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Upcoming Events

Feb. 25
Class Reunion Committee Kick-off Meeting
Bovey, Blake campus

March 7
LearningWorks Graduation
Northrop campus

April 28
Otis Environmental Visiting Author Presentation
Northrop campus

April 30
Breakfast at Blake with Elizabeth Rush
Blake campus


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Reunion and Homecoming

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Simone Maddox '15Simone Maddox ‘15 graduated last spring from Rice University and is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota studying the evolution of birds. You may ask her about her menagerie of dog-shaped soaps, but do not wash your hands with them. Learn more about Simone in the latest edition of Bear Pause.

Send recommendations of alumni you would like to see profiled in this monthly feature to Or check out our list of questions and participate yourself! Visit the Bear Pause archives to read past interviews.

Alumni Spotlight

Alice Kaplan ՚72Alice Kaplan ‘72, a leading scholar of 20th and 21st century French and Francophone literature and history, has been named a Sterling Professor of French, the highest honor bestowed on faculty at Yale University. She was also appointed as director of the Whitney Humanities Center, where she will advance scholarly exchange across the humanities at Yale. Alice is the author of seven books, focused on French literature and culture as well as the cultural foundations and literary representation of fascism and racism. She is a member of the Writers Council of the American Library in Paris, serves as New Haven correspondent for the board of the French journal Critique, and is a jury member for the French Voices Book Prize, awarded by the French Embassy in New York.

Barb Wonson Liukkonen ‘72 was appointed to the Governor's Council on Minnesota's Lake Superior's Coastal Program for a three-year term. The council makes recommendations to the state's DNR commissioner on priorities, programs and funding for grant projects that benefit the coastal area.

Cathy Countryman Maes ‘85 was a finalist for the 2020 Charlie Awards, which celebrates food and beverage in the Twin Cities. She was nominated in the Community Hero category for her work as executive director of Loaves and Fishes Minnesota.

Arthur Phillips ‘86 released his sixth novel, "The King at the Edge of the World." He will read from his book at Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Uptown Minneapolis on Monday, March 2 at 7pm.

Stephen Nilsen ‘88 is vice president of Liquid Death, a water company that uses recyclable cans filled with Austrian mountain spring water (canned in Austria) and is dedicated to cleaning up plastic in our oceans. The brand, which will be available in Whole Foods in March, was recently featured in Forbes.

Puzzle designer Sarah Jane Lapp ‘90 created the community-building workshop Peace by Piece with Pie, during which participants co-assemble jigsaw puzzles to foster explorations of cultural identity and communication among people who would not otherwise have met. Learn more on her website at

Anna Curtis ‘98, an assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Cortland, published "Dangerous Masculinity: Fatherhood, Race and Security Inside America's Prisons." The book considers how those within the prison system negotiate their expectations about "real" men and "good" fathers, how prisoners negotiate their relationships with those outside of prison, and in what ways this negotiation reflects their understanding of masculinity.

Samantha Stein ‘07 was named chief strategy officer for QEDIT, a privacy-enhancing technology (PET) provider with whom she will work to solve prominent data-usage problems. She talked about her work in the summer 2017 issue of Cyrus (read "Hacks for Humanity," pg. 18).

From the Archives

Elementary, Our Dear Bentley

Northrop stairway

School archivist Alex Bentley has uncovered more mystery photos. She writes, "This set of 16 photos is from a box of mystery slides labeled 'Highcroft.' However, it's obvious these are photos of Northrop. If anyone can tell me when they think these were taken or can identify any of the people in them, that would be great. Several of the photos are artsy closeups of objects like door handles, pencil sharpeners, fire extinguishers, etc. that look like the work of photography students." Help piece the clues to solve this latest archives mystery. Send any information you have to Alex at

Today at Blake

Upper School M-U-S-I-C-A-L!

School play poster

Don't know how to spell F-U-N? The Upper School theater department's production of the "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will show you how! This Tony Award-winning musical comedy follows awkward adolescents in the throes of puberty as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. The show runs March 6-8 in the MacMillan Performing Arts Center on the Hopkins campus. Click here for details and to purchase tickets.

Blake Students Find Value in Iowa Caucus 2020 Experience

Blake students in Iowa

Upper School social studies teacher David Graham ‘85 took the first group of Blake students to the Iowa caucuses in 2004 and has brought a group every presidential campaign season since. This year, a record 65 students from grades 9-12 and 14 chaperones, including David, made the trek to Des Moines, where a wide field of (mostly Democratic) presidential hopefuls were vying for the top spot in this first contest of the election season. Though this year's caucus process and results were fraught with confusion, Blake's students found their experience incredibly rewarding. Read more

Rob McClanahan to Lead Blake Boys' Hockey

Rob McClanahanBlake announces the appointment of Rob McClanahan as head coach for the boys' hockey team. Rob, who is currently serving as interim head coach, has committed to leading the Blake boys' hockey program for several more years.

Notes and Reminders

Climate Change Art Submissions Sought

Boy painting pictureBlake community members are invited to submit artwork in any medium for an upcoming show in the Upper School's Martha Bennett Gallery. The exhibition will feature art inspired by climate change and run April 1 through May 1, coinciding with the 2020 Otis Environmental Author residency of Elizabeth Rush. A reception will be held Tuesday, April 28, prior to Rush's public event at 7pm in the Juliet Nelson Auditorium.

Keep Up With the Bears

Cyrus the bearStay up-to-date with Blake athletics on Twitter and Instagram and at Go Bears!

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