In November 1942, the Bronxville School and the PTA co-sponsored adult education classes to help local residents prepare for the demands of wartime, and in doing so sparked the birth of the Bronxville Adult School (BAS). The initial 150 students, primarily women, took classes in aircraft drawing and blueprint reading, stenography, typing, home handyman skills and Spanish. Free classes centered on leisure activities for children, designed to alleviate wartime tension, drew standing room only crowds.
It was the beginning of a long-term commitment to adult education that has continued unabated for seventy-five years and is summed up well by J. Gordon Studebaker, former chairman of the BAS, who stated in 1957: “It is my sincere conviction that any kind of educational or recreational activity which helps people, young or old, grow in their understanding and abilities or improve their well being is worthy of our all out effort.”
To celebrate this important occasion, the BAS has donated two benches for the front of the Bronxville School, home to so many of the BAS’ classes and teachers. Those wishing to attend are asked to come to the Auditorium Patio for the ribbon cutting by Bronxville mayor Mary Marvin on Wednesday, September 13 at 4 pm, with refreshments to follow.
That’s not the only celebratory event though. Not only was the BAS founded in wartime, but 1942 also marked the year of the release of a classic wartime movie – Casablanca. Join BAS for the “We’ll Always Have Casablanca” 75th Anniversary Lecture, co-sponsored by Concordia College and the BAS, held at Concordia College, Bronxville on Thursday, September 28 from 7-9 pm.
The lecture is free, but registration is required at www.bronxvilleadultschool.org or by calling 914-793-4435. And in case you haven’t seen the movie, or just want to enjoy it all over again, there will be a free screening on Thursday, September 14 at 7 pm, also with no charge but registration required. While you’re on the BAS website, check out the fantastic classes being offered this year. There is something for everyone - lectures, trips, fitness, cooking, music, languages and more.
Because, after 75 years, the Bronxville Adult School understands how to nourish the minds and bodies of its community.