Pull Up A Chair: Reliving Happy Memories

During the 2020-21 school year, St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) continued its ongoing process of modernizing classrooms with more collaborative furniture, replacing the traditional slide-in yellow desks which were a staple at the school since the 1950s.

Beginning in May 2021, the Alumni Association began offering up the legendary desks for sale. The Pull up a Chair initiative has been popular among alumni, rekindling old memories from former students spanning seven decades, along with current and past parents who have embraced the chance to bring a piece of SMCS history into their homes.  

“It is amazing to hear how tied these classroom desks are to so many great memories from alumni of all ages,” says Stephanie Nicholls, SMCS Alumni and Special Events Officer. “Initiatives such as this one are really about building community and passing on the love so many have for our school.”

Check out the photo gallery below and read about the impact the desks have been making.

A limited number of desks are still available for purchase. Visit SMCSpullupachair.com to take one home.

Bob Dubniak '65

“Acquiring one of the old student desks was primarily an opportunity to contribute to the alumni initiatives. But there is also an underlying focus on the sentimental value of memories and experiences. Both the desk and I have a historical connection. I first sat in one of those desks in the fall of 1960 when they were new to the school's opening. By the time of my graduating in June of 1965 my bottom must have covered the seats of many hundreds of desks. In acquiring the desk, I can appreciate why they have been retired. Like me, who has been updated by a hip replacement, I am hoping that my currently dis-assembled desk can be repaired, re-chromed and repainted to be that historical connection for me, my son Paul ’03 and my grandson Charlie, future SMCS student." - Bob Dubniak '65

Joseph Ferraro ’25

Joseph Ferraro ’25 now owns a piece of SMCS history, a legendary yellow desk. The desk was purchased to represent two generations: Joe '88, and sons Marco '13 and Joseph ’25.

John P. O’Neill ’86, John A. O’Neill ’16, and Cody Dunn ’16

“Since the sales of the yellow desks, I have personally delivered purchases to alumni. I have enjoyed hearing the memories they hold dear from their time at SMCS, like my son and myself have.” - John P. O’Neill ’86, John A. O’Neill ’16, and Cody Dunn ’16 

Gianluca ’09, Christian ’12, Andrew ’13, and Matthew ’16 Mazzanti

Former teacher, coach, and Director of Guidance, Giancarlo Mazzanti, enjoyed receiving a yellow desk from his sons Gianluca ’09, Christian ’12, Andrew ’13, and Matthew ’16 for Father’s Day. Giancarlo spent 33 years of his career at St. Michael’s College School, and the desk is an enduring reminder of the time he spent teaching, coaching, and mentoring the many exceptional students that walked the yellow-brick halls.

Marco Berardi '84

"I purchased a yellow desk for a fellow alumnus, Sergio Scarcella '84.  I'm looking forward to delivering it in person in Ann Arbor in the fall." - Marco Berardi '84   

Lucas Flemming ‘21

Lucas Flemming '21 received a yellow desk as his graduation present from his parents.

Alexander Lauber ‘16

“My four years at St. Mike’s were integral to my growth and development as a young man. I continue to look back fondly on that time as the seeds planted then continue to flourish today. Being able to support this initiative by the Alumni Association, while taking home a piece of history I spent each day learning in was truly special.” - Alexander Lauber '16

Joe Arnone ’90 and Matteo Arnone ‘22

“The past and the present. Reliving fond memories and making new ones.” - Joe Arnone ’90 and Matteo Arnone ‘22 

Patrick ’14 and Erik Iuhas ’17

"Proud to be St. Michael's Men wherever life's road may take us! Missing just grabbing a pizza in the ‘caf’ and hanging out with friends" - Patrick ’14 and Erik Iuhas ’17

Alexander Vernon ’94

“I bought a desk to have a tangible and practical souvenir of my formative years at St. Michael's College School. It has been invaluable to reconnect with old friends during these trying times of sickness, isolation, and disorienting change. Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge have proved to be good things to live by.”  - Alexander Vernon ’94

Dave Capobianco ‘94, with sons, Vincent ‘21, and Nicholas ‘23

 “We were more than happy to support the yellow desk sale. Seeing this desk at home brings back so many great memories of our times at SMCS.” - Dave Capobianco ’94 with sons, Vincent ’21, and Nicholas ’23

“The entire family enjoys a piece of SMCS.” - Annalisa Moser, parent of Luke De Bartolo ’20