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Farewell to a Leader and Friend

Monday, July 11, 2016

Eugene GiscombeOur school community is mourning the loss of Eugene Giscombe, Harlem Academy trustee and community leader, who passed away July 10, 2016.

Gene was a longtime partner for the school, advising on business, organizational, and community  issues.  He was deeply committed to helping us build a permanent campus, sharing the school’s mission with friends and colleagues and engaging their help to move the school forward. 

“In working with Gene, it was always easy to see why he was such a success in business,” says Head of School Vinny Dotoli.  “He was a great listener who could quickly understand organizational goals.  He had a depth of experience that allowed him to contribute practical suggestions as well as general advice to help me grow as a leader. Even more than any advice, however, I will remember Gene for his infectious personality and unwavering enthusiasm for the mission of the school.”

Gene was an esteemed member of the local community, working as a real estate developer and business leader. He served as chairman of the board of directors for City National Bank, and was a director and former president of the Greater Harlem Real Estate Board. He was chairman of New York Community Board 10, and of the 125th Street Business Improvement District which completed the City rezoning of 125th Street. A longtime board member of the YMCA of Greater New York, he chaired the Property Operations Committee overseeing all construction and renovation work at 21 New York YMCA branches and three camps. He served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the YMCA of Greater New York, the New York Theological Seminary, and as vice chairman of both the North General Hospital and the Greater Harlem Nursing Home.

Harlem Academy joins with his family and friends in marking the loss of this leader.  We are honored to have been designated as one of the charities for gifts made in his memory. 

Mr. Giscombe’s family is planning a memorial service in September to celebrate his life.