Seniors’ Blair experience ceremoniously approached its close on May 24 at Baccalaureate, a service that is held annually on the eve of graduation. Throughout the evening, the soon-to-be-graduates reflected on and celebrated their time at Blair and looked to the future as they prepared for commencement the next day.
The program began with a bagpiper-led procession through the Arch to Marcial Field, where faculty members lined the path and applauded the graduating class. Maria Strulistova ’22 and Nikki Patterson ’22 opened the service with a piano prelude before Blair Trustee the Rev. David Harvey welcomed the audience and offered a prayer.
The ceremony included readings by Mollie Sysler ’21, Jordan Abraham ’21 and Campbell Craig ’21, as well as an original spoken word poem by Michael Richardson ’21 titled “B.L.A.I.R., Believe Living An Incredible Reality.” In addition, the Blair Academy Chamber Orchestra and the Blair Academy Singers each performed a song.
Head of School Peter G. Curran introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Associate Dean of Students Andee Ryerson. Mrs. Ryerson shared with students the important impact change will have on their lives for years to come. She began her speech recounting the changes Blair students experienced this past year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Mrs. Ryerson went on to remark on the role that change will play in graduates' lives after they leave campus tomorrow to move into their next chapters. Change, she noted, many challenges and difficulties that students must learn to grow through. The class of 2021 was inspired to meet this challenge, utilizing the many skills they learned during their time at Blair. Mrs. Ryerson ended her speech by empowering graduates to feel confident in their ability to navigate difficult change.
“Whether the changes lying ahead of you are academic, social, athletic or personal in nature, your ability to navigate the difficult baggage of change will help bring you success,” she said. “By preparing for the side effects, finding the familiar and reminding yourself of the constant waiting for you, you will be able to weather the storm that is life’s constant change.”
Mrs. Ryerson has been a Blair faculty member since 2012 and has held numerous roles across campus, most recently in the student life office and fine arts department teaching Advanced Placement art history and the Freshman Seminar design module. In July 2021, she will become Blair’s director of communications.
Following Mrs. Ryerson's address and Rev. Harvey's litany and benediction, attendees sang the "The Blair Love Song. The ceremony came to a close with a piano recessional as the audience dispersed, with seniors one step closer to graduation.