erasmus hall high school alumni association

Join Our Online Alumni Community




-Erasmus Hall Academy 1787 - 1895

-Erasmus Hall High School 1895 - 1994

-Erasmus Hall Campus: High School for Science & Mathematics 1994- 2006

- Erasmus Hall Campus: High School for Business & Technology 1994- 2007

- Erasmus Hall Campus: High School for Performing Arts & Humanities 1994- 2007

- STAR (Science, Technology and Research Early College) School at Erasmus 2004 - Present

- High School for Service & Learning at Erasmus 2004 - Present

- High School for Youth & Community Development at Erasmus 2004 - Present

-Academy for Hospitality and Tourism at Erasmus 2006-Present

- The Academy for College Preparation and Career Exploration 2006- Present


1786    -    Erasmus Hall Academy was built by the townspeople of Flatbush on land donated by the Dutch Reformed Church.  Money was given by all the important men of the time:  John Vanderbilt, Alexander Hamilton, Jacob Lefferts, John Jay, Aaron Burr and many others.  Their family crests are part of the stained glass windows in the Library.
1787    -    School named for Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), Dutch scholar, humanist, teacher, whom the Dutch townspeople knew from their history.  School seal is adopted with the motto "Custode dea Crescet"  "Grow under the care of the Goddess." This motto is carved over the fireplace in the library.
1787    -    Dutch Reformed Church supervised the school and appointed as the first Principal, Dr. John H. Livingston.  Dr. Livingston's aim was to provide the most modern curriculum and to achieve the highest standards of excellence.  It was through his efforts that Erasmus acquired the finest teachers in the area. 
1787    -    New York State Board of Regents granted to Erasmus Hall Academy the first charter for a secondary school.
1788    -    Library started with a gift of 115 books donated by the New York State Board of Regents.
1801    -    Girls were admitted to Erasmus Hall Academy. There were now 77 pupils, both boys and girls.  Erasmus was becoming a strong moral and educational force in the community.
1895    -    Private tuition was becoming too expensive.  Richard Young, Commissioner of Parks and longtime friend and benefactor of the school suggested that Erasmus Hall Academy be made a public school, open to all without tuition, and run by the city with the same high aims and ideals.
1896    -    New York City took over Erasmus Hall Academy and made it Erasmus Hall High School.  Plans immediately were stated to create four large buildings with an enclosed quadrangle in the center.
1896    -    Dr. Water B. Gunnison was appointed first principal of Erasmus Hall High School.  His educational philosophy was based upon the recognition of the individual  and the development of personality in pupil and teacher.  Dr. Gunnison was very much beloved by students and faculty.  His portrait hangs in the main hall of the Flatbush Building.
1905    -    Enrollment was 1,800. The Academy building was on triple session. The Flatbush Building was opened for use.
1906    -    Cornerstone of Flatbush Building was laid in a solemn ceremony.  Sealed inside the cornerstone are symbolic mementos of the school: a course of study for 1906; a bible, a flag, Erasmus Hall High School seal, pin, photograph, song, history, a copy of the Erasmian for 1906; copies of the school plans, and other items.
1911    -    Church Avenue Wing was opened.  Science labs reflected new trends in education.  Students began to plant trees and flowers for the campus.  This became a tradition until gardeners became available.
1917    -    Second principal of Erasmus Hall High School was appointed, Dr. Herbert Low.  Dr. Low was a brilliant, kindly and loving man, for whom each students was an individual trust. 
1925    -    Bedford Wing was opened.  Gymnasium, swimming pool, and rooms for commercial subjects reflect changes in education.
1930    -    Richard Young discovered the beautiful statue of Erasmus in Rotterdam, Holland.  He arranged for a replica to be made and donated to the school.  There is a description of Desiderius Erasmus on the pedestal of the statue.
1934    -    Third principal of Erasmus Hall was appointed, Dr. John F. McNeill.  Dr. McNeill spent 44 years at Erasmus as a teacher, chairman, acting principal and then principal.
1937    -    150th  Anniversary of Erasmus Hall.  Academy building now too old to be used for classrooms.  There was a continuing debate among students and faculty over whether it would be torn down or not.
1940    -    Snyder Wing opened containing shops, art rooms, and a new  library. 
1952    -    Academy building was fully restored after 14 years of work, initiated by Dr. McNeill.  Building was used for administrative offices.
1958    -    Academy building was designated by the New York Community trust as a historic landmark, "which should be preserved at all costs."  There is a plaque on the side of the door.
1962    -    Erasmus wins 5 Westinghouse Scholarships, to total 23 awards  in 21 years.
1963    -    Erasmus on Top 10 list of National Academy of Science for sending most graduates onto PhD. programs.
1967    -    Fourth principal of Erasmus Hall, Mr. Saul Israel, appointed.  Mr. Israel had served as a social studies teacher at the school.
1972    -    Fifth principal of Erasmus Hall was appointed, Harriet Oxman.  Ms. Oxman was a former teacher of social studies at Erasmus, a grade adviser and administrative assistant.  Ms. Oxman introduced many innovative programs for Erasmus students.
1982    -    Mr. Stanley Saretsky appointed as sixth principal of Erasmus Hall, after serving one year as acting principal.
1987    -    Bicentennial Celebrations held.
1990    -    Norman Green was appointed as seventh principal  His teaching career was spent entirely at Erasmus.
1991    -    Complete renovation of Erasmus Hall begun.
1994    -    On December 1st Erasmus Hall Athletic Field was dedicated to Sid Luckman '35 and named in his honor. 
1995    -    The piano lab at Erasmus Hall was dedicated on June 4th and named in honor of Barbara Streisand.