Blair’s chaplain, the Rev. David Harvey, opened up the 176th Convocation ceremony Wednesday night with the sentiments felt throughout our community this week: “It is a joy to see your faces, and it is a joy to be together.”
The collective joy was evident as students gathered prior to the ceremony for class photos, hugging friends they had reconnected with at Orientation a day prior and posing for snapshots, dressed in their best formal attire. Next, the community gathered on the Hardwick Quad for an all-school photo to commemorate the start of an exciting new chapter in their Blair careers before students marched the historic path to Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts’ DuBois Theatre, led by the traditional bagpipers and flag bearers proudly waving their countries’ flags.
“I’ve always found this particular tradition moving,” Head of School Peter G. Curran P’27 ’27 shared with the audience. “We are following in the footsteps of so many Bucs who lived and learned here and then went out into the world and made it a better place, carrying forward all that is best about a Blair education.”
Mr. Curran then welcomed Machua Muchugia ’24, a member of the Senior Class Council and boys’ soccer team, who serves as prefect in the Insley Hall dorm. “When was the last time you tried something for the first time?” Machua asked the audience, sharing his hope of “creating a year defined by the many and incredible new first experiences to come.” During his speech, Machua urged new faculty and students to make the most of their new experiences on the hilltop. “At Blair, the best moments always come unexpectedly and on the other side of a little bit of discomfort,” Machua advised.
Fellow Senior Class Council member, girls’ soccer player and prefect Brynne Grant ’24 addressed the Blair community next. “Convocation is the celebration of the beginning,” Brynne began. “While we are all together in celebration of the same thing, this beginning looks very different for all of us.” She shared her Blair journey with the crowd, admitting that once she committed to being “all in,” the School helped transform her into the well-rounded individual she is today. Before concluding, Brynne left the community with a small piece of advice, “Don’t take life so seriously.”
The evening progressed with a heartfelt performance of “Siyahamba” by the Blair Academy Singers, led by Director of Vocal Music Ryan Manni, before Mr. Curran returned to the stage to share a message that echoed Brynne’s closing remarks. “As we begin a new year,” Mr. Curran said, “I hope we can approach it with a joyful purpose that allows us to pause, reflect, and appreciate the Blair experience and the impact this community has on all of us.”
To watch this year’s Convocation ceremony in full, click “play” below: