Hundreds of alumni, faculty members, parents and students celebrated Riverdale's Homecoming on Saturday in a day-long celebration that featured alumni awards, faculty talks, reunion lunches, six athletic competitions, the Lower School float parade, the Alumni/Parent Band and a barbecue on the Frankel Field.
A highlight of the day was a ceremony honoring the induction of Marty Schneider, Riverdale's fencing coach for nearly 60 years, into the US Fencing Hall of Fame. Schneider's students have won NCAA titles and competed on Olympic and World Championship teams. Among his most successful students are 2008 Olympic medalist Tim Morehouse '96 and Tim Hagamen '02, who won medals at the Junior and Cadet World Championships.
Al Davis, a Riverdale physical education teacher from 1953 to 1987 and the inspiration for Riverdale's annual teaching award, attended as did Dr. Mike Michelson, a former Riverdale faculty member for more than 39 years and a dean of students and the director of studies. A number of Schneider's former students attended, including one who traveled from London for the event.
"Marty has taught all of his students the pleasure of competition and the importance of good sportsmanship," said Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph. "He has been a wonderful coach and mentor."
In tribute, Riverdale is establishing the Martin Schneider Scholarship Fund with support from his former fencers. Beginning in 2016, the endowed fund will provide financial aid to qualified Riverdale students, with preference given to students possessing athletic ability and interest, specifically in fencing whenever possible.
Also honored on Saturday were three Riverdale alumni:
- Danielle Englebardt '94, winner of the Ernest McAneny Spirit Award. An active member of the Riverdale Alumni Association Executive Committee for 15 years, she is the co-founder of the Riverdale Community Action Day, which has become a major community event.
- Dan Abrams '84, winner of the Alumni Achievement Award. Abrams is the co-anchor of Nightline and chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News.
- Jennifer Smith Lipschultz '89, and her husband Marc, a member of the Riverdale Board of Trustees. The thoroughfare from the Main Gate to the William C. W. Mow Hall was named the Lipschultz Plaza in honor of the family's longstanding and meaningful connections to and support of Riverdale.
In athletic competitions, Riverdale's varsity teams put on strong performances:
- The boys football team defeated Pennington, 34-26.
- The girls soccer team defeated Horace Mann, 2-1, clinching the Ivy League title.
- The girls field hockey team defeated Horace Mann, 1-0, and took second place in the Ivy League.
- The boys soccer team lost a heart breaker to Horace Mann, 2-1, in overtime play.
- The volleyball team lost 0-3 to Horace Mann.
- The girls tennis team lost 0-5 to Horace Mann.
On Friday, pep rallies were held at the River and Hill campuses. Nine members of the Class of 1989 led career panels for juniors and seniors, discussing professions ranging from finance and corporate communications to fiction writing, songwriting, and nonprofit advocacy for education and the environment.
In connection with Homecoming, reunion gatherings for the Classes of '49, '54, '59, '64, '69, '74, '79, '84, '89, '94, '99, and '04 were held at various venues on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.