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Alison Wright skeptics
Alison Wright skeptics
Alison Wright skeptics
Award-Winning Photographer Returned to the Society of Skeptics
Brittany Rockenfeller

Award-winning documentary photographer Alison Wright returned to the Society of Skeptics for her fifth appearance on November 19. Having spent more than two decades traveling the world as a photojournalist, Ms. Wright guided attendees through her journey of photographing for National Geographic and other publications. Her presentation was held in the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration.

“I keep returning to the Society of Skeptics partly because history teacher Dr. Martin Miller has been so supportive of having me share my story, but also because I really love the enthusiasm of the students,” Ms. Wright said. “They always offer such great questions and are a pleasure to have in the audience.”

Ms. Wright’s presentation focused on her latest photo book, Human Tribe, and its celebration of our visual human tapestry. She has traveled to over 160 countries across the world and returned to Blair after a trip to Nigeria.

“The book is a global look at not just how different we are in appearance, but how we are also the same,” she said. “We all want to love and be loved, have enough money in our pocket to get by, safety and health for ourselves, our friends and our family, and education for our children.”

In her previous Skeptics engagements, Ms. Wright shared her many experiences of traveling abroad to capture the world's most secluded areas on film. Her photography has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Islands, Smithsonian, American Photo, Natural History, Time, Forbes, O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Outside and the San Francisco Chronicle.

She has also published several books of photography, including The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile, A Simple Monk: Writings on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World. Ms. Wright was named the 2013 National Geographic Traveler of the Year, is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography and is a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award.

A graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism, Ms. Wright completed her master's degree in visual anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. To learn more about Ms. Wright and her work, click here.

The History of Skeptics

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.



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Blair Academy’s 172nd commencement ceremony was a tradition- and joy-filled celebration of the class of 2020, as well as the first graduation in School history to take place online. Families and friends from around the world came together virtually on May 21—appropriately a beautiful, sunny day in Blairstown—to listen to words of wisdom, honor the achievements of students and faculty members, and celebrate a truly outstanding senior class.

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