Reception Honors Alumni with Dual Legacy

On April 9, graduates of Brooklyn Technical High School, one of the city’s most competitive and highly regarded public schools, gathered for homecoming festivities. They were treated to tours of the school, which was vastly more modern and well-equipped than many of them remembered, and had the opportunity to meet members of the current student body, which was gratifyingly more diverse than in former decades.

When they left the school on Fort Greene Place, a select group of attendees made an additional stop — the Tandon School of Engineering, where Dean Katepalli Sreenivasan and the staff of the Office of Alumni Relations hosted a reception in their honor.

The group represented a special dual legacy — alumni who had graduated from Brooklyn Tech and then remained in the borough to earn degrees at the School of Engineering.

Herbert Bachner, who earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering here in 1970, marveled at the welcome changes in both his alma maters. “Back when I was at Brooklyn Tech, it was all boys, because intellectually gifted girls were sent to Hunter High School, and Poly, as it was then commonly known, wasn’t attracting large numbers of women,” he recalled. “Now, in 2016, it’s great to see so many female students at both Brooklyn Tech and the School of Engineering.”

Khan Sakeeb thus had an opportunity at Brooklyn Tech that Bachner never enjoyed: the chance to date a schoolmate. So close did he and Zarin Anika become that after he graduated and enrolled at the School of Engineering, she did so as well. “We only ever had one college course together, and that was an elective arts class,” she recently recalled, “because he graduated in 2011 with a degree in chemical engineering, and I studied biomolecular science and graduated the following year.” (The two are now married.)

No matter what their year of graduation, many of the dual alumni at the reception expressed pride that the student population at both schools mirrors the increased diversity of the city. “Then, as now,” Bachner said, “these are both places devoted to educating New York’s brightest kids, and both have a true commitment to first-generation students with a talent for science and technology.”