Cyrus a magazine for alumni and friends of The Blake School
Northrop on Parade Celebrating 100 years at 511 Kenwood
Cassidy Blackwell â€™02 and the power of natural beauty
Veteran Nick Swaggert â€™99 crosses cultural lines
FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
Cyrus a magazine for alumni and friends of The Blake School Editor Kristin Stouffer Managing Editor Tracy Grimm Graphic Designer Cate Hubbard Contributing Writers Erin Peterson Marie Staffanson Thanks to the many Blake community members who have contributed to this publication. Our Mission The Blake School provides students with an excellent, academically challenging education in a diverse and supportive community committed to a common set of values. Students are expected to participate in an integrated program of academic, artistic and athletic activities in preparation for college, lifelong learning, community service and lives as responsible world citizens. Our Core Values Respect Love of Learning Integrity Courage Commitment to Pluralism The Blake School Administrative Offices 110 Blake Road South Hopkins, MN 55343 952-988-3430
Forging Futures When I talk with Blake alumni both near and far, I am struck by how often they tell me about their work in a career or professional field that did not exist when they were students at Blake. Technology, scientific research, entrepreneurship and innovation have created professional paths we could not imagine even a decade ago. The pages ahead tell the stories of bold alumni in the vanguard of a burgeoning field. We cannot imagine what new opportunities lie ahead for our current students. We can foster in them, however, the habits of mind and heart that will help them thrive in their professional and personal lives. This is where Blake’s mission, core values and commitment to pluralism come into play. Respect, love of learning, integrity and courage — these attributes, among others, are at the core of teaching and learning at Blake. While we are thoughtful about preparing our students for their lives beyond Blake, we also care deeply about the institution that shapes their formative years. Excellence Accelerated: The Campaign for Blake represents one of our school’s most ambitious endeavors. In the special magazine insert, you will read about how early support for the campaign has made a difference in our students’ educational lives. You will learn, too, how you can become a part of this vital work. As always, I encourage you to keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Drop us a greeting, story idea or class note at email@example.com.
Why Cyrus? Cyrus Northrop played a formative role in one of Blake's founding institutions. In 1915, Northrop Collegiate School was named in his honor to recognize Dr. Northrop’s achievements as a nationally regarded educator and as president of the University of Minnesota. His legacy of educational excellence continues at Blake today.
Anne E. Stavney, Ph.D. Head of School The Blake School
CONTENTS Winter 2017
A WOKEN BEAUTY
Cassidy Blackwell ’02 finds herself at the center of a movement for people of color reclaiming their natural roots. PAGE 6
Northrop @ 100
In Brief 2
See how the school’s oldest building has evolved over the past century.
Cover Story 6
Better Futures Nick Swaggert ’99 combines his military background and business experience to help give former felons and other at-risk men a second chance. PAGE 18
In Photos 12 In Print & Production 20 Class Notes 21 Voices 29
IN BRIEF ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT
FACES ON CAMPUS
FACES ON CAMPUS
FOCUS ON GENDER IDENTITY
Photograph by John Noltner, courtesy IRG
Jennifer Bryan works with school communities nationwide to help navigate the emotionally charged issue of gender identity from a place of dignity and respect. The psychologist and author of “From the DressUp Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools” spent time with Blake employees and families this fall, when Blake co-hosted a community event with the Edina Parent Network with Bryan as the keynote speaker.
TRACKS IN THE SNOW Tracks in the Snow: The Minnesota Muslim Experience since 1880 tells the stories of 25 Muslims in Minnesota, providing insights into each individual’s experience. Blake’s Martha Bennett Gallery recently hosted the traveling exhibit, which was developed by the Islamic Resource Group to inspire dialogue among people of all faiths, spiritualities and backgrounds. The exhibit, made up of photos 2 Cyrus
and oral histories, delves into the diversity of Muslim experiences and works to counteract misperceptions and stereotypes at a time when hate crimes are on the rise and the place of Muslims in American society is debated in the political arena.
AND THE AWARDS GO TO … ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT
SOFTWARE DESIGNERS CREATE A MONSTER Visitors to the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis can witness Frankenstein and his creator, Mary Shelley, come alive. Mary and Her Monster features interactive experiences about Shelley’s life and career and serves as a companion to the museum’s popular Frankenstein’s Laboratory exhibit. Upper School students in Sean Hickey’s software design class teamed up with the Bakken to create one of the activities, a touch screen personality quiz (“Which Mary Are You?”), which will be part of the display for several years. Watch a Life at Blake video about the project at blake.mn/ BlakeSoftware.
It’s been an award-winning season for Blake faculty members. Upper School English teacher Michael Bazzett was one of 37 writers — selected from more than 1,800 eligible applicants — to receive a 2017 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Bazzett is author of the poetry collections “Our Lands Are Not So Different” and “The Interrogation” as well as “The Popul Vuh,” the first English verse translation of the Mayan creation epic. Upper School English teacher and student newspaper advisor Anna Reid was named the 2016 Minnesota Journalism Educator of the Year. The award is presented annually by the Minnesota High School Press Association to recognize the contributions of a high school or middle school journalism educator. Reid was nominated by former Spectrum editor Maxine Whitely ’16. Second grade teacher Kamie Page and her father, Alan Page (pictured above), received a gold medal in the 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for their second book, “The Invisible You.” The awards recognize the year’s best children’s books and recipients are chosen by a panel of book reviewers, librarians, teachers and students.
CREATIVE UNDERSTANDING FRIENDLY INVOLVED CHILL LOYAL ORIGINAL
PASSIONATE GENEROUS HAPPY
CREATIVE ENERGETIC NEATO KIND
FUNNY CARING SUPPORTIVE
FACES ON CAMPUS
A FUTURE IN POLITICS “How you think about the world now is going to largely redefine our future,” Hamline University political science professor David Schultz told students at an Upper School symposium about the effects of generational politics. During classroom discussions, students considered the historic events that have influenced them and how they think their generation will affect American politics in the next 15 to 25 years.
HUMOROUS UNIQUE LAID BACK
Mouths agape, Blake Lower School students watched on as three world-ranked “cubers”
Early in the school year, Blake’s ninth graders discussed the importance of building strong relationships with their teachers and deans. Students were asked to consider a great teacher they’ve had and to share the defining characteristics of that teacher on a white board displayed in the Upper School’s Carlson Commons. Faculty member Scott Flemming says, “Reading the list reminded me of the words of Maya Angelou: ‘At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’”
FACES ON CAMPUS
NASA’S TWIN ASTRONAUTS ORBIT HIGHCROFT GOING BEYOND THE BOX
WORLD-CLASS CUBERS PUZZLED NO MORE
THE WORD ON GREAT TEACHERS
solved scrambled puzzles in record time — sometimes doing so blindfolded, onehanded or with their feet. Although cubing has become competitive worldwide, many cubers promote self-competition and look to each other for tips as puzzle solvers.
FACES ON CAMPUS
Where some see a cardboard box, others find rocket ships, arcade games and entire cities. Inspired by the Imagination Foundation’s annual Global Cardboard Challenge, Highcroft kindergartners relied on problem-solving, dramatic play, negotiation, collaboration and sheer imagination to create their own cardboard projects.
Twin brothers and retired NASA astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly took part in a groundbreaking study on the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body. Scott spent 342 days in space. Upon his return, NASA compared his body to that of his Earth-bound identical twin. In town for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation gala, the brothers stopped by Bancroft Elementary, and Highcroft’s Tech Tank Club — a technology-focused program made up of third through fifth grade girls — was invited to hear the Kellys talk. Two Highcroft fifth graders were also invited to the gala, where they shared their robotics projects alongside displays from tech companies such as Medtronic and Boston Scientific. Winter 2017 3
FINDING HOME ABROAD On August 19, 1991, Maite Esteve’s plane touched down in Minneapolis where Don and Colleen Linke and their children, Adam ’93 and Sam ’94, anxiously awaited her arrival from Catalonia, Spain. The
15-year-old international student and her host family would never be the same. More than
25 years have passed since Esteve and the Linkes first met. Technology and social media have made communication easier, but time and distance never compromised the lifelong bond they forged. Each considers the other family. Esteve’s 10-year-old daughter traveled on her own to spend this past summer with Don and Colleen. Read more about this global friendship at blake.mn/abroadatblake.
the ball carrier is ruled down when a bar is ripped off. The design encourages players to use proper tackling techniques, without the high risk of injury. In the Bears’ first season, the team went 8-0 in league play. Interest and participation grew each week, with 12 players at the start of the season and 18 by the end.
SPRINT TO CITE SOLEIL
One of the poorest cities in the world, Haiti’s Cite Soleil isn’t an obvious travel destination. But for Sam Shapiro ’18, a strong personal connection compelled him to visit: his brother. Four years ago Shapiro’s family adopted a 15-yearold boy from Cite Soleil. Wanting to understand more about his new brother, Shapiro made the trip to his hometown in 2015. Before leaving, he started a fundraiser to sponsor kids in the area, raising more than $6,000 and collecting clothes, shoes and soccer equipment to distribute. During the visit, Shapiro saw firsthand the desperate need and the opportunities for change. Passing an empty, run-down basketball court, he envisioned children playing basketball with adults serving as coaches and mentors. Inspired, Shapiro returned home where he shared his experience with fellow classmate Jack Moe. With the help of family and friends, the boys formed Sprint to Cite Soleil, which this summer became an approved 501c3 nonprofit organization. The program provides water during practice, and four local women were hired to cook homemade meals for the kids. In addition, Sprint to Cite Soleil has rebuilt a basketball court that is available to everyone in the community.
