Blair Academy Welcomes the Class of 2026
Paula Hong '16

Blair Academy, which celebrates its demisemiseptcentennial anniversary this year, has just seen the most competitive admission cycle since the School’s inception 175 years ago. Since its founding by Mr. John Insley Blair, Mr. John Bunnell and Reverend John A. Reiley in 1848, the academy has enabled young, eager-eyed students to learn and grow, while fostering the qualities necessary to develop into global citizens. With a record 1,560 applications and an acceptance rate of 15 percent, this fall, Blair Academy welcomes its most competitive class yet.

“I am pleased to report that the 2022-2023 admission cycle was Blair’s most successful to date,” said Dean of Admission Teddy Wenner ’96. “There is no question the value of a Blair education continues to resonate with prospective families, and I am excited to welcome the Class of 2026—an incredibly diverse and high-achieving group of scholars, artists, athletes and leaders eager to share their talents with the Blair community.”

The admitted students join a diverse population, coming from 26 U.S. states and 29 countries. Approximately 17 percent of the student body hails from international locations, and as many as 38 percent of students and their families will benefit from Blair’s financial assistance. 

“The Class of 2026 is joining us at a very special time in Blair’s history,” says Dean Wenner. “From the beginning, Blair has steadily grown and attracted students in ever-widening circles. After opening in 1848 with a handful of students, that first decade saw students hailing from increasing distances from Blairstown. A catalog for the 10-year anniversary tells us that ‘The school…was remarkably well patronized, not only by the immediate community, but from adjacent neighborhoods, and numbers even coming from a distance’ for the very practical purpose of offering students an excellent education,” said Dean Wenner. “Our community is diverse and dynamic, which is critical to carrying forward our mission of knowing our students so we may empower them to more fully understand themselves and the world—and to leave Blair not only as prepared undergraduates, but ultimately as global citizens contributing to the greater good.”

A Time to Both Look Back & Grow Moving Forward

Since the School’s founding, Blair Academy has adopted its “Seven Principles,” which includes but is not limited to faculty and staff knowing their students, fostering an inclusive and connected community, and preparing students for a life that values service and humble excellence. In addition to the seven values, the School adheres to “The Five Fundamentals,” which include Seeing the Good, Showing Care in all Aspects, Being Curious while Suspending Judgment, Knowing One’s Self and Practicing Honesty, and Honoring the Dignity of Others. As the School celebrates its demisemiseptcentennial anniversary and reflects on its history, it also looks forward, making sure to continue upholding the values that have enabled the academy to reach its place today. 

“The 175th anniversary provides a great moment to pause and reflect on our history,” said Dean Wenner. “As Blair moves forward in our next two centuries, we will continue to be innovative and forward-thinking in our extraordinary educational offerings, but we will also remain rooted in the values and traditions that are at the heart of the Blair experience,” he noted. Those, he says, are “strong faculty-student relationships and fostering a community in which students challenge themselves, grow and thrive.” 

“Since 1848, Blair has emphasized the importance of character and skill, meeting the challenges of an ever-changing world and making a difference in it. We will continue to hold those goals close, while also enhancing our facilities, technology and curriculum that best prepare our students for success in college and life.”

To that end, the Class of 2026 will have access to the newly renovated science facility, Bogle Hall, which hosts state-of-the-art equipment and labs, a reconditioned “Bubble” for indoor athletic practice year-round and an enhanced indoor rowing center. In addition, the incoming class will have the opportunity to experience forward-thinking programs such as Integrated Science Research and J-term, which expose students to real-world topics intended to spark their intellectual curiosity and prepare them for the careers of the future.   

“There are not many institutions of learning that have sustained growth for 175 years, and I look forward to celebrating our history this year. I hope the members of our newest class take advantage of all our School has to offer, as they will be the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators who will bring the best of themselves to Blair and the best of Blair to the world.”



News Headlines

Six Blair Alumni on How They Chose Their Institutions of Higher Learning

Blair students matriculated to a wide variety of renowned schools of higher learning last year, some among the most competitive in the world. Blair alum Paula Hong ’16 sat down with some of our recent graduates to discuss the college admissions process and how their time at Blair helped them find the postsecondary school that would best fit their interests and abilities.

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