Since 2017, the Faculty Summer Institute has been an invaluable professional development resource for Blair teachers, bringing a total of more than 50 participants together for weeklong, on-campus programs focused on making Blair’s classrooms the best they can be. The Sigety family, already among the School’s most loyal benefactors, has ensured that this unique opportunity will continue to enrich Blair’s faculty for years to come with a generous gift to endow the program.
Sigety family members’ belief in the importance of education inspired their support of the newly named Sigety Faculty Summer Institute. Trustee Rob Sigety ’75, father of Katie ’16, Will ’18, Elise ’20 and George ’21, and Trustee Neal Sigety ’76, and his wife, Virginia, parents of Ned ’16, Brad ’18 and Nina ’19, credit Rob and Neal’s mother, Katharine (Kit), and late father, Charles, with instilling that value in their five children. “Dad and Mom gave us the gift of education, and we are giving that same gift to our children,” Neal said, noting that his sister and brother-in-law, Liz and Jerry Marcus, are also proud parents of two Blair alumni, Griffin ’14 and Palmer ’19. “Our family is pleased to support the ongoing development of faculty members at Blair because great teachers are at the heart of a great education.”
Rob and Neal are thankful for the outstanding faculty who shaped their Blair experience in the 1970s, including English teachers Henry Cowan and Charlie Underwood and history teacher Paul White. In recent years, the Sigetys have “seen the School in action” in their roles as enthusiastic volunteers, former Chairs of the Parent Fund Group (Neal and Virginia), ex-officio Trustee (Virginia), Chair of the Advancement Committee (Neal) and Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee (Rob). “We’ve gotten to know Blair’s current faculty members as excellent teachers and great people,” Neal said. “The Sigety Faculty Summer Institute facilitates their professional development within the Blair curriculum, which is important for them and for the School.”
The Sigetys’ gift dovetails with a key strategic initiative of Blair’s 2018-2025 Strategic Plan, All In, calling for a comprehensive array of faculty training opportunities, a critical need for the School as it seeks to hire and retain teachers who will best serve Blair students. The cost-effective, on-campus Sigety Faculty Summer Institute is particularly advantageous because it gives teachers a distinctive opportunity to focus on skills and curriculum that will both immediately impact their work in the classroom and have long-term significance for the School and its students.
Over the years, the Sigety family’s remarkable philanthropy has benefited Blair teachers and students in countless ways by generously supporting capital projects, the Blair Fund, scholarship aid and other initiatives. This latest gift to endow the Sigety Faculty Summer Institute embodies the Sigetys’ continuing love for the School. “With so many family members who have come to Blair, our shared experience will undoubtedly be a point of connection throughout our lives,” Neal said. “We are proud of all our School has become—it is certainly a special place to get an education.”
As mother and grandmother of 11 Buccaneers, Kit noted that Blair provided her children and grandchildren with a solid foundation for higher education. “One of life’s greatest accomplishments is to achieve and use your achievements to better the world,” she said. “This gift will help provide that same educational foundation to so many more students.”
(Pictured above, seated, left to right) Katie Sigety ’16, Katharine Sigety, Nina Sigety ’19 and Elise Sigety ’20; (standing, left to right) Griffin Marcus ’14, Ned Sigety ’16, Brad Sigety ’18, Rob Sigety ’75, Neal Sigety ’76, Will Sigety ’18, Palmer Marcus ’19 and George Sigety ’21.