A drop in football participation led the Independent Metro Athletic Conference (IMAC), of which Blake is a part, to consider ways to limit the risks posed by traditional tackle football. Enter Fusion football, a modified form of the game that emphasizes fundamentals and puts the brakes on tackling. IMAC schools have eliminated tackle football before the varsity level with fifth and sixth graders playing flag football. Seventh and eighth graders participate in Fusion, in which players wear a three-bar harness (two in back and one in front), and
ALL HAIL CAESAR! Students in Ancient World, Readings in Roman History and Advanced Classics reenacted the senate in the days following Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 B.C. The role-playing activity draws from the “Reacting to the Past” curriculum in which students take on the personas of Gandhi, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other historical figures.
WHAT Radio “Tucked neatly between the Call O’ Pan closet and the A.V. room, lies the ham radio club. Membership is high, the power is low and dues remain delinquent. What future lies ahead?” —1973 Call O’Pan yearbook In the mid-1970s, Upper School students could turn their dials to 600 AM and catch WHAT Radio, a station run by and for Blake students. Broadcast from a nook in the school’s subbasement, the short-lived project peaked in 1974–75, its first full season on air. Throughout the school day, student announcers worked shifts of one to two class periods, playing progressive rock/jazz and also featuring experimental theater, live concerts, news and segments like “Crawdaddy Radio Review,” “Science Fiction Theater” and “Malignant Creativity Minutes.” The club began in 1972 with the donation of a ham radio transmitter and receiver. With the school’s help the group went on to purchase turntables, a control board, reel-to-reel tape and other equipment that allowed WHAT to extend its on-campus reach. The 25-member staff worked to keep the air waves open by fundraising and encouraging student and faculty participation. But in 1978 the club disbanded and would not reorganize. An editorial in the Upper School Spectrum cited lack of student interest for the program’s demise and lamented, “In closing WHAT, Blake has lost part of its uniqueness in giving its students the chance to participate in an activity that they enjoyed.” Winter 2017 5
Recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People of 2016, Cassidy Blackwell ’02 has shaped brand marketing at Walker and Company, a health and beauty products startup for people of color. Whether she’s producing videos, copywriting or designing multifaceted campaign strategies, at the heart of Blackwell’s impressive trajectory is effective, relevant and beautiful storytelling.
A WOKEN BEAUTY CASSIDY BLACKWELL ’02
Written by Stephen Satterfield Illustrated by Owen Davey
Winter 2017 7
assidy Blackwell has returned home to San Francisco from India. She’s just days removed from the bustling streets of Delhi, the deserts of Rajasthan and the villages of the Himalayas, punctuated by a 20-plus-hour voyage home, but is showing no signs of jet lag or fatigue. We meet for an interview in a stylish restaurant in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. She’s alone and at ease with an enlightened posture that is enviable but authentic. Her crochet faux locs sit atop her head like a crown. They are unfurled in regal fashion past her shoulders, where they rest on a florid and fluffy pale pink coat. It’s fun, but elegant — very much like Blackwell herself. This is what returning from vacation should look like. During our conversation, she imparts newfound epiphanies from her recent travels. These lessons are woven effortlessly between a forthright evaluation of her last 30 months, a period in which she has under-
gone a colossal transformation in her career and in herself.
A PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT In 2014, Blackwell was at a crossroads. Her work as social media manager at Stitch Fix, a web-based fashion startup for customized clothes shopping founded by fellow Blake alumna Katrina Lake ’01, had been gratifying. But as the company grew, so too did her uncertainty that she was in the best place suited to her personal and professional interests. Blackwell decided to discover what was separating her from the fulfillment she was in search of. Blackwell’s first truly gratifying creative experience began in 2009, the year she started her hair blog, Natural Selection. Cultivating and producing content geared toward women of color who wanted to explore their natural hair roots, the blog represented a progressive response to the generations of Eurocentric beauty standards. “I was at the epicenter of building a movement,” she says. Influencers in the natural hair and beauty industry were
still new and not well known, but they were responding to a very real and longstanding issue for women of color. Hair straightening through the use of chemical relaxers and heat was still the norm, and wearing one’s hair in its natural state was viewed as inappropriate for certain workplaces and industries. The natural hair movement was largely a rejection of this social configuration. The blissful adoption of natural, coiled, Afro-textured hair became a depiction of pride, and Blackwell became a key protagonist in spreading the message of the movement. Readers of Natural Selection needed and appreciated Blackwell’s content as much as she enjoyed producing it. “When I started blogging, there was very little in terms of education and products available, but I built my site as a way of educating myself and others about what was available,” Blackwell says. “Then something really cool happened: people started reading. Brands started paying attention. Our community kept growing. The more I put myself
out there, the more momentum the movement gained.” In just a few years, she saw readership rise to 100,000 monthly views. One shy, 14-year-old reader reached out to Blackwell when she didn’t feel supported by her family and friends in her decision to transition to wearing her natural hair. For several years, Blackwell took on the role of mentoring the young girl, even bringing in a beauty brand to sponsor the story of her hair transition over time. Blackwell witnessed the once uncertain teenager blossom into a self-assured and confident young woman. “So much of blogging is a one-way conversation, but taking on this relationship with Stephanie allowed me to develop something more tangible, more meaningful,” Blackwell explains. “I even had the opportunity to take her out for ice cream in her hometown of Brooklyn, and by that point she was a thriving naturalista. It was awesome to see her so empowered and confident in herself.” This experience stayed with Blackwell, who remained
“I AM ALL ABOUT SERVING PEOPLE THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO FEEL CONFIDENT IN THEMSELVES.”
focused on the power of encouraging someone to be their authentic self. Soon after, she realized she wanted to parlay these experiences into a fulltime career in the world of hair.
natural health and beauty care products for people of color. Walker and Company’s mission was a draw for Blackwell. So was the fact that it was
their best and authentic selves.” It was Lake of Stitch Fix who made the introduction to Walker for Blackwell, and the two hit it off instantly. “I knew
A NATURAL SELECTION Listen to the universe and follow your heart. This is advice Blackwell subscribed to her entire life and advice that to her came naturally. Blackwell had an idea to start her own company, and a desire to hone the mechanics of entrepreneurship led her to consider business school. But practically speaking, the next steps were less clear. She began waking up at 4:30 a.m. each day to study for the GMAT, the standardized test that is often a prerequisite for business school. But the experience proved to be one of disillusionment rather than clarity. In the midst of this realization, Blackwell had read an article in the New York Times featuring Tristan Walker, a young, black CEO and founder of Walker and Company, a startup dedicated to providing
Cassidy Blackwell ’02
a formidable new business, having raised $24 million from venture capitalists and celebrity investors including Magic Johnson, Nas and John Legend, among others. “Tristan’s vision was to make health and beauty simple for people of color,” Blackwell says. “That was directly aligned with my work up until that point, helping women of color be
from the moment I met her, I wanted her on my team,” says Walker. Each of them wanted their work to empower; they both felt they were on the precipice of something bigger; and in the other, they recognized how they could be propelled to their ultimate goals. “Tristan convinced me to come to the company, but the company’s greatest need was in
customer success, a role I had never done before nor had any interest in doing,” Blackwell says. But she accepted a job in customer service, knowing that she would move up when there was opportunity. “It was an incredibly valuable six months,” she says. Blackwell thrived in her new role and never complained. Walker recognized her empathy to guests’ needs, and she soon began to seamlessly transition into another role more aligned with her marketing and communications experience. “The brand marketing lead position opened up, and I actually helped vet a few replacements,” Blackwell says. “Then I realized that my background made me a perfect candidate. So I did something very scary: I spoke up and advocated for myself. It worked out.” Together with a team of writers, photographers and videographers, Blackwell started telling the Walker and Company story via the company’s flagship product line, Bevel, the first and only end-to-end shaving system for men with Winter 2017 9
“THEN I REALIZED THAT MY BACKGROUND MADE ME A PERFECT CANDIDATE. SO I DID SOMETHING VERY SCARY: I SPOKE UP AND ADVOCATED FOR MYSELF.”
coarse and curly hair. Her creative chops were on full display in the launch video of the Bevel Trimmer featuring rapper Nas. The video was viewed 100 million times in less than a month. At the heart of Blackwell’s work is an authenticity that resonates with her audience. True stories, well told have helped Walker and Company
build trust with its consumers, particularly with African-American men, who have historically struggled to find razors that work for their hair and skin. As brand marketing lead, Blackwell creates the messaging and, in doing so, is changing the way people of color experience health and beauty care. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Walker recalls arriving in New Orleans for Essence Magazine’s annual three-day festival, where Walker and Company was debuting Bevel. “She put Bevel in the center of all of it,” Walker says of Blackwell. He remembers being stopped and thanked for creating such an incredible experience when he arrived at the festival. “I thought, ‘I haven’t
done anything to contribute to our presence at this event.’” Blackwell was behind the magic of Bevel’s festival debut and ensured that other people recognized and powerfully experienced the brand before Walker even touched down — a founder and CEO’s dream. For Blackwell the dream is this: “I always come back to the
“WHEN I STARTED MY CAREER, WE TALKED ABOUT IT AS A MOVEMENT AND NOW, EIGHT YEARS LATER, IT'S NO LONGER A MOVEMENT — IT'S A LIFESTYLE CHOICE, A WAY OF BEING, THAT IS HERE TO STAY.”
fact that my current career is my career. That is an accomplishment in and of itself.” She does not let it escape her that when she was a child this field didn’t exist. “When I was a student at Blake, ‘beauty blogger’ or ‘creating beauty products for people of color’ were not options that existed,” she says. “When I started my career, we talked about it as a movement and now, eight years later, it’s no longer a movement — it’s a lifestyle choice, a way of being, that is here to stay.”
