There are a number of tasks that occupy my summer months which could be characterized as routine or rudimentary. They include updates to the Student Handbook, deciding where the Advisor Blocks should be placed on the calendar for next year, updating emergency procedures, and things of that nature. The summer work that I most enjoy, however, are the phone calls, email communications, and occasional drop-ins from new (and returning) students because their energy and excitement for the school year ahead energizes me. And as I’ve perused admission files, reviewed new parent questionnaires, and familiarized myself with names and faces over the summer months, I’ve found myself thinking once again that our admission office has done a superb job assembling a new “cast of characters” for Blair’s 168th school year. I look forward to welcoming all of you to campus on your respective Registration Day in just a few weeks and getting to know you all better throughout the year ahead.
My summer has surely not been occupied only with work. It’s been filled with a good deal of play and fun family moments. First off, my little brother (11 years younger than me) got married and it was an honor to serve as Best Man at his wedding. Our sons, Jack and Will, loved wearing their bow ties (see photo) and they enjoyed strutting their stuff on the dance floor. After the western wedding, we visited some friends in Colorado, and then made our way back East. We spent a few days in Philadelphia and I was able to score a pizza at the pizzeria that was recently named “best in America” by Bon Appetite magazine. I’ve included a photo of the boys enjoying their pizza and all three of us would verify that it’s the best we’ve ever tasted (Luigi Pasquariello may disagree!) I took in a phenomenal U2 concert at Madison Square Garden with my Uncle and cousins, built a front porch with my Dad, and in case that all didn’t make for an exciting enough summer, we shared the happy news with our family, friends, and advisees in early June that Pagotto baby #3 arrives in December! You all can congratulate Mrs. Pagotto in person when you see her.
While I know for many of you, your summer may have been filled with work, training for a sport, prep for standardized tests, service work, travel, etc. I do hope that you also enjoyed special times with family and friends and also found enough time for rest and relaxation. We have a terrific slate of activities in store for Orientation Days 2015. As usual, the freshmen depart for their annual retreat Sunday morning, while sophomores will spend the day bonding at Stokes State Park, juniors will put on the first ever Community Carnival at Blair for local families, and seniors will head off to Treetop Adventures in Pennsylvania. The Mentalist will join us on Sunday evening in Armstrong-Hipkins for all who wish to be hypnotized or merely mesmerized! On Monday morning, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will make 35,000 meals as a part of Feed the Children and freshmen will continue their retreat. By 2:00 in the afternoon, all will gather in Armstrong-Hipkins for the first School Meeting of the year and we’ll reconvene at 7 p.m. for Convocation. And, yes, the bagpiper will be on hand to lead us all to Convocation.
I’ll close by thanking Tys Sweeney and Chris Liu for taking the initiative to publish a summer edition of The Oracle. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to write, submit artwork, or simply participate in the Caption Contest. It is a wonderful publication for our community. Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and see you soon!
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(Copyright 2015 Ryan Pagotto)