Milford School District to hold dedication ceremony

Terry RogersCulture, Education, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

A dedication ceremony was held on July 29 to name the MHS auditorium the Dr. Gerald W. Thompson Center for Performing Arts

Milford School District held a dedication ceremony on July 29 from 10 AM until 12 Noon in order to rename the high school auditorium the Dr. Gerald W. Thompson Center for the Performing Arts. The dedication ceremony took place outside of the auditorium with a performance to follow.

“The Dr. Gerald W. Thompson Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to the memory and honor of Dr. Gerald W. Thompson, who served as the esteemed Band Director and Music Teacher at Milford High School from 1972 to 1999,” Trish Gerken, Public Information Officer, said. “Dr. Thompson’s dedication to sharing his love of music and the arts with the Milford community for nearly three decades was exceptional. He had a remarkable ability to connect with and inspire each individual, regardless of their background or abilities. His commitment to his students was evident in the way he helped build their confidence, created meaningful memories and taught them how to positively express themselves through their performances in both music and art.”

The dedication was a celebration of Dr. Thompson’s life and highlight the profound impact he had on the Milford Community. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members are all invited to attend this special occasion. The program included speeches, musical performances and a commemorative unveiling of the center’s name.

When the Milford School Board discussed the possibility of renaming the auditorium after Thompson soon after he passed away, the outpouring of support from the community was tremendous. The effort began at the behest of Paula Bragg who rallied the community around changing the name, submitting a petition to the board with more than 1,000 signatures.

“He made a difference ,and he was just the coolest. He found a way to give us independence. He believed in us and supported our creative sides. Thanks to Mr. Thompson, I have a closer relationship with my parents. He gave us great sayings like “failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Let us not forget the glide step that saved me in Manhattan just a few days ago. And thanks to T, I even found my first love,” Bragg told the school board when they were making the decision. “When he passed I couldn’t find the right words, but I knew how deeply his loss is felt by so many and that we needed to do more. I had great conversation with lots of friends and the obvious choice seemed to dedicate the auditorium, a place where he spent so much time and all of us who have been theater did as well.”

The request to name the auditorium after Thompson had full support of his family.

“Tonight, I’d like to speak on behalf of my father. Because I think, at this time, he would want all of you to know how much he enjoyed his job, band members and boosters, members of the drama department and the rock ensemble and other music students,” Gretchen Pikus, Thompson’s daughter, told the board. “He always told me to get job that you enjoy, so I did that. So, I would just like to end with his favorite song that he brought from Westchester to Milford High School, and it goes “with all your strength, hey win, we can. So here we go again. Rah rah rah Milford Buccaneers.”

The ceremony was open to the public.



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