A TRANSFORMATIVE TIME Much has been said about the transformation of the “traditional” jobs and careers of the U.S. worker. Technology has shrunk the world, creating opportunities for powerful messages and ideas to spread broadly. The era of a workplace that sees you enter as a young person and exit as an elder is, for the most part, no more. In its place are stories like Blackwell’s — an endlessly inspiring creative person with the tools and talent to spread ideas that change lives and change the
world. The amplified assuredness of her voice has allowed Blackwell’s words and values to be articulated by those who may not be able to find their words as easily. In the summer of 2015, Blackwell endured a massively transformative experience with the sudden and unexpected passing of a close friend. In her last conversation with him, he shared with her the ways in which his yoga practice had profoundly changed him. She began her own practice and in it began to focus on her goals. One of the first changes she made was to take care of herself. She’d always been active but, earlier in life, had struggled with disordered eating. She knew that taking better care of herself didn’t mean being thinner. Says Blackwell, “It meant being more fit, making sure the muscles work.” Between the three-hour daily commute from her home in San Francisco to work in Palo Alto, plus a robust meeting and travel schedule, getting fit wasn’t just about health; it was about improving her perfor-
mance in all aspects of work. As Blackwell says, “Energy is never lost. It is only transferred. That energy has to go somewhere.” That energy has gone somewhere; it’s gone directly to her continual ascent as an independent woman, a former entrepreneur and now marketing director. She is comfortable in her own skin, and the rest of us are fortunate to live through her liberation. So comfortable in her own skin, in fact, that depicted on her left forearm is a tattoo of an Airbus A380 — the models she’d seen being built in her senior year abroad in Toulouse, France. It reminds her of a moment in life, perhaps the first, when she’d taken a leap of faith and had been rewarded. In this instance, the spoils were new languages (she’s fluent in three) and an emboldening lust for travel, which she’s maintained since the formative journey. Blackwell is still on a journey. Her humility and earnest vigor in her pursuits have been disarming, subsequently bringing people from all corners of her life and beyond looking for
advice and affirmation in their own journeys. She’s fueled from this feedback, and everyone who encounters her is the beneficiary of the well-crafted, intentional life of Cassidy Blackwell: “I am all about serving people the tools they need to feel confident in themselves.” Stephen Satterfield is an Oakland-based food writer, speaker and digital media producer. You can find him at @isawstephen or @whetstonemagazine. Writer Lauren Ash also contributed to this story.
Blackwell’s mother, Lea Favor, and grandfather, George Blackwell, discuss Cassidy’s formative years in a Cyrus extra. Visit blake.mn/ BlackwellCyrusExtra.
Winter 2017 11
NORTHROP @ 100 IN PHOTOS
A CENTURY LATER, THE SCHOOL WITHIN THE CITYâ€™S HEART STILL THRIVES.
Photos by Murphy Byrne
3 (Photo 1) Students study in the Northrop Alumnae Room. Part of the original building, this space previously served as the library and later as a study hall. (Photo 2) Students gather for assembly in the Juliet Nelson Auditorium. (Photo 3) Murals created by artist Jeremiah Ellison â€™08 fill the hallways of the third floor east wing. (Photo 4) The numbered buttons of the original fire alarm system (no longer in service) correspond to classrooms.
117 (Photo 5) Students react to a class performance in the black box Cedric Adams Theater, located in the buildingâ€™s basement. (Photo 6) Expansive windows line spacious rooms throughout the arts wing, an addition made possible during Blakeâ€™s Centennial Campaign. (Photo 7) The gargoyles located at the top of the central tower are original to the building. Though their exact meaning is unknown, they are thought to symbolize learning.
Winter 2017 15
10 (Photo 8) A birdâ€™s-eye view of the Philip Otis Courtyard offers sight to the Minneapolis skyline. (Photo 9) Science classrooms feature elements of the past throughout the recently renovated wing, now the Ankeny Center for Science, Design and Research. (Photo 10) The Cyrus Northrop Lounge, also known as the senior lounge, affords a cozy space for students to study and socialize. (Photo 11) Paneling in the small dining room pays tribute to Elizabeth Carse, Northrop Collegiate School principal from 1915 to 1933.
16 (Photo 12) A Blake bear visits the schoolâ€™s archives, where historical artifacts are tracked and cataloged. (Photo 13) Between the stacks in the Donald Dayton Library. (Photo 14) In 2004, Blake became the first high school in the nation to house its own Foucault Pendulum when it was installed in the school's west wing. (Photo 15) The central stairwell is original to the building but was reconfigured in 1985. (Photo 16) Moon over Northrop.
Winter 2017 17
MARINE VETERAN NICK SWAGGERT ’99 LEVERAGES HIS MILITARY AND BUSINESS EXPERIENCE TO HELP MINNESOTA’S AT-RISK MEN.
Photograph by Elizabeth Flores. Copyright 2016, Star Tribune.
As vice president of business development for Better Futures Minnesota — a social enterprise nonprofit that employs men with histories of incarceration, substance abuse, chronic unemployment and homelessness — Swaggert has found a role that fulfills his interest in business and his desire to give back.
“I THINK ONE THING THAT SEPARATES A VETERAN FROM A NON-VETERAN IS A WORLDLY EXPERIENCE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO INTERACT WITH DIFFERENT GROUPS OF PEOPLE.”
Question: What is Better Futures Minnesota and how do you contribute to its mission? Answer: Our organization tears houses down and resells the materials. The labor is supplied by hard-to-employ men, 70 percent of whom are past felons. We provide housing, food and transportation to and from work and pay them $10 to $18 an hour. The money raised supports the mission and allows us to develop new programs as well as give the men pay raises. I was brought in to help drive business revenue. Q: How did you come to work with Better Futures Minnesota? A: The board chair, who is a veteran, told the CEO he needed to hire a military person — someone with cross-cultural experience, who understands PTSD and knows what it’s like to lead and motivate people. They also needed someone with a business background, which I bring from my previous jobs. They reached out to me, and I thought it seemed interesting.
Q: How do you see your military experience informing your current work? A: I think one thing that separates a veteran from a nonveteran is a worldly experience that allows you to interact with different groups of people. I’ve lived in five countries overseas. When I was in Iraq walking the streets, I looked like a stormtrooper with 150 pounds of armor, a machine gun and hand grenades, but I would make eye contact and stop to talk with people. I learned the power of a smile; it’s just so disarming and humanizing. I think that’s true with the guys I’m working with now, and these are some pretty intimidating-looking people. They just haven’t been smiled at a lot. I walk up to them and pat them on the back or put my arm around them or give them a fist bump, and they see “this guy’s not so bad.” Being able to use that lesson in my daily business life is really helpful. Q: Do you see parallels between the military community and those you work with now? A: There are a lot of parallels
between the Department of Defense and the Institution of Corrections. The formal way you speak to people, the way you walk, the way you talk is very similar. There are a lot of Marines who joke that the Marine Corps is like prison. I’ve had instant rapport with the men we work with because of this. Veterans and ex-convicts are also similar in that as they start to separate from their group — those who have had similar experiences — that’s when problems with drugs, alcohol and finances start. It’s a downward spiral. That’s true for both populations. Q: You have spent several years working to place veterans in jobs. Do you continue to devote time to this cause? A: I still want to mentor and develop veterans, but instead of preaching I want to be doing. In my new role I’m always looking to hire people, and I want to hire veterans myself instead of trying to convince other people to do it. I believe the best thing I can do is to be a military veteran and continue to show
success as part of that persona. A lot of veterans come back and their time in the service is just a gap in their resume. They don’t engage in the network, and they don’t promote being a veteran and all the skills they’ve gained from that. Q: You’ve referred to yourself as “a mix of typical businessman and social do-gooder.” How does your career reflect this? A: For me, success is seeing other people succeed when they didn’t think they could. Maybe that’s the tie-in with this job and my previous jobs. A few weeks ago, I was working with a crew to remove a 350-pound sink from a house. The crew didn’t think we could get it out, but I said, “Hey, if we work together we can get this out.” We got it out, and there was a gratification in working with each other to accomplish something they didn’t think possible. Those things build on each other. Do you know Blake alumni who are doing interesting work? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Winter 2017 19
ALICE KAPLAN ’72
Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic (University of Chicago Press)
This quasi biography of Albert Camus’s 1942 novel “L’Étranger” seeks to strip away the book’s fame to see it as it was when it left Camus’s desk. Returning to the source, Kaplan presents an intimate narrative of Camus’s life in Algiers and Paris in the ’30s and ’40s. She offers various interpretations of the victim of the book’s famously motiveless murder (an Arab shot by a European), which are compelling, if inconclusive. Paraphrasing Sartre, she writes that Camus’s work is a reminder that “a novel could exist with nothing to prove.”
