Alumni Remember Julie Goodyear’s Career

Photo courtesy of Choate Rosemary Hall

Edward Lanphier (left) and Julie Goodyear (right) at Lanphier Cafe.

A few weeks ago, on January 6, a memorial service was held for Ms. Julie Goodyear, long a beloved member of the Choate Community. Ms. Goodyear was a member of the Rosemary Hall Class of 1965, when the school was based in Greenwich, Conn. After graduating from New York University in 1969, she moved to the Choate School with her husband, Mr. Zack Goodyear, who was a faculty member.

Ms. Goodyear was a devoted dorm mother for many years, well noted for her personal care and attention for each student within her dorm as well as for her various baked goods — particularly the lemon squares. Two of her former students in Hill House, Steve Bogardus ’72, now a Broadway star, and Kim Oler ’72, who went on to become a renowned pianist and songwriter, were extremely fond of the Goodyears and both performed at Ms. Goodyear’s memorial service.

In the 1980s, after giving birth to two sons, Trevor ’95 and Justin ’91, Ms. Goodyear began to work in the Office of Admission, interviewing and otherwise helping to select future students. She loved her work, and her talents were soon recognized by Carl C. Icahn, a benefactor of the school. In addition to donating the science center, Mr. Icahn also created the Icahn Scholars Program, which gave full scholarship to students from low-income families. Mr. and Ms. Goodyear and Ms. Connie Matthews, an English teacher who retired in 2016, were selected to help recruit new students for the program. In her years of service, Ms. Goodyear traveled across the country, meeting and interviewing students of various backgrounds for potential spots at the school.

Through this program, Ms. Goodyear transformed many lives. Several Icahn scholars attended her memorial service and distinctly remembered the kindness with which Ms. Goodyear treated them. One Icahn scholar, Ms. Sheila Adams ’01, spoke at the service. Partly on account of Ms. Goodyear’s influence, Ms. Adams rose from a low-income background to graduate from Choate, Harvard University, and Columbia Law School. (She is now a litigator at Davis Polk in New York.)

At the service, Ms. Adams read directly from a letter that she wrote to Ms. Goodyear just a few days before her death. She said, “I truly do not know how my life would have turned out had you not come into it way back in middle school and, importantly, had you not seen in me what took me an even longer time to see in myself — namely, the promise of a future far different than the present that I knew at that time. I credit you for having a gift of seeing the best in others, particularly young people, even when they could not yet see the same.”

After working for Choate for many decades, Ms. Goodyear took her talents to New York City, where Mr. Icahn had seven charter schools. For the last few years of her life, she worked with students, as well as developing and managing these schools, which were recognized as some of the city’s highest performing.

Mr. Goodyear passed away four years ago, in 2013. Mr. and Ms. Goodyear each requested that their memorial services be held in the Seymour St. John Chapel.

Ms. Goodyear’s contributions will live on not just through the School’s archives but also through the memories of those who loved her. One of those people, Ms. Adams, said at the end of her speech, “I wanted to tell you that I love you, Julie. I don’t know if I have ever told you that, but I do. I love you as a daughter loves a mother, as you were like a mother to me — and so many other Icahns.”

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