Duffield STEAM Initiative
Duffield STEAM Initiative
Posted on 09/29/2022
This is the image for the news article titled Duffield STEAM Initiative

Ridgewood High School Alumni Association

Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Duffield STEAM Initiative

Tech Entrepreneur Makes a Lasting Impact on High School Alma Mater

RIDGEWOOD, NJ – The Ridgewood High School Alumni Association is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Duffield STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) Initiative on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. on the front lawn of Ridgewood High School (RHS). The ceremony is the cornerstone event of the three-day Homecoming Weekend and will showcase three exciting projects that were made possible by the incredible generosity of esteemed alumnus, David Duffield, RHS Class of 1958, and the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation.

The Duffield STEAM Initiative launched in May of 2021 when the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association (RHSAA) facilitated a grant in the amount of $635,000, the largest single donation ever made in the history of the Ridgewood Public Schools. This extraordinary gift enabled the district to introduce cutting-edge production equipment and machinery to the makerspace, revamp the media lab with digital video equipment and a professional recording booth, and transform the outdated foods lab into a professional culinary space. These projects directly support hands-on learning components and provide robust experiences that better prepare students for educational opportunities beyond high school and careers.

"Cheryl and I are pleased to support Ridgewood High School's STEAM Initiative in honor of my parents, Albert and Mary Duffield. My dad was an engineer, and he inspired my interest in technology. My mom was a teacher, and she taught me the importance of a strong education,” said Dave Duffield. “Ridgewood High School provided me an exceptional education, and my hope is the Duffield STEAM Initiative will inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs."

The Innovation & Makerspace Lab, the Media Lab: TV & Recording Studios, and the Culinary Arts Lab will be open to the public via student ambassador tours, where guests will see sample projects made with our new state-of-the-art equipment.

“The community of Ridgewood is extremely grateful for the kind, generous donation from Dave and Cheryl Duffield,” remarked RHS Principal Jeff Nyhuis.  “The students are the true beneficiaries of this amazing project.  The Innovation & Makerspace Lab, TV Studio, and Culinary Arts Lab have never looked or performed better.  A project like this will have a lasting impact on students of Ridgewood High School for many years to come.  I personally would also like to thank the Ridgewood Alumni Association for their coordination of the project and continued support to Ridgewood Public Schools.”

The tour will also include a visit to the Distinguished Alumni Wall, where Dave Duffield, a pioneer who helped shape the software industry and founder of innovative companies including Workday, PeopleSoft, and Ridgeline, was recently named a 2022 Inductee for his professional accomplishments and philanthropy.

“We are thrilled to welcome home all alumni on this annual Homecoming weekend and celebrate together the largest single donation ever made in the history of the Ridgewood Public Schools,” says RHSAA Interim President, Tara Augustine. “The association is honored to promote the collective experiences unique to the Ridgewood High School community and strengthen our tradition of excellence.”

To learn more about the Duffield STEAM Initiative, visit the district website


About the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation 

The Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation is a private charitable foundation based in Incline Village, Nevada. While the Duffields are long-time benefactors of companion animal causes, the Foundation also allows them to focus their philanthropic efforts in other areas they are passionate about, including supporting military veterans and giving back to their local community.

About the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association 

Founded in 2014, the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association celebrates and promotes the collective experiences unique to the Ridgewood High School community and strengthens A Tradition of Excellence. Each year, the RHSAA honors alumni who exemplify this tradition of excellence through their personal accomplishments, professional achievements, or humanitarian service. Additionally, they host fundraisers, events, and career networking opportunities including Homecoming Weekend, the Distinguished Alumni Award Induction, the RHS Alumni Career Lecture Series, and the RHS Alumni Externship Program.





About Ridgewood Public Schools

The Ridgewood Public Schools, committed to a tradition of excellence and innovation, deliver a high-quality education focusing on maximizing the potential of every learner. As one of the largest school systems in Bergen County, the district comprises 10 schools and serves over 5,600 students. The Ridgewood Public Schools are continually recognized on state and national levels for school and individual achievements. All students are taught in a technologically advanced setting and are provided with numerous opportunities to excel in the classroom and extracurricular activities, including academic competitions, the arts, and athletics.






Duffield Ribbon Cutting Photo