JIM CORNELIUS ’77
Under Lincoln’s Hat: 100 Objects That Tell the Story of His Life and Legacy (Lyons Press)
What is the oldest artifact linked to Abraham Lincoln? What does a poem written when he was just a schoolboy say about his character? Taking its cue from “The History of the World in 100 Objects,” the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum have selected 100 items from their extensive and rare collection that will give readers an intimate glimpse into the turning points of Lincoln’s life and presidency. From a page taken from his sum book, to the gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, these objects reveal a sense of the man and his times in a fresh and immediate way.
DOUGLAS SMITH ’81
Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite our popular imagination as the personification of evil. Prizewinning historian Douglas Smith combines probing scholarship and powerful storytelling to separate fact from fiction and reveal the real life of one of history's most alluring figures. Drawing on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries, Smith presents Rasputin in all his complexity. “Rasputin” is not just a definitive biography of an extraordinary and legendary man but a fascinating portrait of the twilight of imperial Russia as it lurched toward catastrophe. SCOTT MORROW JOHNSON ’88
Phog: The Most Influential Man in Basketball (University of Nebraska Press)
Remembered in name but underappreciated in legacy, Forrest “Phog” Allen arguably influenced the game of basketball more than anyone else. In the first half of the twentieth century, Allen took basketball from a gentlemanly, indoor recreation to a competitive game that would become a worldwide sport. Johnson reveals Allen as master recruiter, transformative coach and visionary basketball mind. “Phog” chronicles this complex life, telling for the first time the full story of the man whose name is synonymous with Kansas basketball and with the game itself.
Alumni are encouraged to inform Blake of their publications, recordings, films, etc., and, when possible, to send copies of books and articles. Contact us at email@example.com.
S.R. Maxeiner Jr. ’41 The Transplant Web (BluewaterPress) A gripping story about human organ transplants as they come into possibility in 1985. The novel is also a love story of young professionals who find themselves suddenly in the crosshairs of a whole new surgical world.
David Downie ’79 Global Environmental Politics, 7th Edition (Westview Press) The new edition of “Global Environmental Politics” covers critical new developments in the field. Through case studies on key issues such as climate change, toxic chemicals and biodiversity loss, the authors detail the development of major environmental regimes.
Annie Sundberg ’86 Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing (HBO) Drawing from home videos, news clips and exclusive interviews, this vivid film follows Boston Marathon attack survivors as they face the challenges of emotional and physical recovery and strive to reclaim their lives and communities.
CLASS NOTES Class notes and photos received after November 2016 will appear in the next issue of Cyrus. Notes are provided by alumni or their friends and family, and some have been edited for length and style.
S.R. Maxeiner Jr. (See In Print & Production)
Pete Rogers reports he has two great-granddaughters, Autumn (4) and Colette (2). He retired from financial planning 23 years ago, and currently lives in a townhouse just north of Wayzata. He writes, “Anyone who has reached the age at which those of us in the class of 1950 have achieved, will agree that our creative juices are flowing at all times … In fact, just doing things we did 20 years ago without any real thought at all requires all the creativity of which I’m capable. When someone asks my age, I take a page from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, ‘I’m four score and five.’ Or, ‘I’ll be 90’ (long pause as though mentally calculating the days) ‘in five years.’”
Sam Marfield writes, “I have been married to the love of my life for 47 years. I am an 82-year-old retired real estate developer. We live in Naples, Florida, in a golf community. We are healthy and good for another 10 years.”
Jane McCaull Archibald has three grown children — Laura, Ellen and Tim — and four grandchildren — Abbey, Jack, Ella and Johnny. “They are a blessing,” she writes. Bob Fliegel reports, “Although I’ve lived in St. Augustine, Florida, for the last 25 years, I had never felt the threat of a major hurricane until Matthew struck the ‘first coast’ of our state with a Category 3 vengeance, wreaking major havoc from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach. Like about half of the county’s residents, I fled west to higher ground in Tallahassee, returning three days later to find my home unscathed and power lost for only a day. Although my neighborhood dodged the bullet, houses and businesses in the city’s historic district on the bayfront 10 miles to the north weren't as lucky and were ravaged by flooding from the storm surge. The ever-present threat of tropical storms notwithstanding, I do love living here in the nation’s oldest city.”
Carolyn Light Bell continues to publish short stories. Her most recent work appeared in the
September 2016 MENSA fiction bulletin. “No Air” features five characters who react to a teacher’s defiance against a windowless high school. It can be read in its entirety on her website www.onelightsource.net.
Lindsay Arthur enjoyed this fall’s reunion, which included a small but distinguished group of 1961 classmates: Sam Cote, David Kittams, Jim Lindsay and Sandy Pfunder. He writes, “Last fall I retired from the law firm I founded, and I now have ample time to pursue the many interests I have neglected until now: woodworking, photography, gardening, golf and a large amount of quality time with Kathy. I also started teaching two courses on creative writing through the Wayzata, Minnetonka and Hopkins community education programs. All of my students are working on writing novels, short stories or memoirs, and I thoroughly enjoy this interesting and challenging assignment.” Charles Meech reports that his Madeline Island School of the Arts (MISA) wrapped up another season as one of the country’s top-rated art and craft schools. Teachers
and students rank the school first in plein air painting, second in quilting workshops and third in nature photography, with memoir and journalism workshops not far behind. MISA operates five-day workshops from June through mid-October. He writes, “Of course the ferry ride to the island makes our location unique. Earlier this year we extended our operating season into March by renting space at Sam Cote’s amazing Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson.”
Ken Willcox was re-elected to a third four-year term as mayor of the City of Wayzata. Stanley Rehm writes, “After too many years of being continuously on call for emergencies and tragedies in intensive care units, I am now retired to a pleasant and refreshingly unexciting life in Madison, Wisconsin. My wife, Leslie, and I followed the ‘no children, early retirement’ plan that in recent years has allowed us to pursue a variety of hobbies and interests that had to be placed on hold for decades. For the past eight years I have been maintaining a blog (“Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently” Winter 2017 21
ANN bASKERVILLE PETERSON ’59 SPENDS EVERY WEDNESDAY WITH HER 3-YEAR-OLD GRANDDAUGHTER, KELSEY.
CLASSMATES ANNE RIDER ’69 (AT LEFT) AND MARY LOWRY CLARK ’69 REMAIN bETSY HEFFELFINGER ’66 WITH HER PARTNER, RICHARD, AND THE bEST OF FRIENDS. CHILDREN, MEGAN AND DUNCAN, THEIR PARTNERS, NATHANAEL AND SHEILA, AND GRANDSON, LUCIUS
Feeding the Need Cathy Countryman Maes '85 (at far left) with volunteers
Cathy Countryman Maes ’85 knows the nearly 10,000 meals served weekly at the 24 Loaves and Fishes dining sites in Minnesota provide a constant for guests whose lives are often filled with inconsistency. Driven by the stories and needs of visitors who are experiencing challenging life situations, Maes is inspired to keep finding new ways to provide them with nutritious meals. In 2016, the nonprofit served more than 500,000 meals, a number that has increased by more than 65 percent since she joined the organization in 2013 as its executive director. Guided by the vision that all people — regardless of socio-economic, cultural, racial or ethnic background — deserve food, dignity and respect, Loaves and Fishes operates on the premise that self-esteem and empowerment can move individuals to independence. Maes works alongside more than 3,000 businesses, community and congregation partners and a growing number of volunteers that surpass 10,000,
to provide hope where poverty presents itself. Beyond meals, Loaves and Fishes connects guests to local organizations that assist with medical, housing and clothing resources. “There are so many people in Minnesota who are still suffocating [ financially] from the 2008 recession,” says Maes. “Together we can make a difference.” Maes says that her mother would say that their family has always looked for ways to feed and care for others. It began with her great-grandparents who started a restaurant equipment company and made it their goal to look for ways to feed people in need. Maes followed in these footsteps when she ran an ICA (Intercongregation Communities Association) Food Shelf in the Twin Cities suburbs for five years prior to joining Loaves and Fishes. Her latest work brings together her expertise in food procurement and relationships. “The [Loaves and Fishes] model needed adjustment, strategic vision to grow and the guts to say that we have to feed those in need,” says Maes. “Every real story from our guests helps me figure out how to make it happen.” Learn more at loavesandfishesmn.org.
