Mumford High School

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Samuel C. Mumford High School
17525 Wyoming Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
School type Public
School district Education Achievement Authority of Michigan
Principal Donnie Davis, Jr., Ph.D.
Grades 9–12
Language English
Area Urban
Color(s) sky blue and burgundy
Mascot Mustangs

Located on Detroit's near-northwest side, Samuel C. Mumford High School is operated by the Detroit Board of Education; the school's namesake served twenty-two years on the Board and was a former president of the organization.[1]

Following war-delayed construction, Mumford High opened in September 1949; a time when large segments of Detroit's Jewish-American population had already begun an inexorable movement toward the suburban communities of Oakland County.[2] Mumford's architectural profile featured imported powder blue limestone block and exquisite Art Deco styling similar to other Detroit high schools. During much of the 1950s and early 1960s, Mumford High served a predominantly Jewish student population.

Mumford High School was demolished during the summer of 2012; a new building will be constructed at the same Wyoming Avenue address.

Communities within Mumford include Palmer Park, Palmer Woods and Sherwood Forest.[3]

Mumford High School notable alumni[edit]

  • Ivan Boesky, a 1955 graduate, came to Mumford after having attended the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills. Ivan Boesky was convicted for his role in the Wall Street insider trading scandal that occurred in the United States during the mid-1980s. Boesky's involvement in criminal activities is recounted in the book Den of Thieves by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James B. Stewart.
  • Paul Borman, a United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan since 1994, was earlier an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Special Counsel to the Mayor of Detroit, and Chief Federal Defender of the Legal Aid & Defender Association of Detroit from 1979 to 1994. He was also a Professor at Wayne State University Law School, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School.[4]
  • Gilda Radner, film and television star. Attended Mumford High School for at least one year before being moved to a college-prep private school. Most famous by being an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, where her most memorable character was "Rosanne Rosanna-Danna". The cancer-patient organization Gilda's Club was named for her, created by actor Gene Wilder, her husband.
  • Leslie Feldman, Editor-in-Chief and publisher of The National Music Magazine ZOO WORLD 1971-1975; publisher of Miami Magazine 1975-1977; publisher of Playbill Magazine, Southern Division from Florida to California 1976-2008. founder of Select-A-Seat computerized theatre, concert and attractions tickets in South Florida 1980-1984; publisher of Metro Magazines (Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables) 1981-2002.
  • Kenneth Ferguson, world-class track and field athlete; ranked 7th globally in the 400-meter hurdles (2007).[6] During his time at Mumford, Ferguson was a six-time Michigan High School Athletic Association champion in the hurdles and relay events[7]
  • Robert Israel, costume and set designer.[11]
  • Donald E. Levin (1967), poet and novelist; Chair of English and Modern Languages Department at Detroit's Marygrove College.[12]
  • Shayla Mahan. athlete; between 2004–07, she won ten MHSAA championships in sprint and relay events; ran on 400 and 800 meter relay teams that rank number-one in the MHSAA record book; state record holder at 100 and 200 meters.[13][14]
  • Merton Rich, actor and writer who got his start at Chicago's Second City, went on to win 3 Emmy Awards for writing and producing TV shows including SCTV and Cheers.

Through the Years: Mustang Sports Headliners[edit]

1959 graduate, Barry Shapiro set a city record on his way to winning the 100-yard breaststroke, at the 1959 Detroit Public School League (DPSSAL) swimming finals. In fact, Shapiro's time was superior to the existing Michigan High School Athletic Association record for the event. Barry was among the fastest breaststrokers in the state, during a period (1931–1961) when Detroit schools did not participate in MHSAA championship events; he never had the chance to swim for a state title.[15]

Another Mumford athlete, Richard Golden made the best of his opportunity to compete at the state level. During the 1963 MHSAA finals, Richard finished third in the 50-yard freestyle; to this day, Golden is Mumford's only All-State swimmer.[16]

In 1966, in his first year as coach, Sam Taub led Mumford to the east side championship in the Detroit Public School league before losing to Northwestern by 3 points in the city championship game. Mumford went on to win district and regional championships in the state tournament before losing to East Detroit in the state quarterfinals. All-State center Larry Moore averaged 27 points a game to lead the Mustangs.

In 1969, Coach Taub guided the Mustangs to the PSL title; Mumford defeated Northern High 72-55 to claim the trophy. The Mustangs advanced to the state semifinals before losing to Ypsilanti.[17] Taub was also the school's golf coach and a collegiate basketball referee.

More recently, Mumford's track and field program has been nothing less than dynastic; winning a total of six Michigan High School Athletic Association championships since 1999. The Lady Mustangs won state titles in 2004 and 2005; while Mumford's men brought home the MHSAA crown in 1999, 2002, 03 and 04.[18][19]

In 2005, Mumford won its first DPSSAL football title; the Mustangs defeated Finney High, 26-13 to claim the championship trophy.[20]


On September 7, 2010,[21] the first day of the 2010-2011 school year, two students were shot and injured at Mumford High School. On the first day of school, two Mumford High School students were rushed to the hospital with gunshot wounds. The shooting took place just feet away from school property. Witnesses say the incident began as a fight at school and then spilled out into the streets. According to witness accounts, a group of juveniles approached a student who then fired shots, wounding two students, one of whom was not involved in the fight.

The victims of the shooting were a 14-year-old girl, who was grazed near her eyebrow, and a 16-year-old boy, who was shot in the buttocks. Noelle Cooper, the innocent bystander, was left with a wound that took 12 stitches to repair. Doctors told the teen's family that if the bullet had gone half an inch lower, it would have killed her. The students leaving school were also victims of the Mumford school shooting.

A man was killed by police after the school shooting. Officers were in the Mumford area, looking for clues and talking to witnesses about the shooting, then went to an apartment in the 200 block of Merton, where they encountered a man with a gun in the hallway. When ordered to drop the weapon, the man allegedly pointed it at officers, who then shot and killed him. Police said they were there in regards to the shooting but initially would neither confirm nor deny whether the man took part in the Mumford shooting earlier that day. Later studies say the man was not involved in the Mumford high school shooting.[22]

"The madness needs to stop," Cooper, a police official, said during a press conference at Detroit Police Department headquarters. "Every kid should be able to go to and from school without being shot."[23] Steven Jamal Hare, 17, of Detroit was arraigned Friday, September 10, 2010 in the city's 36th District Court on two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and weapons charges. He received a $500,000 cash bond and the assault charges carry potential life sentences.[24]


  1. ^
  2. ^ History of Mumford High School
  3. ^ "High School Boundaries - 2012/13 School Year." (Archive) Detroit Public Schools. Retrieved on November 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Paul D. Borman". Detroit Center. University of Michigan. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Jerry Bruckheimer
  6. ^ "Kenneth Ferguson". USA Track & Field. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ School of Criminal Justice Wall of Fame: Past Honorees
  9. ^ Cornelius Grant's Flashbacks Newtracks Magazine
  10. ^ Judith Guest
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Mumford High School Shooting: 2 Students Shot In Detroit". Huffington Post. 7 September 2010. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ From The Detroit News:
  24. ^ From The Detroit News:

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°25′17″N 83°09′53″W / 42.4215°N 83.1646°W / 42.4215; -83.1646