Girls’ Achievements Recognized with Top Honors Following Reinstatement of Coeducation

Blair returned to its coeducational roots when girls once again joined the student body in the fall of 1970. In the years that followed, these pioneering young women became an important part of every aspect of school life, and they distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in artistic pursuits and more.

We continue our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Blair’s reinstatement of coeducation by sharing the names of the first females to receive some of the School’s major prizes in the 1970s, according to Arthur Hamlin’s Sesquicentennial History and the plaques that hang in Locke Hall. (The year in which each prize was awarded appears in parentheses. Special thanks to library assistant Holly Newcomb for compiling this list.)

(1972) THE JOHN KINCH LEACH MERIT AWARD, given to that member of the sophomore class whose record of scholarship, participation in activities, and general citizenship have been a special credit to the School and an example for others to follow: Mary Beth (Lewis) DiMarco ’74 

(1973) THE FRANKLIN PRIZE, awarded to the senior who has shown the greatest development and improvement throughout the course: Aileen (Madden) Gaumond ’73 

(1973) THE ROBERT F. HARRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY, awarded to a member of the senior class for special interest and outstanding achievement in the study of English literature: Marguerite C. Laporte ’73 

(1973) THE ROBERT F. HARRIS DRAMATICS AWARD, presented to that member of the student body who has shown the highest standard of excellence in dramatics: JoAnn (Deibel) Taylor ’73 

(1973) THE SCHMEIZER-SELINGER RELIGION PRIZE (now THE PETER AMERMAN PRIZE): Debra (Goldman) Markowitz ’74 

(1974) THE BLAIR ACADEMY TROPHY, awarded in recognition of the member of the senior class with the highest all-around achievement: Pamella L. Olsyn ’74 

(1974) THE HARDING MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who has contributed most to musical organizations: Eleanor T. Howard ’74 

(1974) THE PHILLIPS-JAMES-ROSEN TROPHY, awarded to that member of the junior class whose record has been marked by devotion to the School, and who has, while performing creditably as a student and citizen of the school community, displayed uncommon leadership: Anne E. Cramer ’75  

(1974) THE HAROLD F. WALKER MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to a senior who is deserving of recognition not provided in other awards: Susan E. Perna ’74 & William A. Hindle ’74 were co-recipients

(1974) Class Valedictorian (now THE GEORGE P. JENKINS ’32 PRIZE): Lida Drummond ’74 

(1975) THE HEADMASTER’S PRIZE, awarded to the student in the senior class who has conspicuously displayed loyalty to the school, outstanding leadership, a fine influence in sportsmanship and Blair spirit in athletic competition: Anne E. Cramer ’75 (Ms. Cramer was also the 1975 Class Valedictorian.)

(1975) THE ROBERT DALLING PRIZE, presented to the athlete who has best represented Blair Academy in athletic competition: Laura (Cochran) Morris ’75 (Mrs. Morris is the first and only female to ever receive this prize. In 1976, the School established the William Zester Memorial Prize to recognize the top female athlete, and the Robert Dalling Prize became the award for the top male athlete.)

(1976) THE WILLIAM ZESTER MEMORIAL AWARD, presented to the female athlete who has best represented Blair Academy in athletic competition: Janet (Jones) Harrington ’76 

(1977) THE JOSEPH F. EBERLE MEMORIAL PRIZE, awarded to that student who exhibits outstanding achievement in music: Louise E. Ewing ’77

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The all-school read provides the entire Blair community, from students to faculty and staff, an opportunity to engage with a single work of literature. The tradition, started in 2017, offers students the chance to interact with up-and-coming authors and thinkers, and it allows the entire community to have a collective conversation about important issues.

Read More about New & Noteworthy: The Boy with Two Hearts Is Blair’s 2021 All-School Read