JIM MACGREGOR ’71, RUSS HILLIARD, bEN SHERMAN ’71 AND TOM MEYERS ’71
or “TYWKIWDBI”) that now has about 14,000 entries and over 20 million pageviews. I don't get back to Minneapolis except for the annual Greater Blake Open golf event, but I welcome visitors here in Madison. If I owe you a beer, please stop by when you pass through town and you can buy me another one.”
agree that grandchildren are a great reason for living and a proud legacy.”
Tom Holzer has been on medical leave for the past few years and reached formal retirement in February 2016. He lives in a skilled nursing facility in St. Paul. He turned 70 in November and credits his longevity to the influences of Coaches Glenn, Wonson, Van Santvoord and West. Tom writes, “My days include playing bridge online with partners from around the world and managing other online interests. I became a political junkie during the election. I switch between CNN (for a more balanced view), MSNBC (so I can talk to my more liberal friends) and FNC (so I can talk to my more conservative friends). It was truly an amazing election. I have kept my Wild season tickets since day one and attend as many games as I can … My grandson is 12 and started middle school in Plymouth this year. I am sure we can all
Cynthia Clifford Mason writes that her mother, Donna Clifford, died in September at age 100. Cynthia and all of her siblings attended Blake or Northrop: Fred ’61, Barbara ’63, Susan ’68 and Kathleen ’73. Betsy Heffelfinger lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with her partner, Richard. She has been a Chinese medicine practitioner since 1998 (www. halifaxacupuncture.com). She writes, “I am blessed with two wonderful grown children, Megan and Duncan. Megan lives with her partner, Nathanael, in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She works for Shambhala Mountain Center. Duncan is in Brooklyn, New York, and has a film company called allexpanded. com. He also has a baby boy with his partner, Sheila. My grandson, Lucius, turned 2 in December and he is a doll!”
Anne Rider stepped down as chair of her town government in Guilford, Vermont, leaving her more time to hike (Peru, Glacier and Rocky Mountain Park), play
MUFFY RITZ ’75 HAD A TOTAL SHOULDER REPLACEMENT TO GO ALONG WITH HER NEW KNEE AND HIP. THROUGH IT ALL SHE CONTINUES TO SKI, MOUNTAIN bIKE, HIKE AND bE “A bIT EXTREME.” JULIE ANHALT RICE ’73 CLASS OF 1973 ALUMNI PAUL WALSER, SANDY DONALDSON, bILL MACMILLAN, bOb OWENS, JOHN SAUNDERS, STEVE WYMAN, CLINT MORRISON, GARY NYSTEDT AND CRACKER RITZ
tennis, garden and spend time with large and small children (usually related). She reports, “I spent a wonderful evening with Charlee Bach Parker while at Glacier and almost caught up with Paula Curtin. I’m still very involved with my community and also the AD Henderson Foundation, which funds organizations supporting early childhood education and adult-child mentoring programs in Vermont and Broward County, Florida.”
Marcia McNutt is now a grandmother. Her oldest daughter, Meredith, who is Apple's director of international strategy, gave birth to twins, Dominic and Marcella Scurci, in January 2016. Marcia writes, “I began my new job as president of the National Academy of Sciences in July. One of the highlights to date was representing the U.S. at the 350th anniversary of the founding of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. They closed the Louvre the entire day for the event — amazing to have the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and all of the other grand masters to myself! Finally, crossed something else off my bucket list. As a fundraiser for breast cancer research, in October,
I got the chance to run my horse at Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness. Both my little 2D barrel horse and I had a real thrill running two miles, full throttle.”
Ben Sherman was named the inaugural honoree of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ (SEJ) “Clem” Award, which was established to honor the organization’s non-member volunteers. As director of communications and external affairs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ben helps steer journalists to the appropriate sources and information. In its announcement of the award the SEJ noted, “He does his job in a manner that should serve as a model for other public information officers everywhere.” REUNION
Alice Kaplan (See In Print & Production)
Christopher Meeks publishes an online newsletter, the Maplewoods Mirror. This fall, he was one of six authors to speak during the University of Denver’s homecoming weekend. He also spoke at an event near Santa Barbara,
California, in November. His latest novel, “A Death in Vegas,” is about the president of an organic bug company seemingly framed for a murder. He is working on his next novel, “The Chords of War,” which takes place during the Iraq War.
Julie Anhalt Rice lives in Joshua Tree, California, where she has a private psychotherapy practice with a second office in Palm Springs. She reports, “I divorced my husband, Kevin, in 2008, and my new boyfriend is my Pembroke Welsh corgi, Solo. He’s a little young for me — he’s only seven. I love the subtle beauty of the high desert and live within two miles of the Joshua Tree National Park. I spend my free time with friends, hiking, reading mysteries and painting with watercolor. Life is wonderful, and I would love to hear from old friends.”
Sonya Berlovitz is the recipient of a 2016 McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship. She was the costume designer for the Jungle Theater’s recent production of “The Oldest Boy.”
Muffy Ritz has lived in Ketchum, Idaho, since 1990. She is a nordic ski coach in Sun Valley. In 1996, she started a women’s ski group, the Vamps. She writes, “We’ve had upwards of 140 Vamps in a given season and a group of 12 high-caliber coaches to help me, including Olympians, U.S. Ski teamers and Master’s World Champions. We are now into our 20th year and will culminate it with a trip to the World Masters Championships in Klosters, Switzerland, in March. I’ve been married once and divorced once — from the high to the low! I have two great ex-stepdaughters, Cristalle and Jennifer. Cris lives in Ketchum and Jenn lives in Boston. I have a dog named Petey, a Boxer/Afghan mix, and two roommates in my house. If anyone comes out to ski in Sun Valley, get in touch.”
Andrea Carla Eisenberg Michaels attended almost every 40th reunion activity. She writes, “The unexpected death of loving, sweet, kind classmate Sarah Bowman put an unexpected sadness on an otherwise phenomenal experience. It was a good reminder of the fragility of life and the dearness of seeing those from Winter 2017 23
ERIC bRAUN ’78 KEEPS bUSY PROMOTING HIS COMPANY, 30HANDS STORYTELLER.
SCOTT STRUTHERS ’78 WORKS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE PLIGHT OF THE ELEPHANT AMONG PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
THE WOMEN OF THE CLASS OF 1977 HAD A GATHERING THIS FALL. PICTURED (FRONT ROW, L TO R) SALLY ANKENY REILEY, SARAH FINCH GOULLAUD, SUSAN TENNEY, TRACY PRESCOTT, PAM ARNOLD, CAROLYN COLWELL DAHL, KIM SOREM, KIM bORMAN, (bACK ROW, L TO R) MOLLY SUNDbERG VAN METRE, MELISSA MASKO NEARY, MIMI KEATING, MARY ATWATER JAMES, DANA CROSbY SCHREMPP, bRITT OLSON DOUGALL, KATIE PFLANZE, KIKI IDE, LISA KROGNESS MELAMED, DIANE GERDTS HOVEY, GAIL KANE MILSTEIN AND ANNE bRYANT WIGHT.
Family Additions Ebin Sandler ʼ92 a daughter, Sarah Nechama, March 2016 Jessica Lipschultz ʼ94 a daughter, Sylvie Bea, October 8, 2016 Lindsey Taylor Emery ʼ01 a son, Liam John, August 25, 2016
Marriages Jesse Overton ʼ91 and Kristin Daniels September 30, 2016 Sarah Bretl ʼ98 and Ryan Marthaler August 27, 2016 Christine Brooks ʼ01 and David White February 27, 2016 Emily Hutchinson ʼ01 and Brent Lamm October 29, 2016 Susie Lipinski ʼ05 and Adam Siegel April 24, 2016 Will Peterson ʼ05 and Kaitlin Jamieson September 10, 2016 Adele Broberg ʼ07 and Matthew Bender May 29, 2016 Shaina Rud ʼ10 and Jon Aga August 5, 2016
my past, to help forge bonds that will continue in the present.”
live up to the first word in the job title. His twin daughters are sophomores at Colgate University.
Jim Cornelius (See In Print & Production)
Eric Braun’s company, 30hands Storyteller, surpassed 2 million downloads of its iPad app and will soon create a version for browsers. He writes, “I’ve been busy promoting it through workshops, conferences and webinars. I love this work because it gives me the opportunity to engage with teachers who have great passion and ideas for how to improve school. As a complement to this work, I took a weeklong summer course from the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, on audio storytelling. Michael May from NPR taught the class and helped us create a 4 to 6 minute radio story. My story is on a teacher from Maine who began experimenting with project-based learning. The story will hit Twitter and the blogosphere soon.” Marcus Peacock accepted a position as a distinguished research professor at George Washington University and says he’s trying to
Scott Struthers lives in Southern California with his beloved labradors. He enjoys spending time with his daughter, granddaughter and grandson and is an avid cyclist and boater. He enjoys transforming creative ideas into thriving operations, such as Sonance, the first in-wall hi-fi speaker company, and iPort, a company enabling iPads to control homes. He writes, “I love nature and the organizations that are working to preserve its beauty for future generations. After a safari in Africa with my daughter, my passion was ignited when I learned of the atrocities being committed against wildlife. Currently I am working to raise awareness of the plight of the elephant among people in Southern California. I am establishing a not-for-profit elephant club, going to Africa three times in 2016 to meet with groups and learn what can be done to help. I will continue to support NGOs by hosting dinners in Southern California to help educate people as to what is happening in Africa. In the future, we will arrange educational and working mission trips to Africa.”
