Learn from a Chiang-Elghanayan Center Expert

Blair students have the opportunity to meet experts from across industries and around the world in the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration. From Society of Skeptics lectures to Alumni Roundtables and from student-run conferences to faculty-moderated discussions of newsworthy topics, the Chiang-Elghanayan Center hosts multiple gatherings every week, and students come out in force to listen, question and learn.

Film Making

Chiang-Elghanayan Center Happenings To Date

Roundtable about College Admission Scandal

Students had the chance to hear from administrators from Lafayette College and Lehigh University about how recent scandals may affect the college application and admission processes across the United States, as well as their impact on Blair students more specifically. A spring roundtable on the topic included Alison Byerly, president of Lafayette, Greg MacDonald, vice president for enrollment at Lafayette, and Bruce Bunnick, director of admission at Lehigh.

Free Speech & Open Dialogue Advocate Meets with Blair Clubs

Free speech and open dialogue advocate Zachary R. Wood met with the Inclusivity Committee and Young Democrat and Young Republican Clubs in the Chiang Center to talk about how to engage in uncomfortable conversations and issues such as intellectual controversy and freedom of speech.

Fine Arts Presentations

Following a Forum presentation from multimedia and print artist Tim Fite ’95 about his Romano Gallery exhibit “Quick Draw,” students and teachers joined the artist in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts to view his work.

Home to MLK Jr. Seminars

The Collaboration Forum was home to an annual Blair program honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that included seminars on identity, race relations and inclusion. 

Internationally Recognized Musician Performs

The Blair community enjoyed an evening performance of internationally recognized balafon player Balla Kouyate. Brought to Blair courtesy of the Rev. Lisa Durkee, chaplain and chairman of the religion and philosophy department, Mr. Kouyate and his band World Vision perform around the world practicing the ancient art of the balafon which dates back to the Medieval era.  

Delving into Human Rights

Harvard professor Timothy Patrick McCarthy, PhD, is team-teaching Blair's yearlong civil rights seminar in the Chiang Center with Blair classics teacher Chris Sheppard and English teacher John Redos '09

Head of School Roundtables

Head of School Roundtables in the Chiang Center have brought the community together to discuss bitcoin, human rights, school safety, presidential politics and more.

Film Screenings

Blair's Black and LatinX Club celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month by screening Coco and holding a discussion on immigration in the Chiang Center.

Yearbook & Oracle

The yearbook and Blair Oracle staff members tackle their work in the Chiang Center after the class day ends.

College Visits

In the fall, Blair college counselors host visiting college reps in the Chiang Center on Monday and Thursday evenings.

Hanging Out & Weekend Activities

After the academic day ends, the Collaboration Forum also serves as a place for kids to simply hang out and enjoy each other’s company—as well as a venue for weekend activities such as dance marathons!

Freshman Orientation & Seminar

Freshmen got comfortable working in the Chiang Center shortly after arriving at Blair: Ninth-grade orientation took place there, as did the yearlong Freshman Seminar, which builds connections and baseline skills with two half-year modules on health and wellness and design-and-maker-space training.

The Future of Surgery

Students tried out the daVinci® Surgical System in the Chiang Center as part of Dr. Benjamin Schwartz P'21's Skeptics presentation

Society of Skeptics

Society of Skeptics presentations take place in the Chiang Center every Tuesday evening. The Blair community has come together for engaging presentations on everything from the war in Afghanistan to world-class nature photography to current politics.

Ceramicists at Work

Blair's ceramicists spent a day in the Chiang Center's pottery studio creating bowls to be used at the local food bank's annual Empty Bowls fundraising event.

Robotics Team

Blair's robotics team prepped for state championship competition in the Chiang Center robotics classroom. Blair robotics has become a well-regarded FIRST Tech Challenge team in New Jersey just two years after the team was founded.

Headmasters' Games

The Chiang Center maker space was the scene of the Headmasters' Societies Games' newest contest, a Rube Goldberg-style competition that tested students' design-and-build skills. 

