Half Hollow Hills alumnus James C. Metzger showed pride and passion for his alma mater Friday when he donated $100,000 to start the Hills East Boy’s Lacrosse Endowment.
Metzger, who graduated from Hills in 1977, is the chairman and CEO of The Whitmore Group, a leading insurance brokerage firm on Long Island, and is a generous philanthropist to many organizations and institutions in the area.
“It’s truly a privilege and an honor to have created this lacrosse endowment,” he said before a room of lacrosse players and parents at the high school. “I derived so much from my experience as a student at Half Hollow Hills and at Hofstra University. I’m very proud of the tradition we have here. This is a terrific school district. I’m a proud alumnus and it’s a privilege and an honor to support it.”
Last year, Metzger donated $1.5 million to Hofstra’s athletic department, the largest gift in athletic program history. He was an All-American lacrosse player for the Flying Dutchmen in the early 1980s.
At Hills, Metzger set school records for points in a season and assists in a game, season and career and was the only high school athlete selected to both the North-South All-Star football and lacrosse games as a senior. On the football field, he started every game in his three-year varsity career and led his team in scoring.
Metzger attended the Naval Academy Prep School and led the lacrosse team in goals, assists and points. Focusing solely on lacrosse, Metzger decided to come back to Long Island to attend Hofstra University in 1979 and 1980, where he again led the team in assists each of those seasons.
“A lot of what we have and a lot of where we’re going is driven in part by his passion and his caring,” said Eric Geringswald, a school trustee in Half Hollow Hills. “It is wonderful to see. This is a very special person. He committed himself to excellence and that commitment to excellence has continued in his professional life, in his college lacrosse career and in his commitment to [the players in the program].”
“From those who have much, much is expected,” said Hills East boy’s lacrosse coach Gordon Hodgson, “and Mr. Jim Metzger has exceeded any expectation I would ever have of someone who has much and has done an unbelievable, outstanding job in sharing his passion.”