Venerable Tradition Continues in Innovative Space

The Society of Skeptics, one of Blair’s most venerable traditions, has found a new home in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration’s Collaboration Forum. With top-notch technology and flexible seating, this bright and airy space has enhanced the experience of discussing and debating important global issues for presenters and participants.

This year’s eclectic group of Skeptics lecturers are sharing wide-ranging perspectives and experiences with the Blair community in the School’s newest academic space.

Bogle '47 Legacy Skeptics

As inventor of the index mutual fund and founder of The Vanguard Group, the late Chairman Emeritus of the Blair Board of Trustees John C. Bogle ’47 was a financial industry titan and an unrelenting champion of individual investors. The Society of Skeptics examined Mr. Bogle’s towering legacy in the world of investing during a special panel presentation at this year’s Herman Hollerith Lecture on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

F. William McNabb III
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David Kaczynski Skeptics

David Kaczynski—brother of Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called “Unabomber,” who was arrested in 1996—talked about his infamous brother, the justice system and capital punishment at the Society of Skeptics' annual James Youngelson '53 Lecture on Ethics and Responsibility.

David Kaczynski Skeptics
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Chris Fussell '92 Skeptics

As a President at McChrystal Group and former Navy SEAL, Chris Fussell ’92 knows a thing or two about leadership and teamwork. The bestselling author and organizational-change expert shared his wisdom with Blair students and faculty at the Society of Skeptics on April 16 at in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration.

Chris Fussell '92 Skeptics
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Young Alumni Skeptics

The Blair community was excited to welcome a few familiar faces back to campus for the annual Young Alumni Skeptics on April 9. This year's panelists—Chris Gatsch ’05Winnie (Adrien) Lizardo Orbe ’06Sam Tilney ’08 and Jack Januszewski ’13—discussed their career success, reflected on their time at the School and offered advice to current students about life after Blair.

Young Alumni Skeptics
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Dr. Lucienne Ronco ’80

On April 2, Dr. Lucienne Ronco ’80 returned to campus to talk about science and technology at the Society of Skeptics, encouraging students to consider these exciting fields as they explore career options, pointing to her own career trajectory as a researcher and scientist.

Dr. Lucienne Ronco ’80
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Dr. Jane Ferry Skeptics

Blair Academy was pleased to welcome back Jane Ferry P’11, MD, FACEP, MMM, to the Society of Skeptics on February 26. Dr. Ferry is an emergency medicine physician in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, and is affiliated with Grand View Health-Sellersville, where she has served as its chief medical officer since 1990. Dr. Ferry discussed her medical mission work in affiliation with the “Blair in Kenya” program.

Dr. Jane Ferry Skeptics
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Betsy Schamberger Skeptics

“Environmental Cleanups—When Is It Clean Enough?” was the thought-provoking title of February 12’s Society of Skeptics lecture, presented by licensed professional geologist and Blair parent Betsy Schamberger P’22. She joined the Blair community in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration to discuss the timely topic and engage in Q & A with the audience.

Betsy Schamberger Skeptics
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Ridge & Valley Charter School Skeptics

On January 29, 2018, Blairstown’s Ridge and Valley Charter School (RVCS) guide Tyler Thurgood ’05 returned to campus to address the Society of Skeptics in an interactive presentation with RVCS alumnae Sadie Price-Elliott and Muriel Baki, and school founders Traci Pannullo and Dave McNulty, who now serves as trustee. They introduced the Blair community to RVCS, a local kindergarten-to-eighth-grade charter school working to foster a paradigm shift in public education.

Tyler Thurgood '05
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Marsha Smith Skeptics

The Allied Forces’ June 6, 1944, D-Day landing at Normandy Beach, France, was one of World War II’s most significant operations in the fight against the Nazi regime. Five decades later, Marsha Smith visited the grave of her uncle who died in action in the battle to liberate Normandy. This trip to the Brittany American Military Cemetery at St. James, France, inspired Ms. Smith and her sister, Mary M. Stubler, to establish Normandy Allies, Inc., a nonprofit that promotes greater historical understanding of the 1944 liberation of Normandy and the reconstruction of France that followed.

Marsha Smith Skeptics
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Rob Monz Skeptics

Independent documentarian Rob Montz talked about political correctness on college campuses at the January 8 Society of Skeptics in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration.

During his hour-long presentation, he planned to take a unique “spin” on the pressures undergraduates are under to be politically correct, specifically examining the student experience at some of the most well-known elite universities in the United States.

Rob Monz Skeptics
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Alan Moskin Skeptics

At age 92, U.S. Army veteran Alan Moskin travels the country to speak about his experience as a World War II infantry combat soldier who participated in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp.

Alan Moskin
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Ron Insana Skeptics

The Blair community will welcomed CNBC senior analyst and commentator Ron Insana to the Society of Skeptics on December 4 for a discussion of recent politics. An expert on economic and market issues, Mr. Insana delved into topics that have been in the news over the past weeks. 

Ron Insana
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Brandon Slay Skeptics

Brandon Slay, who won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, talked to Blair students about achieving their dreams at the November 13 Society of Skeptics. Having come to Blair in the past to share his message with the wrestling team, Mr. Slay is executive director and head coach of the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center, which focuses on enriching lives locally and globally through the sport of wrestling. 

Brandon Slay
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George Hincapie

The Blair community welcomed former professional road bicycle racer George Hincapie on October 30 to the Society of Skeptics, where he provided an exciting look into the life of a world-class cyclist. 

George Hincapie
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Don Lincoln, PhD

The Blair community welcomed scientist and author Don Lincoln, PhD , to the October 23 Society of Skeptics, where he gave a whirlwind talk about “Quarks, the Cosmos and Everything in Between.” 

Don Lincoln, PhD
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Frank Angiolelli Skeptics

McAfee/Foundstone strategic consultant and patent-holding inventor Frank Angiolelli shared his experiences with cybersecurity and hackers at a Society of Skeptics presentation in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration.

Frank Angiolelli Skeptics
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Ben Schwartz, MD

Dr. Schwartz is a specialist in gynecologic oncology and minimally invasive surgery, and his Skeptics presentation focused on his experience with the daVinci® Surgical System and how robotic surgery is shaping the future of healthcare. 

Ben Schwartz, MD
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Alison Wright Skeptics

Award-winning documentary photographer Alison Wright returned to the Society of Skeptics for her fourth appearance on October 2. Having spent more than two decades traveling the world as a photojournalist, Ms. Wright explored her journey as she captured photographs for National Geographic and other publications.

Alison Wright
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Marina Cramer

In her debut novel, Roads, Marina Antropow Cramer tells the story of a World War II-era Russian family’s survival through harrowing situations surrounding the Nazi invasion of their homeland and the hardships they face as labor camp workers and refugees in Germany during and after the war.

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Chris Wolfe '85 Skeptics

Former equities trader Chris Wolfe ’85, P’18 ’20 shared his experience as he witnessed events unfold in downtown New York City, underscoring how much September 11th changed America and the world—from how we go through airport security to a shift in immigration policy to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing global war on terror. 

Chris Wolf
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