The Bronx High School of Science was founded in 1938 by resolution of the Department of Education of the City of New York with Dr. Morris Meister as the first principal of the school. The school was housed in a Gothic building located at Creston Avenue and 184th Street. The building, built in 1918 for Evander Childs High School, was previously occupied by Walton High School (1930) and by an annex of DeWitt Clinton High School (1935). Bronx Science started with 150 ninth grade students and 250 tenth grade students, and the remaining facilities were used by DeWitt Clinton. As Bronx Science became larger, the Clinton contingent was gradually returned to its main building. During their joint occupation, which lasted for two years, the two schools had separate teaching staff and classes, but the same supervision and administration.
In 1946, as a result of the efforts of Dr. Meister, our faculty, and our Parents’ Association, the school became co-ed. From the very beginning, a campaign for a new building was initiated by the Parents’ Association and sparked by the tireless dedication of Dr. Meister. In February 1958, Dr. Morris Meister, after twenty years as the principal of the school, resigned to become the first president of the newly organized Bronx Community College. Dr. Alexander Taffel succeeded Dr. Meister as principal.
Under Dr. Taffel's guidance, the plans for a new building and for its equipment were completed. Finally, on March 3rd, 1959, our students and faculty occupied the new building for the first time. They entered a school equipped with the most modern facilities and laboratories for carrying out its program. The problem of moving the library books from the old building to the new was solved in typical Bronx Science manner. On Friday afternoon, each student took home five library books from the old library and on Monday returned them to the new library.
Principals of Bronx Science:
Our alumni have shaped the world around us to an unprecedented degree. Our alumni include eight Nobel prize winners, more than any other secondary education institution in the world and more than most countries; six Pulitzer prizes for journalism; and more than 200 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars (formerly known as Intel and Westinghouse semi-finalists).
Our alumni represent achievement and leadership in virtually every field, including the first African-American neurosurgeon, a former Secretary of Defense, countless authors, lawyers, physicians, educators, artists, entertainers, philanthropists, and leaders in science, business, and government.
A small sampling of notable alumni include Mark Boal '91, journalist and screenwriter, winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Hurt Locker; Wanda Austin '71, internationally recognized for her work in aeronautics and systems engineering; Jon Cryer '83, actor, writer, producer and director; Ann Lewnes '79, Chief Marketing Officer at Adobe; Millard "Mickey" Drexler '62, CEO, J. Crew; Min Jin Lee '86, writer; her second novel, Pachinko, has become a national bestseller and was named a Finalist for the National Book Award for fiction; Rose Marie Bravo '69, Chief Executive Officer, Burberry and former President, Saks Fifth Avenue; Joseph Greenaway '74, jurist of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; George Yancopoulos '76, co-founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; and Dava Sobel '64, journalist and bestselling author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, and The Planets.
Our graduates are leaders nationally, but also locally in many of New York City’s most important institutions and ventures, including The New York Times (Joseph Lelyveld ’54, former executive editor); Columbia University (Michael Sovern ’49, president emeritus); President of the New York Public Library (Anthony Marx ’77); winner of the Freedom Tower competition (Daniel Libeskind ’65, architect); the public school system (Harold O. Levy ’70, former chancellor); the Hayden Planetarium (Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson ’76, director); and the revitalization of the South Bronx (Majora Carter ’84, urban strategist and 2005 MacArthur Fellow).
The future will continue to see Bronx Science in the forefront of secondary school education, preparing leaders for the technological and scientific age of tomorrow. Thus we will be able to fulfill our responsibilities to serve our communities to the best of our abilities.
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