David Downie (See In Print & Production)
Chris Lindgren’s real estate firm markets premier and executive properties. He continues to play bluegrass guitar and started playing banjo. His newfound favorite place is Door County, Wisconsin.
Douglas Smith (See In Print & Production)
Jon Foss is celebrating 25 years of marriage with his wife and business partner, Susan (Rothstein) Foss. Jeff Goldenberg writes, “For most of us mediocre high school athletes, time on the bench watching our betters led only to sore butts and the realization of life’s pecking order. Not so for former Blake backup goalie Michael Franciosi. Mike has made sitting on the bench a growing part of his life’s work in Alaska. Appointed a couple of years ago as a court magistrate there, in October, Mike was recommended to the governor as one of three finalists for a state district court
JESSE OVERTON ’91 MARRIED KRISTIN DANIELS ON SEPTEMbER 30, 2016. bLAKE ALUMNI GEORGE PENNOCK ’91, RACHEL OVERTON ’94 AND bRUCE MALKERSON ’66 WERE IN ATTENDANCE.
judgeship in Juneau. This one got past Franciosi, as the governor selected someone else, but I’m confident he’ll get his call up soon. On behalf of all of us former bench riders I say, ‘Congratulations Mike, keep your chin up!’” Tamara Kaiser is the executive producer of Lifetime’s “UnREAL the Auditions,” which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Short Form Series.
86 88 92
Annie Sundberg (See In Print & Production) Scott Johnson (See In Print & Production)
Ebin Sandler and his wife, Yochana Chava, welcomed daughter Sarah Nechama into the world in March 2016. She joins her sisters, Nissel Avigail (4) and Yosefa Bracha (2). The family lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Ebin writes, “Soon after Sarah’s arrival, we received a visit from ‘Bubbie and Zadie,’ Elizabeth Ebin Sandler ’66 and David Sandler ’65. As always,
YOSEFA bRACHA, SARAH NECHAMA AND NISSEL AVIGAIL ARE THE DAUGHTERS OF EbIN SANDLER ’92.
JESSICA LIPSCHULTZ ’94 WELCOMED DAUGHTER SYLVIE ON OCTObER 8, 2016.
we are eager to hear from Blake alumni visiting Israel.”
Ryan MurrayRudegeair writes, “After mostly living in upstate New York since Blake, I am back in Minnesota with my wife, Anni, and my 3-year-old daughter, Mabel. We live in the Hiawatha neighborhood of Minneapolis. I got my undergraduate degree in Russian and Eurasian studies at Bard College and my master’s in information science at SUNY Albany, and I am now a happy stay-at-home dad.” Whitney Shinkle Rider, Cathy Bellafronto and Naomi Zuk-Fisher organized a mini-reunion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whitney writes, “The occasion was a U.S. road trip undertaken by Cathy and her family, who live in Morocco. The presence of seven children under the age of 7 (four of whom were taking full advantage of a playground after a long day in a camper-van!) precluded a full group photo but we did manage to corral the little ones for about 10 seconds. Welcome other Blake travelers!”
CATHY bELLAFRONTO ’95, NAOMI ZUKFISHER ’95 AND WHITNEY SHINKLE RIDER ’95 ORGANIZED A MINI-REUNION IN THE bAY AREA.
Carolyn Moos has been working for the past three years as an athletic director, personal trainer and nutrition consultant with youth basketball development in Phoenix, Arizona. She writes, “I am looking forward to chapters ahead. I enjoy visiting my family in Minnesota, including my brother and sister-in-law and amazing
SAMI CARROCCIO ’00
nieces, as well as my parents. I look forward to hearing updates from all of our Blake classmates!”
Sami Carroccio was promoted to regional events and outreach manager at Archer Western Construction, a member of the Walsh Group. She has been with Archer Western since 2013 and previously designed and
In Memoriam Alan Anderson ’38 former parent and grandparent, October 17, 2016 Philip Bertelsen ’77 April 16, 2016 Sarah Bowman ’76 January 12, 2016 Richard Crawford ’49 August 25, 2016 Winthrop Eastman ’51 former parent, November 4, 2016 David Fischer ’56 November 22, 2016 James Gross ’55 January 8, 2017
Suzanne Fait Hanson ’46 Jonathan Oken ’90 former parent, November 8, 2016 former grandparent, Richard Olsen ’43 December 4, 2016 October 26, 2016 Terrence Hollern ’33 Joan Siverling August 17, 2016 Poehler ’48 Clare Humphrey ’08 October 24, 2016 January 24, 2017 Carolyn Cole Marion Ashley Schwantes ’48 Hunter ’24 former parent, August 2, 2016 November 7, 2016 Nancy Norton Keith ’46 former parent, May 18, 2016
Sheldon Wert, former trustee, former parent, current grandparent, December 5, 2016
Woodward Kingman ’43 December 29, 2016 Mary Duff Woehrlin ’49 December 23, 2016 Laura Markee ’04 September 16, 2016 Robert Wohlrabe ’76 October 21, 2016
Please inform the Institutional Advancement Office of Blake community member deaths by calling (952) 988-3430 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter 2017 25
CHRISTINE bROOKS ’01 MARRIED DAVID WHITE ON FEbRUARY 27, 2016. A LARGE CONTINGENT OF bEARS HELPED CELEbRATE. PICTURED (FRONT ROW, L TO R) bILL PRIEDEMAN ’75, ANNIE LEbEDOFF ’01, MEGHAN HORNIG bASSET ’99, JOHN bROOKS ’71, CHRISTINE bROOKS ’01, DAVID WHITE (MIDDLE ROW, L TO R) GREG PETERSEN, OLIVIA PRIEDEMAN ’15, MOLLY PRIEDEMAN ’05, ELINOR MASON ’04, ANNIE MASSIE ’05, LAURA MASSIE ’05, RObbIE MASSIE ’03, MITCH bROOKS ’03, SARAH MASON ’01 (bACK ROW, L TO R) JOHN MASSIE ’71, STEVE HORNIG ’70, TOMMY PRIEDEMAN ’07, NED MITCHELL ’03, MARC MASSIE ’09 AND WIN HORNIG ’01.
EMILY HUTCHINSON ’01 WAS MARRIED TO bRENT LAMM AT THE MACHINE SHOP IN MINNEAPOLIS ON OCTObER 29, 2016. bLAKE GUESTS INCLUDED (FRONT ROW, L TO R) CELIA bOREN ’04, CAROLINE STEPHENSON bOUCKAERT ’01, EMILY HUTCHINSON ’01, bRENT LAMM, KATRINA LAKE ’01, AMANDA ALLEN SWAGGERT ’99, NICK SWAGGERT ’99 (bACK ROW, L TO R) MAGGIE MOORE NOLAN ’01, JAY bOREN ’02, STEPHANIE RICH ’01, MELISSA DIRACLES ’01, ANDY RICH ’99 AND MARGOT HERMAN ’00.
managed proposals. Her hard work earned her the 2016 Up and Comer Award with the Society of Marketing Professional Services Arizona. Sami will manage events and outreach programs for the heavy-civil contractors Southwest region. She also was appointed to the board of directors of SniffAZ, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of and funds for spaying and neutering companion animals.
Farm to Cup David Duckler’s ’05 love of tea began with folktales. While at Bard College, he traveled as a Fulbright scholar to China, translating fiction and poetry. After graduating, he received a grant to research the folklore of tea. Based in Qingdao, China, he began to connect with teahouse owners, tea farmers and tea masters, who would generously open up their shops, fields and homes to Duckler. The friendships that followed are at the heart of Verdant Tea. Duckler launched the business in 2011 with the idea of paying forward the hospitality and knowledge he felt so fortunate to have experienced. “I think of what I do as a sort of crossborder farmers’ market,” he says. “These farmers do such incredible things with their craft. I feel privileged to collaborate with them.” Verdant continues to work with the families Duckler met years ago, shipping their teas from small farms to customers around the world. The company is committed to transparency in the tea industry, benefitting the communities it represents and serving as a platform for farmers to shape their own stories. Verdant’s blog tells these stories through narrative, photos and video. Beyond expanding its tea offerings, Verdant has ventured into sourcing teaware, some of it handmade using ancient techniques. Verdant products are used to make Prohibition Kombucha, a fermented
Mirza Tabakovic lives and works in financial services in London. tea-based drink, and Duckler is half of the team behind Tree Fort, a line of all-natural sodas founded by his younger sister Eva ’14 during her senior year at Blake. Duckler finds himself at the forefront of a burgeoning tea movement, one shaped by quality, transparency and small production methods — similar to the shifts in the craft coffee, beer and whiskey industries. But it’s the people, not industry trends, that have driven his vision. “We’ve grown slowly because we start with the farmers, not the teas. Families set their prices and decide what to grow,” says Duckler. “It’s all about trust. If I can help farmers tell their own stories, then consumers can form a relationship directly with them.” Learn more at verdanttea.com.
