Proposed Changes to Girard College


A Hummer’s View of the June 3rd Press Conference

Click here Girard to read


Questions from GC alumni


We receive phone calls and emails from Girard alumni frequently. The recent post we put up titled “Stakeholder’s Summary” contains many of the questions we’re asked, and unfortunately, unable to answer.

The Board of City Trusts operates in its own vacuum. They release statements telling everyone how transparent they plan to be, yet continue to stonewall those who ask what they consider to be private matters.  Public agencies ,we feel,  have very little that should be kept from public review.

In this era of instant communications,there is no reason the ongoing business affairs of the BOCT can’t be made public.  Their monthly meetings and annual reports should all be published on a website available to the public.

The public, especially the Girard College and Wills Eye Hospital stakeholders, have every right to know the trusts for the college and hospital are receiving the fiduciary oversight they are legally deserve.

When a corpus such as the Girard Estates  is reduced nearly 50%,  stakeholder’s have a right to know that the managers responsible have been replaced.  What investment counselors have been changed by the Estate?  Have any been changed? Why hasn’t the Estate manager’s heels been held to the fire?

The financial problems facing Girard College have been well publicized. The only people who have paid a price for the financial mismanagement, however,  have  been the employees of the school and, most importantly, the students and prospective students.  The student population is about 400 now, compared to 750 just a few years ago.  That fact alone should shame the BOCT  to take action.  Protecting and educating children, not a political hack’s job is the primary function of  the Board!!

So, my friend, ask your questions. Just don’t expect much of a response.





Stakeholder Summary

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A Hummer’s View – I thought of you when I read this. I, being very much an outsider, I live outside of Boston and have not been very active in the alumni, have a couple of questions. If you know who best to address them to, I will.

How much did the trust invest in derivatives, such as interest swaps? How much are they worth now or how much were they worth when they were sold? Essentially how much did the trust lose?

Who was responsible for those investments? And is that person still managing investments for the trust.

I would like to see a an expanded list of the portfolio “investments” in 2008. 2009. 2010, 2011, and 2012.

How many people are employed by the trust? Part time? Full time? salaries? Job descriptions?

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year

Hail Stephen Girard

Delco Chapter Girard Alumni Feb News Letter


Girard College Alumni Delaware County Chapter
February News Letter

Attended by; Erv Antoni, Len Casterline, George Ciervo, Bill Cubit, Tom DiFilippo, Bob& Marie Furphy, Stan Glowaski, Tom McGovern, Jim McKendrick, AndyMelinchuck, Gene Ruggere, Tom Yocom, Lew Rinko, Dillard Jordan, Wes Dunning and Leonard “Smokey” Daddona.

The Delaware County Chapter of the Girard College meeting Feb. 1, 2013 was a great success. 16 people were in attendance. The newcomers were Wes Dunning, Lew Rinko and Len Casterline.

We started with Turkey noodle soup and the entrée was Pot Roast, salad, and ending with Pie. The usual beverages were served.

Every meeting Bob Furphy complains that he wants to know when he is going to get Lobster. To his surprise he and Bill Cubit were both presented with a Lobster.

The Icing on the cake was a tape taken at the Florida Chapters Millennium Cruise in 1998. With all the members getting onstage and under the direction of Bob “Gleason” Furphy we sang our Alma Mater Song, Hail Girard. We were a fantastic success.

Lew Rinko wrote a book that is a must for all. Everything he wrote about happened to every one of us. If you want a copy call Tom Yocom it is a worthy cause.

Len Casterline made a wrong turn and ended up in Smokeys driveway. To his surprise it was the day of our meeting.

Gene Ruggere showed us photos of the damage done to his home at the shore due to Hurricane Sandy. We hope he will be well compensated.

Breeze Breathwaite could not make the meeting because someone wants to buy his house….and demolish it. We can all depend on his decision.

Tom DiFillippo did not have much to say, maybe he has morning sickness and we should buy him some Lidia Pinkham pills.

McKendrick and Melencheck were at least 10’ away from me and my hearing range is only6’. Sorry I missed your conversations.

Dillard Jordan was busy making everyone comfortable. Thanks for your help.

I(Smokey) had the honor of drinking a Manhattan with Stan Glowacki.

We still can’t get over the accomplishments of Erv Antoni. I am happy to be his friend.

Last but not least my classmates that are dear to my heart, Ciervo, McGovern and Breathweighte. I love and respect the man with a passion.

In conclusion it is a privilege to be a part of this rare organization. And I will do my best to continue.

And with the help of Tom Yocom who is also one who makes this all possible and my Son Leonard who does all the work, and I get all the credit.

I’m a lucky Man
Smokey Daddona

Invitation to the Community

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Dear Friend of Girard:

As you may be aware, in recent months the leaders of Girard College have made clear that the school faces a series of significant financial and operational challenges. While the Board of City Trusts has reiterated its commitment to keep Girard open and operating at its historic North Philadelphia campus, it is also true that difficult decisions must be made in the coming months to ensure Girard’s long-term future.

The Board has authorized a comprehensive review of the challenges that confront the institution, and it has promised that it will strive to keep the entire Girard family informed about the review process and its recommendations for Girard’s future. As part of this commitment, we will host a public meeting for all Girard stakeholders, to be held on December 13, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lower School auditorium on Girard’s west end campus. We anticipate that representatives from the Girard Estate and the Board of City Trusts will attend, together with members of the Girard College Board of Managers and Girard President Clarence D. Armbrister.

Because of your continuing relationship with Girard, we cordially invite you to attend this meeting, which will include an overview of the current situation and a discussion about potential options to ensure Girard’s long-term future.

Please email your RSVP to this invitation at We look forward to having you with us at the meeting on December 13th.


Bernard W. Smalley Sr., Esquire
Board of City Trusts
Chairman, Girard College Committee

Clarence D. Armbrister, President
Girard College

Peter Shoemaker ’60, Chairman
Girard College Board of Managers

Letter from Directors of City Trust


Letter from Directors of City Trust

A letter from Ronald Donatucci 

Article by Martha Woodall in regarding the letter – click here to read

New President Announced


The Philadedphia Tribune in today’s issue of June 8th  included the following announcement of the appointment of Girard’s new interim president, Mr. Clarence Armbrister.

From what we read of Mr. Armbrister, he appears to be eminently qualified for the position. Strong leadership is needed at Girard during these trying times and we hope he has the courage to utilize his skills for the benefit of the school and the students.  

Following is the article from the Philadelphia Tribune


Clarence D. “Clay” Armbrister, former senior vice president and chief of staff of The Johns Hopkins University, Mayor Michael Nutter’s chief of staff and executive vice president and chief operating officer of Temple University, has been appointed president of Girard College.

Meet the new President of Girard College

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