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Bronxville Adult School to Celebrate 75th Year; Anniversary Lecture Thursday, September 28 PDF Print Email


By Christine Zufelt, Member, Bronxville Adult School 75th Anniversary Committee

Sep. 20, 2017:  Bronxville 1942:  The village, and most of the world, is at war, and residents have heeded the call to action. Articles in the local paper exhort Bronxvillians to save rubber to combat the “war-losing rubber shortage,” to bring their waste fats to supermarkets’ meat departments, and to “think twice before making any long-distance calls” so the lines can be kept clear for war-related calls.

It’s in November of this difficult year that community adult education classes begin, co-sponsored by The Bronxville School and the PTA, ready to prepare citizens for the demands of wartime. The first 180 students, many of whom are women, fill classes in aircraft drafting and blueprint reading, typing, stenography, dressmaking, Spanish, and more. Free classes centered on children’s leisure activities, designed to alleviate wartime stress, draw standing-room-only crowds. This is the beginning of the Bronxville Adult School (BAS).

The year 1942 marks the beginning of an unwavering commitment to adult education by the BAS. For seventy-five years, the BAS has offered lifelong learning opportunities for residents of Bronxville and the neighboring communities, providing cultural, intellectual, and recreational activities at a nominal cost.

A perusal of old catalogues gives an insight into the eras in which they were published, as the BAS's curriculum has always been a thought-provoking mix of educational and recreational offerings, in touch with contemporary thinking.

In the 1950s, a ten-week Bible course ran for at least five years, attracting 250 students each year. Current-events lectures have always been popular, and in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, many local residents were called upon to speak on issues of the day with courses such as Africa in Ferment in 1961, Perspectives on Women in 1974 (including panelist Marcia Lee, now editor of MyhometownBronxville), and South African Dilemmas in 1987. The 2017 fall/winter catalogue continues in the same fashion, with America’s Global Affairs Discussion Program and Hot Topics in Foreign Affairs.

Trends in recreation and wellness were not ignored. Yoga, still a very popular class, shows up for the first time in 1970, Jogging for Cardiovascular Fitness in 1978, Zumba in the 2000s. The current fall/winter term has 18 different fitness and sports offerings.

Contemporary needs have frequently encompassed work-related skills. Those 1942 typing classes ran continuously until word processing came along in 1984. Now, the BAS offers Essential Computer Skills for the Workplace, along with many other technology classes.

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's classes and teachers. There was a ribbon-cutting by Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin last week.

The school’s inception was triggered by wartime needs, and it was that same war that sparked another classic that year--the famous film Casablanca.

Few films have inspired as much devotion from their viewers as Casablanca. Countless fans have watched it dozens of times; it remains as relevant as ever. Just in time for the movie’s 75th anniversary, Noah Isenberg, director of screen studies at The New School, has published a book titled We’ll Always Have Casablanca, a fascinating exploration of the film’s resonance through popular and political culture over the decades.

To commemorate the two anniversaries, the BAS, in conjunction with Concordia College’s Books & Coffee series, is presenting a 75th-anniversary lecture, “We’ll Always Have Casablanca,” on Thursday, September 28, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Concordia College. Author Isenberg will thrill devotees and casual viewers alike with anecdotes about on-set hijinks, grudges, rewrites, and censorship that threatened to compromise the film’s iconic story. The book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

There is no cost, but registration is required either on the BAS website,, or by phone at 914-793-4435. Refreshments will be served.

While you’re on the BAS website, check out this year’s fantastic classes. There is something for everyone--lectures, trips, fitness, cooking, music, languages, and more. 

After 75 years, the Bronxville Adult School understands how to nourish the minds and bodies of its community.


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Adult Education Directory

Bronxville Adult School

About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708


Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

Concordia College - New York
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College 

1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708

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