wetzel Associates) (b. 1934, Brooklyn)


  • Sam Barnett (1960, worked w/o salary for Table Tennis legend, Marty Reisman)
  • Alan Stiner (tennis 1966)
  • Robert Palitz (tennis 1961)
  • Richard Thomas (b. June 13, 1951): actor in “Little House on the Prairie;” attended grades 10 thru 12, graduated about 1969; parents were with American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet
  • Alan “Aleecat” Merrill (name Allan P. Sachs; b Feb 9, 1949): Rock Musician; attended in ninth and part of 10th grade; classmates with 1967 grads
  • Henry Winkler (Actor) (b. October 30, 1945) (grad aprox. ’63)
  • Jason Nelson Robards III: Actor and son of the late Jason Robards Jr., also an actor (b. 1948)
  • Bruce Wasserstein: Investment Banker (grad about 1966) (b. aprox 1948)
  • James Russell Gaines (b. 1948): Editor of Travel & Leisure Golf, former managing editor of Time, Life, and People; went to McBurney with Bruce Wasserstein
  • Stephen P. Edlich (approx 1962) (April 9, 1944–Nov 4, 1989): Painter
  • Irvin B. Sherman, pediatric dentistry (graduated from McBurney HS early 60s)
  • Metropolitan Methodios (Spiritual Leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston) (b. Nov 19, 1946) (graduated approx 1964)
  • Lane F. Miller (1967) Senior Advisor for International Economics & Foreign Direct Investment, President George HW Bush [Bush '41]
  • Jay Sulzberger (about 1967) (legacy of the NY Times publisher)
  • Phil Weinstock (about 1967)
  • Robert Ackerman (about 1967)
  • Bob Froelich (about 1967)
  • Walter Pribble (about 1967)
  • Peter Dorn (about 1967)


  • Ivan Kane (1975): Movie Actor/Night Club Owner[11][12]
  • Bruce Reynolds (1978): Police Officer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, End of Watch: Tuesday, September 11, 2001[13]
  • Michael Stimler (1978): Owner of Water Bearer Films, Inc., the oldest distributor of gay themed films in the world.[14][15]

A New Beginning

Today the McBurney Flame flickers on at McBurney College and McBurney Graduate School of Business. McBurney College offers Online distance learning programs in various business disciplines. To further commemorate this prestigious Alma Mater that took him off the streets of New York and inspired him to a life of Academia. The College Chairman, Dr. Robert Stonelake.,Phd is a McBurney School Alumn of the class of 1964. He remembers fondly the teachers that gave him an alternative view of his own life's possibilities through the power of continuous education. Mcburney College is infused with the principles that he credits for changing his life and giving him direction. "It is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and as we now accept the torch that is passed on to us, we will carry that torch and keep it lit for future generations."


External links

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