GRLIC toast Tech Center benefactor

By Pauline Liu
The Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corporation (GRLIC) hosted a celebration at Shephard Hills Golf Club on Sunday in honor of 80-year-old Guy Numann, the Roxbury Central School alumnus, who is funding the new $250,000 tech center to be located in the school’s basement.

The Numann Media and Technology Center will offer classes during school hours and remain open after school to serve the community. “It’s wonderful to have him in our presence and to have him meet the adults and kids who will be helped by this endeavor,” said GRLIC President Kellie Sullivan.
Ground breaking on the project will begin shortly after the end of the school year. School Superintendent Tom O’Brien explained that it’s not clear if the work will begin in June or July. 

“The state has to approve anything that gets built at the school,” he said. “They have to give us final approval.” While GRLIC and RCS are awaiting state approval, there will be no school district funds used for this project. Numann’s gift will be used to furnish and equip the center with a radio and television center, laptops and restrooms. The center will be staffed with GRLIC volunteers.

Credits others
Numann credits RCS Principal Eric Windover for helping him to find the right location for the tech center.

“It’s because of him that it’s being built there, because he showed me the space,” said Numann. “It seemed like an ideal spot.” Windover explained that he was happy to help. “I think it was about having a vision and what Mr. Numann wanted was a spot that could be accessed by both the students and the community,” said Windover.

For Numann, RCS Class of ’49, it’s all about investing in the children of Roxbury and giving back to the community that served him so well. He was the senior class president as well as the center on the basketball team.

Numann attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on a full scholarship and graduated in 1953. He retired 15 years ago from his job as president of a communications sector for the Harris Corporation, which manufactures television transmitters, digital microwave radios, broadband and wireless products.

Many inspired him
Numann explained that he was inspired by a number of his teachers, including science and math teacher Willie Crawford and physics teacher “Doc” Roland Ross.

“Roxbury teachers changed my life,” he said. “I was a New York City brat. They taught me what integrity was.” He credits “Doc” Ross with helping to promote a competitive spirit among his students by encouraging them to participate in sports. He credits a guidance counselor, whose name he can’t remember, with helping him to make his career choice. He was at a crossroads between becoming a coach and an engineer.

“He told me in order to become a coach, I’d have to become a teacher and that teachers made $2,800 a year, but engineers made $4,000,” said Numann. “I don’t know what would have happened to me if I was a coach.”

Hitting the road
Numann is enjoying his retirement by traveling. Two years ago, he purchased a Winnebago. Last year, he drove it across the country.

“I don’t live anywhere, I live everywhere,” he said. In fact, he drove his motor home to Roxbury to attend the celebration in his honor. He’s not sure if he’ll be back for the groundbreaking or grand opening, but he’s always ready to help.
“I’m willing to support the place for whatever it needs,” he said.