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Rod Serling School of Fine Arts gets its charter

published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, March 1, 1994.

Rod Serling didn't spend his entire life in The Twilight Zone.

Until World War II, college and his writing career took him away, the prize-winning playwright and creator of The Twilight Zone grew up in Binghamton and attended Binghamton Central High School.

Now his name may inspire future generations of playwrights, dancers, artists and musicians as they pass through Binghamton High School.

Binghamton City School District officials announced Monday they have received permission from Serling's widow, Carolyn Serling, to rename the Binghamton High School of Fine Arts to the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts at Binghamton High School.

The program, begun in September 1992, offers students a core curriculum of academic courses and a major concentralism in music, art, dance, theater or fine arts. About 270 students are enrolled.

The legal agreement between the school district and Carolyn Serling allows the district to use Rod Serling's name for the fine arts program use his name and likeness to promote it.

Erik I. Thompson, 15, who is studying music theory in the fine arts program, said naming the program after Serling will "make it sound important" and get it a higher profile. The ninth-grader is a fan of The Twilight Zone.

Steven Porter, director of the program, hopes renaming it for Serling will "be an inspiration to kids to accomplish some of what he accomplished."

The district will dedicate the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts on May 31.

Carolyn Serling could not be reached for comment Monday.

Serling, who died in 1975, created the landmark television show The Twilight Zone and the anthology Night Gallery. He also wrote numerous plays.