Russell VanBrunt (posthumously)
Russell D. Van Brunt was born and raised in Babylon
He attended the Babylon schools and graduated from Babylon High School in 1921. Russell attended the prestigious Colgate College (now Colgate University) in Hamilton, NY and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925. He played minor league baseball while at Colgate to help pay for his tuition.
From 1926 until 1936, he taught Latin and English at Lindenhurst HS as well as coached various sports. In 1933, while teaching, Mr. Van Brunt earned a J.D. law degree from St. John’s University in NYC. From 1936 to 1940, he served as Assistant Suffolk County Attorney in charge of condemnation and tax foreclosures. He authored a law textbook on Eminent Domain which was used for many years in numerous law schools nation-wide. In later years, he served as a Law Professor at Hofstra University and taught legal/ business classes at Adelphi Suffolk University. Russell Van Brunt also practiced law with his son, Richard, whose law firm was in Sayville.
He served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy from 1940-1945 as a legal and intelligence officer in Puerto Rico. He survived two disasters at sea: one when an oil tanker he served on was torpedoed and another when an airplane he was a passenger in crashed off the coast of Brazil. From September 1945 through 1951, as the NYS Assistant Attorney General, Russell was placed in charge of the State’s Bureau of Rights of Way.
In 1951, he became a private attorney in the Village of Babylon. He lived in West Babylon with his wife June and their children, David (WB Class of 1962) and Deborah (WB Class of 1968). In May 1957, the Board of Education hired Russell as the Senior High School Principal for September 1957 through his retirement in June 1970.
Russell D. Van Brunt’s exceptional intelligence, tireless energy, outstanding administrative/organizational skills and commitment to excellence in education placed the West Babylon Senior High School on a solid foundation.