In November 2000, many of the members of the Stuyvesant Class of 1980 reconnected at our 20th reunion. At that time, we smiled as we shared the stories of our lives since high school. Dan Bergstein was one wonderful story heard that night. After Stuyvesant, Dan went to Columbia where he met his future wife Alicia and earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He married Alicia in 1986 and they had two beautiful children, Devin and Adrianna. He would spend his entire professional life at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he rose to the position of corporate Secretary.
On September 11, 2001 Dan had gone to work at the World Trade Center as he had for so many years, just blocks from the new Stuyvesant High School. But that day, he did not return home. At the end of October, all hope was lost when his remains were found through the recovery efforts.
Following a tearful memorial ceremony in St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University, a group of Dan's friends from Stuyvesant—Nick Griffin, Richard Herschlag, David Miller, and Sungkey Paik—founded The Daniel Bergstein/SHS'80 Memorial Scholarship Fund. They began fundraising immediately for the endowment of a permanent scholarship to pay tribute to Dan's life with us and hopes to teach generations of Stuyvesant students about Dan's love of education, public service, and humanity. The scholarship will assist Stuyvesant students headed to Columbia University who demonstrate the values that Dan committed to in his life.
In recognition of the impact of September 11 and the aftermath on the young lives of Stuyvesant students in the classes of 2003-2005, we have awarded scholarships to four students who were in the school on that tragic day. They are now matriculating at Columbia and Barnard. These early scholarships were made possible largely through the generosity of David Miller and his family. While the scholarships may not cover much of the cost of a college education today, they are unrestricted gifts that allow the students to purchase items that might otherwise be difficult to manage along with tuition.
With generous contributions from classmates, colleagues, and family, by the date of the Class' 25th reunion, on October 15th, 2005, we had raised nearly $40,000. We've moved further, and remain focused on $100,000 endowment in order to establish a self-sustaining fund that will allow us to award larger scholarships in the future.
We sincerely hope that you will take the opportunity to make a contribution to sustain this effort.