Brad Segall, Segall Media Group
PHILADELPHIA, PA – More than 400 guests packed the Ballroom at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel Tuesday June 5, 2018 for The Associated Alumni of Central High School’s Annual Dinner. The keynote speaker for the dinner was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. DAG Rosenstein is the son of Robert Rosenstein, a member of the 199th graduating class at Central High School in 1953.
During his 20-minute address, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein delivered a strong defense of the rule of law. “The rule of law is our most important principle. Patriots should always defend the rule of law, even when it is not in their immediate self-interest,” he said. “If you like the rule of law, you need to keep it.” After his remarks, his father gave him a crimson and gold Central tie.
During the annual dinner, seven former students at Central High School were inducted posthumously into the prestigious Alumni Hall of Fame.
The latest class of inductees includes Leo Stanton Rowe (1871-1946). He was a member of the 88th Class. The child of immigrants from Germany who settled in Iowa before relocating to Philadelphia, Rowe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law where he then taught Political Science from 1896-1917. He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and then as Director General of the Organization of American States from 1920 until his death in 1946. He dedicated his life to fostering understanding and integration among the American Nations and the education of Latin American youth.
Raymond Pace Alexander (1897-1974) was a member of the 127th Class. Lawyer, judge and civil rights leader, he was the son of slaves who came to Philadelphia in 1880, having been freed in 1865. At Central, he was class valedictorian and the first African American editor of “The Mirror.” He attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and was the School’s first African American graduate. He attended Harvard Law School and served as President of the National Bar Association, followed by seven years on the Philadelphia City Council and then became the first African American judge of the Court of Common Pleas. As General Counsel for the NAACP, he led the fight which ended the practice of segregation in Pennsylvania’s public schools.
Albert Giesecke (1883-1968) was a member of the 107th Class. He was the son of German immigrants to Philadelphia whose interest in South America was sparked by a member of the Central High School faculty. He received an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Economics from Cornell University. He held teaching positions at Cornell and Penn. He was recommended by a fellow CHS alumnus on the Penn faculty for a position at the Ministry of Education in Lima, Peru. He played a major role in the discovery and excavation of Machu Picchu, the foremost tourist destination in South America.
Hilary Putnam (1926-2016) was a member of the 182nd Class. He was an American philosopher, mathematician, computer scientist and a major figure in the field of Analytic Philosophy. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania, did graduate work at both Harvard University and then at UCLA where he received his PhD. Throughout his career, he remained committed to scientific realism – the view that mature scientific theories are approximately true descriptions of the way things are. He held teaching positions at several distinguished American universities.
Elihu Thomson (1853-1937) was a member of the 55th Class. With his teacher, Edwin Houston, a member of the 43rd Class, he designed an arc light generator system. He also did extensive work in the field of radiology and overall held 700 patents. In 1879, he joined Houston to form the Thomson-Houston Electric Company which then merged with Edison General Electric to become The General Electric Company in 1892. He served as President of MIT from 1920-1923.
Robert Serber (1909-1997) was a member of the 146th Class. As a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin, Serber produced “The Theory of the Faraday Effect in Molecules,” which he applied to the new field of quantum mechanics. In 1941, he joined Robert Oppenheimer to work on the “Manhattan Project” and was a member of the team sent to Japan to survey the aftermath of the atomic bomb. In the preface of his book, “The Alamos Primer,” Dr. Serber recognized Central for his education.
Richard Teitelman (1947-2016) was a member of the 223rd Class. Growing up legally blind, he focused all of his energy on studying, earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. As a student at the Washington University School of Law, Teitelman employed a tape recorder to help him memorize lectures and passed the bar exam by having the questions read to him. He became a member of the Missouri Supreme Court in 2002 and served as the first Jewish and legally blind Chief Justice of the Court from 2011 until 2013. He was an outspoken champion of legal services for the poor and advocated for a law which set aside monies coming into the tort victims fund to be used in representing those who could not afford these services.
Dr. Steve Burnstein (222) and Chairperson of the Hall of Fame Committee called it a wonderful evening for Central High School. “Seven distinguished posthumous alumni were honored in the presence of their families. These lovely people traveled from as far away as Peru and spoke lovingly about their relatives. Among others, we inducted one of the founders of GE and the Mayor of Cuzco, Peru who helped to excavate Machu Picchu,” Burnstein said.