Making Music

Students hone their ability to write, record and produce original, professional-quality songs in Blair's digital music course. The class meets in the Chiang Center's medial lab and recording studio, where students leverage professional quality software and equipment.

Sparking Change & Confidence

Savannah Doelfel ’18 orchestrated the inaugural MAPL Women’s Leadership Conference in the Chiang Center.

A Forum for Ideas

Blair welcomed 100 students and teachers to the Chiang Center for the annual TEDx collaborative conference with Gill St. Bernard’s School.

Committee Meetings

A number of standing Blair committees, including those focused on diversity and inclusivity, meet regularly in the Chiang Center.

Hub for Current Families

Parents met with faculty members at a host of Parents’ Weekend receptions in the Chiang Center. 

Clubs & Activities

The Classics Club convened in the Chiang Center to celebrate ancient holidays—wearing togas, of course! Other student groups, including the Investment Club, Business Club, Writing Club, Girl Up Club, and Black and LatinX Club, regularly meet there, too.

Clubs Examine Timely Issues

Blair's Young Republicans and Young Democrats Clubs met to discuss immigration and U.S. border security.

Political Analysis

As midterm election results rolled in, students and teachers gathered in the Collaboration Forum to as the media called each race.

The Importance of Midterms

In the lead-up to Election Day, students engaged in a roundtable about why midterm elections matter.

Students Engage with Alumni & Experts at Roundtable Series

The Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration and other venues across campus have become home to Blair’s Head of School and Alumni Roundtable speakers’ series, programs that connect today’s students with prominent alumni and experts across industries, giving soon-to-be graduates the opportunity to learn about different fields from experienced professionals.

Instituted in 2018 by Head of School Chris Fortunato, the series welcome industry professionals (many of whom are Blair graduates) of all generations to campus to speak about their careers and engage in question-and-answer sessions with students. Find out more about past and upcoming speakers below, and please let us know if you would like to participate in a future event by contacting Director of Stewardship E. Courtnay Stanford at (908) 362-6121, ext. 5646, or stanfc@blair.edu.

The Future of Surgery with Dr. Benjamin Schwartz

Upcoming Speakers

Society of Skeptics: Doug Bandow

Title: Doug Bandow, Cato Institute senior fellow & former special White House assistant to President Ronald Reagan
Topic: The 2020 Presidential Election

Society of Skeptics: Speaker Emily Reid

Title: Emily Reid, vice president for open learning, AI4ALL
Topic: Artificial Intelligence & its Social Impact

Society of Skeptics: Cynthia Harvey

Title: Cynthia Harvey, American Ballet Theater ballet mistress & former Royal Ballet principal ballerina
Topic: On Dance

Society of Skeptics: Raymond Seitz

Speaker: Raymond Seitz, former ambassador to the United Kingdom
Topic: The Imperative (and Unraveling) of U.S. Alliances

Society of Skeptics: Mike Vacarro

Title: Mike Vacarro, lead sports columnist for The New York Post
Topic: Recent Issues in Sports

Society of Skeptics: Sergio Troncoso

Title: Sergio Troncoso, author & professor, Yale Writers' Workshop
Topic: The Immigrant Outsider

Society of Skeptics: Donovin Darius

Title: Donovin Darius, 10-year National Football League player for the Jacksonville Jaguars & founder of the Donovin Darius Foundation

Topic: Working with At-Risk Youth & Underserved Communities

Society of Skeptics: Speaker TBD

Title: Speaker TBD
Topic: TBD

Society of Skeptics: Speaker TBD

Title: Speaker TBD
Topic: TBD

Society of Skeptics: Max Fergus

Title: Max Fergus, founder & CEO of the music streaming app LUM
Topic: On Entrepreneurship & Its Challenges

Society of Skeptics: Peter Mandaville '90

Title: Peter Mandaville '90, George Mason University professor of government & former U.S. State Department senior advisor on Middle East
Topic: Middle East in Crisis

Society of Skeptics: Mariela Shaker

Title: Violinist & Syrian refugee Mariela Shaker
Topic: Life in Aleppo and as a Refugee