Blair Academy was pleased to welcome renowned sports journalist Mr. Alan Springer to the Society of Skeptics on November 16 at 7 p.m. With over 28 years’ of experience working in the sports industry as a journalist and recently named Vice President and Head of Video for The Arena Group, Mr. Springer spoke to Blair students about his professional journey. He allowed students to lead the conversation, a teaching method that has perpetually worked for him. Watch his presentation below:
“[We may discuss] a little bit of everything, including the production company I launched, called Springtime Media, to the multiple projects I’ve led, such as my recent project with American tennis player Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation,” Mr. Springer said in preparation for the Society of Skeptics event. “But I really want to let the students drive the conversation.”
“I was happy to discuss whatever would be best for the students. I always feel like I learn more from them than they do from me,” said Mr. Springer.
Not long after starting as a sports journalist for a local Los Angeles, California, CBS affiliate in 1993, Mr. Springer quickly climbed the production ladder to start what would become his lifelong career as a video producer for various media outlets including Fox Sports Net, CBS News, Turner Sports, and most recently, Sports Illustrated. Mr. Springer embraced his passions and interests early on. For him, sports journalism was an industry with which he had already been familiar, having grown up under a veteran sports journalist for a father.
“I had a pretty good idea, since my father was a sports journalist for 35 years. You could say it’s in my blood. I got into sports production early because I saw an opportunity to do something I was really passionate about. That led me to other opportunities and down this path that I’m on now,” said Mr. Springer.
No matter how naturally he came by his passions and interests, Mr. Springer found that the promotions and work to get to his position did not come easily. He reiterated how important it is for students to work hard, and most of all, to network well.
“Focus on networking and relationships. Take advantage, nicely, of all the people in your life who can help you network and from whom you can learn more,” said Mr. Springer. “Also, be open to learning. That was the biggest thing for me. Even with this opportunity [with The Arena Group] for me, it’s a learning experience. To learn from students and help us better navigate the content we consume.”
History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial.
For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.