Alumni Spotlight

Sheldon Goodman

Sheldon Goodman

Class Of 1947

You were in the second graduating class at FIT!
 
Please describe your education prior to attending FIT and why you continued your college career at FIT?
I graduated from Bronx High School of Science. Upon completing my senior year, I was recruited by FIT to join their two-year college program. That following semester I was studying at FIT.
 
Year graduated? 1947. The second graduating class. There were a total of 8 graduates; four girls and four boys in the management program.
You mentioned only having the option of two majors at FIT.
 
Which did you graduate with and why?
At the time, there wasn’t a degree program. There were two options engineering (which is what I studied) and design. The engineering program was very practical. We were taught everything from sewing, pattern making, time & motion study, to mechanics. It was a very hands on operation. All the professors currently worked in the industry and then came to FIT to teach. Teaching was often their second job. 
During our interview you had many memories of your experience in the industry.
 
Could you please describe your favorite? Or touch on the jobs you would like to highlight?
In 1948, almost immediately following my graduation, I worked for Public Shirt in Pennsylvania where I was an engineer on the sewing room floor. After Public Shirt, I moved to Night Craft PJ (NJ), Mado Luggage (Bronx) and a factory in Worcester before joining Wellington Manufacturing (NYC) in the early 1950. Dave and Manny Miller owned the business, and after 25 years I became a third partner and soon after bought the business. We manufactured high-styled women’s clothing that was reasonably priced. In 1949 I married Roslyn Weidenfeld and started my family in the Bronx. A year and half later we moved to Dumont, NJ where we bought our house and raised two children.
 
Where are you from? And what impact did this have on your career and your time at FIT?
The Bronx. By growing up there I was given the opportunity to attend FIT. I was on scholarship and was paid $30 a month to attend the college. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
 
Where do you find inspiration?
People. I grew up in the Bronx, surrounded by many different cultures and ethnicities. I enjoyed this environment where everyone was trying to better themselves. 
 
What is your most memorable experience while attending FIT?
Dancing in the student lounge in the building where FIT only had two floors.
 
Life after retiring?
In 1990 I had to auction off my business because much of the industry was moving production overseas. I wasn’t quite ready to retire so I semi-retired and did some consulting work.
 
Did you stay close or in contact with any of your college friends?
I did for a while. The eight of us became very close over the years. Once during our winter break we travelled to upstate New York and stayed in a cabin. Unfortunately, at my age I no longer have many contacts.
 
Advice to spring graduates?
Yes, it’s simple. Acquire basic knowledge. And expect to learn and improve in the field as it changes every day.

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