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Cyrus Monthly
FEBRUARY 2017 news for alumni and friends

Upcoming Events

February 16
Breakfast at Blake with Brian Lucas ‘86
Blake Campus • 7:30-8:30am

February 22
Alumni Art Biennial Reception
Bennett Gallery • 5:30-7:30pm


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Alumni Events

Cyrus Magazine


Give to Blake

Excellence Accelerated: The Campaign for Blake

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Nayana Jha '95 is a member of Blake's Institutional Advancement team. After 18 years in New York City, she is loving getting reacquainted with the Twin Cities, connecting with fellow alumni and fundraising for her alma mater. Nayana is a big fan of horror movies, as long as she doesn't have to see any blood. Learn more about Nayana in this month's Bear Pause.

Send recommendations of alumni you would like to see profiled in this monthly feature to Visit the Bear Pause archives to read past interviews.

Alumni Spotlight

Author and archeologist Amanda Summer '74 talks about her book "100 Places in Greece Every Woman Should Go" with Tom Wilmer on his NPR podcast at KCBX.

Director, screenwriter and actor Jessica Kaye's '96 movie "Inheritance" will premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film was selected for the Visions category, which recognizes filmmakers who are "audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape" and "demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking."

University of Southern California women's lacrosse junior defender Lydia Sutton '14 was named to the Canadian Women's National Team, which will compete at the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women's World Cup in Guildford, England. She was also named to the 2017 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Division I All-America third team.

Excellence Accelerated

Audiences, Cast and Crew Delight in Updated Theater

The MacMillan Performing Arts Center opened this fall with brand new seating, carpeting, paint, lighting, sound system and a state-of-the-art catwalk. Upper School Theater Director Diane Landis remarks, "It was such a pleasure to hear students and audience members familiar with the theater express their surprise and delight about the physical changes to the space." Read more

Why I Give: Dean Phillips '87

For Dean Phillips, a Blake education was always about more than grades and tests: it was about the people who pushed him to excel. He lists the many educators who influenced him, including Spanish teacher Arturo Steely who introduced Phillips to the remarkable architecture of Antoni Gaudí, and longtime English professor and tennis coach John Hatch. "These were teachers who taught me how to explore, to push the envelope, and to go where others haven't gone," he says. "They taught me to reflect in ways that I still use in my life today." Read more

Today at Blake

Blake Named Best Private High School in Minnesota

For the second consecutive year Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools across the country, has named Blake the best private high school in Minnesota. The 2017 Best Private High Schools ranking is based on analysis of key statistics and reviews from students and families. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, the quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, private school ratings, school culture and diversity and other factors. Read more

Upper School Students Collaborate on Photo Project with Bassett Creek Watershed

Thanks to Blake's Upper School photography and environmental science students, visitors to the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC) website can now take a virtual tour of four of the watershed's projects. BCWMC administrator Laura Jester says this is the first time the organization has worked with students to create educational materials for the public. Read more

Boys' Hockey Hosts Special Scrimmage

The Blake boys' hockey team hosted its annual practice and scrimmage with Minnesota Special Hockey. The Bears welcomed 20 special needs hockey players to the Blake Ice Arena, where a wonderful time was had by all. Fox9 News and Kare11 News featured stories about the event, which was first organized by junior Bennett Hawley when he was in seventh grade.

Notes and Reminders

Alumni Art Biennial Exhibition and Reception

From recent graduates studying art in college to longtime artists in our alumni community, Blake keeps on creating. This year's Alumni Art Biennial features digital animations, handmade dominoes, welded bike-part sculptures, large-scale paintings and artist books, as well as stories from alumni about how Blake influenced their artistic practice. The exhibition runs February 16 through March 24 in the Upper School's Martha Bennett Gallery with a reception on Wednesday, February 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Contact Bill Colburn '88 or J Jolton '78 with questions.

Work with LearningWorks

LearningWorks at Blake is hiring for summer session faculty. Are you a college student interested in working with or teaching Minneapolis youth? All majors welcome; apply here for our nine-week paid teaching internship by Thursday, February 23. LearningWorks is also hiring licensed mentor teachers to coach our college student fellows for nine weeks this summer. Licensed teachers can find the application here. Complete by Thursday, April 6. If you have questions about these summer opportunities, contact LearningWorks Executive Director Natalie Owens-Pike '07 at

Summer at Blake Registration Now Open

What's new for 2017? Check out statistics, survival skills, mindfulness, playwriting, ultimate Frisbee, Acoma leaders-in-training, global art adventures and an engineering and programming camp all about shapes. Strings lessons and study skills are back by popular demand. Register for summer camps and classes today at Questions? Contact Jessie Briol at 952-988-3463 or

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