Blair seniors and their families came together in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts to celebrate class members’ many accomplishments at one final prize assembly before commencement. Mr. Fortunato welcomed the audience, noting the class of 2019’s many exceptional achievements and his anticipation of students’ great successes beyond Blair as undergraduates and young professionals.
“Look around this theatre at your friends, at your faculty, at your family that has enriched your lives over your years at Blair,” said Mr. Fortunato. “Soak it in for the last time, the experience of sitting in this place, in these chairs as Blair students. Remember both the good times and the challenging ones, for all we have experienced together has formed you into the person you are today. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“Let us be thankful for the people, the place, the ideas and opportunities that have come into our lives through Blair,” he concluded. “I am grateful you have shared yourself and allowed us the pleasure of being a part of your growing up here. I am especially grateful for having the chance to grow alongside of you, and for how you and your faculty continue to make me a better Head of School and a better person.”
Following Dean of Academics Nathan Molteni’s recognition of seniors who had received awards earlier in the week, Associate Head of School Ryan Pagotto ’97 thanked prefects, athletic team captains and the Senior Class Council for their contributions to the community and love of Blair.
“My charge this evening is recognize those of you who have held more formalized leadership roles at school this year, but, in many respects, you have all led, in one way or another,” he said. “As seniors, you are the Blair culture carriers; underclassmen take their cues from you all across this campus. When we gathered this year as a community, you contributed greatly to the tone that was set. Your voices have been essential to the Blair experience, and we are thankful for that.”
English teacher Kaye Evans then officially inducted the seniors who were elected to join Blair’s chapter of the cum laude society and Blair administrators took the stage to present a range of Blair’s top prizes to deserving students (see the full list of inductees and awardees below).
The class later presented Mr. Fortunato with their class gift: a check for $4,561.14, made possible by a 3:1 match from Trustee Emeritus Jim Krugman ’65 and his wife, Connie. This marks the 18th-consecutive year that the Krugmans have made this generous match of the senior class gift and, in doing so, underlined the importance of giving back to Blair for students who will soon be alumni. This year’s senior class gift is designated for the endowed Class of 2019 Scholarship. Seniors and their parents raised $264,549 to fund the scholarship, which will provide the gift of a Blair education to deserving students for years to come.
As the assembly came to a close, the audience reflected on their time at Blair during a video perspective screened by students who created a film as part of an after-school activity this spring.
Congratulations to all students who received prizes at the Class of 2019 Assembly (and to watch the assembly in full, click here):
The Franklin Prize: Alexandra Foster Glickman
The Elaine & James Kelley Prize: Henry Thomas Somerville
The Selena & James Howard Prize: Jacob Harrison Leddy
The Selena & James Howard Prize: Serena Rachel Ninomiya
The Lee Rose Memorial Trophy: Jasmine Mustafa
The Lee Rose Memorial Trophy: Jessica Marie Van Valkenburg
The Harold F. Walker Memorial Prize: Cheuk Kiu Justin Leung
The Harold F. Walker Memorial Prize: Joseph Peter Mantegna
Robert Dalling Prize: Owen Addison Trephan
William Zester Memorial Award: Esther Anna Marie Pasternak
Herbert J. Siegel Prize: Kerem Ekta Ayhan
Herbert J. Siegel Prize: Serena Rachel Ninomiya
Herbert J. Siegel Prize: Summer Savannah Will
Herbert J. Siegel Prize: Keenan Toliver Worthington
Cum Laude Inductions
Elected to cum laude both junior & senior year
Jessica Van Valkenburg
Elected to cum laude senior year