Christine Brooks, daughter of Joan and John ’71 Brooks, married David White, son of Charlie ’72 and Katharine Priedeman ’73 White on February 27, 2016. She writes, “While we were hoping to have a beautiful, snow-filled Minnesota winter wedding, mother nature had different ideas, and we celebrated with a large contingent of Bears in unseasonably warm 60-degree spring weather.” Lindsey Taylor Emery welcomed new son Liam John Emery on August 25, 2016. Danielle Lynn Emery (3) is a proud big sister.
SUSIE LIPINSKI ’05 MARRIED ADAM SIEGEL ON APRIL 24, 2016, IN bOSTON.
Libby MacFarlane moved back to Minneapolis after completing a dual-master’s degree at Duke University. She works at UnitedHealth Group as director of product development for Optum. She was named by Poets and Quants as one of the 100 World’s Best and Brightest MBAs in 2016 and also received the Forever Duke Student Leadership Award and a Deans’ Recognition Award through the Fuqua School of Business. Colin Peterson reports that he is awesome.
Susie Lipinski married Adam Siegel on April 24, 2016, in Boston. She writes that fellow 2005 Blake alumnae Kathryn Davis, Ellen Hultgren, Kate Hoops and Lisa Perkins “came from all ends of the globe to help us celebrate and dance the night away in a rooftop ballroom overlooking the city. We couldn't have asked for a better day and are so grateful for all the love!”
Kate Aizpuru graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014 and is currently clerking for a judge on the U.S. District
WILL PETERSON ’05 MARRIED KAITLIN JAMIESON ON SEPTEMbER 10, 2016, ON LAKE MINNETONKA. THEY HAD A bEAUTIFUL MINNESOTA NIGHT WITH MANY bLAKE GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE. PICTURED JULIE JACKLEY STEINER ’69, STEVEN ZWICK ’05, MARY PETERSON ’06, RObbIE MASSIE ’03, CAMILLE bYARS ’04, AMY STEINER STIELOW ’02, RILEY O'bRIEN POWELL ’95, JON SALITERMAN ’94, KEVIN LIED ’05, bRUCE STEINER ’67, TED HANCOCK ’05, FRED STEINER ’05, RAMSEY WOLFE ’05, MATT bARES ’05, KATHARINE LLOP ’05, SCOTT DONALDSON ’05, TOM PETERSON ’09, KAITLIN JAMIESON, WILL PETERSON ’05, DAVIS DAYTON ’05, ASHLI PFEIFFER ’05, NICK PETERSON ’94, ANNIE MASSIE ’05, LAURA MASSIE ’05, DAN MASLOW ’05, JOHN MASSIE ’71
Court for the District of Maryland. She lives in Washington, D.C. and keeps busy lifting weights and singing in the Jubilee Choir at All Souls Unitarian. REUNION
Kathy Nolan works at a software startup in Boston and enjoys running into Blake alumni in Massachusetts. Laura Waldman has launched Minny and Paul, a gifting studio that curates boxes featuring Minnesota-made products. The company has recently been featured in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Minnesota Monthly and on WCCO TV and Radio and Fox 9 News.
Shaina Rud is completing her master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Minnesota. She is a research assistant in the School of Nursing, investigating the effectiveness of long-term care and psychosocial support of adults with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. She ran her first marathon (Grandma’s Marathon) this summer, in addition to getting married. She and her partner, also
ADELE bRObERG ’07 MARRIED MATTHEW bENDER SHAINA RUD ’10 MARRIED AT CAFE LURCAT IN MINNEAPOLIS IN MAY 2016. JON AGA ON AUGUST 5, SHE WAS SURROUNDED bY FELLOW bEARS bETH 2016. DAVIS ’07, LAURA KOMAREK ’07, AVERY bROWN ’07, JULIA HEFFELFINGER ’07, HAYDEN bRObERG ’10 AND CAROLINE GAGNE ’10.
a graduate student at the U of M, live in the Twin Cities.
Brett Szalapski writes, “After finishing my bachelor of arts degree at Dartmouth College, I stayed an extra year to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. This July, I began working as a technical implementation consultant at Charles River Development, a financial software company. I am living in Cambridge and working in Burlington, Massachusetts.”
Anne Slusser is a junior at Duke, where she plays lacrosse. She was named to the 2015–16 Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll, which is comprised of varsity-level student-athletes who maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Maddy Norgard spent the summer working for the City of Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services Office to develop a poll worker recruitment program. This fall she established her college’s first undergraduate research journal, of which she is the editor in chief.
KATHRYN PHILLIPS LONGLEY ’13, A SENIOR AT SWARTHMORE COLLEGE, WORKED ON THE GAbII PROJECT ARCHEOLOGICAL DIG IN ITALY LAST SUMMER.
Son of 1998 Alumnus Needs Life-Saving Transplant
Two-year-old Ally has been living at a specialized hospital in London due to complications from chronic granulomatous disorder (CGD), a rare genetic condition that affects the immune system. His father, Blake 1998 alumnus Andrew Kim, says that a bone marrow transplant could save his son's life. Though Ally has been put at the top of the donor list, no match has been found across all worldwide registries. Andrew and his family have been working with programs — Be the Match in the U.S. and Anthony Nolan in the U.K. — to raise awareness so that more people will get screened and put on the international bone marrow registry. Testing is free and easy with a quick Q-tip swab of
the mouth, and donating normally involves just a specialized blood draw. The Kim family has been focusing on the Korean and Asian population, since that is the most likely match for Ally and is also one of the lowest enrolling demographics. Andrew writes, "We are reaching out in time of need to the Blake family for kindness, caring and support. Please consider joining the registry and possibly saving his life or 14,000 other people worldwide looking for a chance to live. We believe that Ally's story is a story of hope. You are our hope. Please share our message so we can find Ally's one in a million match." To register, visit Ally’s website at allysfight.com/register.
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THE BLAKE CLASS OF 1966 50TH REUNION. PICTURED, (FRONT ROW, L TO R) DOUG PADILLA, PHIL HALLSTEIN, STEVE WILLIAMS, DAVID ZALK, TOM HULL (BACK ROW, L TO R) PETE ROBB, SPENCE PETERSON, RON RICH, ROGER ROE, STEVE SULLIVAN, DAVE BUSH, CHUCK KURETH, BOB HYDE, TOM HEFFELFINGER, ROGER HAWKINSON, ROB LEVY, ROLF TURNQUIST, MARTIN GEORGE, BOB SCHNELL AND JIM HORNIG.
ALUMNAE FROM THE CLASS OF 1976 CELEBRATED 40 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP THIS FALL. PICTURED, (FRONT ROW, L TO R) LISA DIETRICH, CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF LUCI WALDRON CHORLEY, DAYNA WONGPOE, LAUREL KENNEDY, VICKI PARCHMAN, ANDREA CARLA EISENBERG MICHAELS, (MIDDLE ROW, L TO R) KATE BECKLEY BYRNE, ANNE GOODALE ESMONDE, KATE LESLIE CHRISTIANSON, JILL MCCARTHY. CECILY MURPHY MAJERUS, (BACK ROW, L TO R) BETSY BARTON MORLEY, EILEEN BEERY NOBLE, HARRIETT ANKENY CHUTE, CAROLYN MACLEOD CLEVELAND, TRACY ANDERSON JENNINGS, HELEN CLEVELAND, LUCY PETERSON AND JILL HARTWELL GEOFFRION.
THE NORTHROP CLASS OF 1966 50TH REUNION. PICTURED, (FRONT ROW, L TO R) PEGGY SEARLES, MARYLEE HARDENBERGH, VAL MCCANN MOORE, LYNN FITERMAN GUEZ, MAGGIE GLUEK, KIT KINGMAN RICHARDS (MIDDLE ROW, L TO R) ALIX SOKOLOFF JONES, KATHY ADELSHEIM, MARGRET SNYDER STANKOVSKY, GRACE ANDREWS GILLIS, TERRY O’KEEFE ANKENY, KATE KELLEY DONALDSON, CONNIE CHUTE DOWLING, LUCY CROSBY MITCHELL, JUDY COVEY CARSON (BACK ROW, L TO R) SALLIE SAUNDERS MARCH, DENNIE ROBBINS LASSEY, JULIE MORRISON PALMER, SUSAN WARNER WEIL, AMES SHELDON AND HANNAH TOZER.
THE CLASS OF 1996 CELEBRATED ITS 20TH REUNION AT UNION RESTAURANT. PICTURED (L TO R) RYAN MCANNANY, LEAH WEDUL, ARIELLE KAUFMAN, CASSIDY JOHNSON STEINER, FORD PETERSON, ANDREW STEINER, JOHN SIMENSEN, DAFINA MEMBERR SMITH, CHRIS SIMMONS, MARI REYNOLDS, JUSTIN WISMER, NORA ANDERSON, EMILIE HITCH, MATT ROEGGE, AMY KALOIDES, CINDY SHER, RACHEL GOLDENBERG HANSON, ROBB BADER, MARK HEANEY, DAN SLATER, BEN MACKAY, TETRA CONSTANTINO AND T.J. BONNETT.
