On the eve of graduation, the class of 2017 celebrated Baccalaureate, a traditional and spiritual service at which soon-to-be graduates reflected on their Blair experiences and looked toward the future as they prepared to leave campus following commencement on May 25. To watch a video of the service, click "play" below.
As is tradition, the evening Baccalaureate ceremony began with a bagpiper-led procession through the Arch, down Blair's front hill and up to Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts, where chaplain and religion and philosophy department chair Russell Powell welcomed the audience and began the service with a prayer. Before Head of School Chris Fortunato introduced the evening's class-elected keynote speaker, history teacher Christopher Cameron, the Blair Academy String Orchestra and Singers offered musical meditations, and two student leaders (Genevieve Lewis '17 and Max Bonzulak '17) read from the Hebrew scriptures and Christian testament.
Mr. Cameron then offered seniors his best advice for successfully navigating the transition from high school to college and adulthood. "We now stand at the threshold of our next chapter, hesitant to leave the safety and predictability that we have created here at Blair, but also drawn by the possibilities of a new life," said Mr. Cameron, a 2013 graduate of Williams College. "While I cannot tell you exactly what to expect, I can reassure you that you are ready. You are ready to face all of the unforeseen challenges and obstacles that will present themselves in the years ahead."
Mr. Cameron encouraged students to embrace those challenges instead of avoiding them and summon the courage to experience discomfort and vulnerability. "If you take anything away from my speech today, remember the power of growth," he noted. "You can do anything you set your mind to, but you must be willing to commit yourself to achieving your goals. Also, remember that 'transformations are more than a moment.' Your transformation will not happen overnight, but as you learn and grow, you will slowly evolve into a better version of yourself. So when you leave campus tomorrow, take the goodness and kindness of Blair with you and never stop learning."
Following Mr. Cameron's address and Mr. Powell's litany, Blair's student-led A Cappella group sang the School song ("The Blair Love Song" by former faculty member H.C. Thorpe). The ceremony came to a close with a piano recessional as seniors and faculty dispersed for the last time before commencement.