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Max Jacobs ’68

Alumni Success Story

Max Jacobs ’68 Parlays Soccer Success into Career Paths As Educator and Home Builder


Max JacobsAs the first member of his family to attend college, Max Jacobs made the most of his RCC education. An All-Mid Hudson Conference halfback for Coach Joe Famellette’s soccer team, Jacobs earned a soccer scholarship to SUNY New Paltz and became a social studies teacher in the East Ramapo school district.

“My parents could not afford to send me to college, and one viable option for me was to live at home and attend RCC,” says Jacobs, a 1966 Spring Valley High School alumnus who attained an AA in Liberal Arts from RCC and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from SUNY New Paltz. “RCC was an excellent experience for me. It enabled me to go to college and further my education, which would have been a stretch otherwise.”

After a 14-year teaching career, Jacobs became a very successful home builder. His company, Willow Tree Builders of Wesley Hills, N.Y., has constructed some 65 custom-built homes and spearheaded other projects, including a renovation of the shopping center at the foot of New Hempstead Road and North Main Street in New City. As a builder, he has a keen eye and appreciation for well-built structures, and marvels at the upgrades to the RCC campus over the years.

“When I went to RCC, there were only two buildings, the administration building [which became Brucker Hall] and Academic I, plus the little red barn for the Phys Ed department,” says Jacobs, who was honored as a “Golden Jubilarian,” or 50-year graduate, at the 2018 RCC Commencement. “I’ve seen the campus grow; it really is beautiful. It’s an amazing change from what I remember [as a student].”

Jacobs holds one other distinction: he served as a soccer referee in Rockland County for 43 years (1971-2014), longer than any other Rockland soccer official. “Soccer was good to me,” says Jacobs, who also coached soccer at Spring Valley High School. He currently serves as president of the RCC Alumni Association and vice president of the Rockland YMCA. He and his wife of 40 years, Marian, reside in Wesley Hills, N.Y., and have one son, David, 36.

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