THE CLASS OF 2001 CELEBRATED ITS 15-YEAR REUNION AT CLASSMATE BRENNAN GREENE'S BREWERY, BIRCH'S ON THE LAKE.
PAST RECIPIENTS OF THE JENNY STEPHENS HAGEN SPIRIT AWARD (AND THE AWARD’S NAMESAKE) AT THE GREAT BLAKE GET-TOGETHER. PICTURED, L TO R, DION CRUSHSHON ’88, RANDALL BARRY ’86, JENNY HAGEN MAINE ’81, KENT ADAMS ’81, BILL STERNBERG ’81 AND TOM SKRAMSTAD ’63.
SUBMIT YOUR CLASS NOTES AND PHOTOS TO CLASSNOTES@BLAKESCHOOL.ORG. 28 Cyrus
THE BLAKE CLASS OF 1971 REUNION INCLUDED CLASSMATES (FRONT ROW, L TO R) DAVE HANOLD, PAT OCKEN, AUSTIN INDRITZ, DAVE SAHR, MARK FINCH, PETER STALLAND, BEN SHERMAN, TODD WARNER, DAN KUECHLE (BACK ROW, L TO R) STEVE KELLEY, TOM MEYERS, JIM MACGREGOR, DAN KELLY AND JOHN BROOKS.
VOICES Betwixt and Between
Blake parent Joe Bollettieri is a full-time stay-at-home father, part-time writer, tiny business owner and recovering attorney.
We have been dubbed the “sandwich generation,” and there are a lot of us at Blake. We are that subset of Gen-Xers who had our children late. Now as we approach 50 (yikes!), we still have young children in grade school while at the same time find ourselves taking more of a leadership role in our aging and infirm parents’ lives. Like the name suggests, it is a squeeze. This past spring I toured an assisted living facility and had to hustle to make it on time to coach my 9-year-old’s baseball team. And I have it relatively easy. I know many people who have two failing parents, while only my father needs help. Moreover, his problems, though serious, are only physical so far — my mother-in-law died from Alzheimer’s disease when my kids were only 3 and 6 years old, and I know that battle made an exponentially greater call on my wife’s energy and emotions than I currently face. When you’re in your late 40s and knee deep in the barrage of annoying, unexpected events one must deal with, spotting the profundity in it all isn’t easy. It is there, though. Indeed, I find a profound symmetry from my midlife perspective. Every day, my boys fight for more autonomy over their lives. They want their say, and so slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, my wife and I relinquish our grasp. At the same time, my father fiercely resists losing his autonomy. But slowly, and reluctantly, I know that I have to keep tightening my grasp on his life. I worry a lot these days. For all three, I worry about their safety, about their futures, and because I often have no idea if what I am doing is best. But, just like with a sandwich, I dig in, savor the good parts and see it through.
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110 Blake Road South Hopkins, Minnesota 55343 tel 952-988-3420 web blakeschool.org
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Excellence Accelerated: The Campaign for Blake This $80 million five-year comprehensive fundraising campaign represents one of the most ambitious projects in Blake’s history. With your support, we will dramatically increase investments in student excellence, faculty development and campus facilities. Early gifts have brought us to $60 million — 75 percent of our goal — and are already making an impact in the lives of our students, families and teachers.
New Era in Global Ed Last summer Blake piloted a global immersion program that took 16 Upper School students and two faculty members to Cuba for 21 days. The for-credit experience included pre- and post-trip curriculum, in-country study and service learning. After their time overseas, students presented research and art projects that dove deeply and passionately into the history, politics and culture of Cuba. In one of the presentations, a student remarked, “I will never see things the same way again. I have come back a different person.” Creating a transformative experience was at the heart of a reimagining of Blake’s global immersion program. For nine months during the 2014–15 academic year, a committee of Blake’s board researched academic literature, consulted with experts in the fields of global
and experiential education and talked with colleagues at peer schools with model programs. That work informed a global immersion framework that the Board of Trustees approved in 2015. The success of the Cuba trip and early gifts to Excellence Accelerated, including generous support from the Higgins Family Global Education Fund, have made it possible to expand Blake’s global immersion opportunities this year to three destinations: Cuba, Mexico and Vietnam. The funding also helps support faculty member Dion Crushshon ’88, who next year will begin serving as Blake’s director of global programs. As philanthropic support grows, the school will continue to expand immersion options along a PK-12 global education framework.
135 Number of teachers involved in 39 team projects to evolve curriculum across all divisions
Number of donors who have contributed to renovations of our arts and athletics facilities
Excellence Begins with Faculty
Excellence Accelerated aims to empower Blake faculty through investments in their leadership skills, curriculum-design expertise and continued education. This support takes many forms. Through the Teacher Leadership Fund, Blake faculty developed and launched daily Spanish instruction in the Lower School and enhanced curriculum focused on Singapore Mathematics, an internationally renowned program. In the Summer of 2016, Blake’s Curriculum Acceleration Fund fueled 39 collaborative curriculum grant projects involving 135 faculty. Those grants have led to a new sixth grade humanities course, an Upper School arts and science environmental project in which students worked with the Bassett Creek Watershed, a more robust robotics program in the Middle School, and an Upper School yearlong course, Shakespeare in a Global Context. Through the Graduate Degree Program Fund, Associate Head of School Anne Graybeal is pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership, Director of Athletics Nick Rathmann completed a program in athletic administration, and PK-12 Language Arts Department Chair Rick Cawood is working toward a master’s in English with a focus on early childhood education. These programs have all allowed faculty and administrators to continue working at Blake while studying. “There is a saying, ‘enrich the teacher, enrich the child,’” says Lower School Director Raymond Yu. “The support our community provides to teachers so they can deepen their skills and talents is already making a difference in the lives of our faculty and, in turn, our children.”
Several of Blake’s most beloved campus spaces are being upgraded as part of Excellence Accelerated. Completed projects include the construction of the Ankeny Center for Science, Design and Research in the Upper School; a renovation of the MacMillan Performing Arts Center, with new lighting, sound system, catwalk, theater seats and increased ADA accessibility; and new athletics facilities, including a state-of-the-art turf field at Aamoth Stadium, tennis courts, baseball field and concessions stand. Next up is Blake’s ice arena. Thanks to a $1 million challenge gift from Fritz ’60 and Glenda Corrigan, the school can begin renovations on the arena this spring
and be ready for the 2017–2018 hockey season. Improvements include four new enlarged locker rooms on the east side, four renovated existing locker rooms on the north side and a new entrance. An entry hall gallery will celebrate the history of Blake hockey through photos. The arena will also include new bleachers, concessions and a temperature-controlled vestibule, which will improve ice surface quality and offer an enhanced spectator experience. “The renovations to the ice arena will have an incredible impact for visitors to campus, our hockey programs, our physical education classes and our community as a whole,” says Director of Athletics Nick Rathmann. “I look forward to watching our students create meaningful, positive experiences in this space. Go, Bears!”
An Education Designed For Life The Morrisons’ six-decade relationship with Blake has helped them see the value of its education over time. When Jack ’63 and Chris ’65 Morrison think about the ways that Blake and Northrop influenced their lives, they don’t just tap into their own student memories. They also remember the remarkable experiences of their two children. They continue to have a front row seat to a Blake education today, as they watch all six of their grandchildren flourish on its campuses. It’s a unique lens that has allowed them to see the ways that rigorous academics remain etched into Blake’s DNA, even as the school adds new ways to broaden students’ experiences, including world-spanning travel and wide-ranging co-curriculars. From violin lessons to athletics, their grandchildren have taken full advantage Rise in percentage of students receiving of everything Blake has to need-based financial offer, both in the classroom assistance thanks and beyond it. to campaign support Chris, who served for years on Blake’s Board of Trustees, saw firsthand how committed faculty, administrators and parents were to making Blake the best school that it could be. “In today’s world,” adds Jack, “I can’t imagine a better opportunity to provide a child than a Blake education.” That’s why the Morrisons have made Blake their top giving priority, with a $1.25 million gift that will support investments in Blake’s students, faculty and campus facilities. The Morrisons feel a responsibility to an institution that has made their own lives immeasurably richer by providing the foundation
17% to 21%
Chris ’65 and Jack ’63 Morrison
for career successes and creating a community that has led to long-lasting friendships. The Morrisons also see their gift as a way to help future generations of students. “As a society, we need to better educate our children,” says Chris. “Blake provides a first-class education and prepares students for the very big world that they will go into after they graduate.”
BLAKE GRATITUDE Read more “Why I Give” profiles from alumni and learn about the ways in which our community is helping shape Blake’s future. blake.mn/whyigivetoblake
Join our historic campaign! Learn more by contacting us. Alison Townley ’83 Chief Advancement Officer (952) 988-3432 email@example.com blakeschool.org/excellence
110 Blake Road South Hopkins, MN 55343 blakeschool.org
Laura Mark Director of Individual Giving (952) 988-3439 firstname.lastname@example.org
A magazine for alumni and friends of The Blake School