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Cyrus Monthly summer masthead
JULY 2020 NEWS FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

Upcoming Events

July 29
LearningWorks Virtual Visitors Day
Online
9-9:45am

Sept. 10
Breakfast at Blake: Head of School Edition
Online
7:30-8:30am

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Alumni Events

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Reunion and Homecoming

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Rosa Gerdts ‘20Rosa Gerdts ‘20 is a recent Blake graduate and plans on joining the class of 2024 at Pomona College. She enjoys eating her mom’s mole poblano and listening to good music — often simultaneously. Learn more about Rosa in this month's Bear Pause.

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

2020 Alumni Award Recipients

Jenifer Neils ’68 and Rolf Haas '05

The Alumni Board Recognition and Nominations Committee is proud to announce the recipients of this year's alumni awards. Blake congratulates Outstanding Alumna of the Year Jenifer Neils ’68 and Young Alumnus of the Year Rolf Haas ’04. Rolf will be the featured speaker at the reunion edition of Breakfast at Blake, which will be held virtually via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 9. We will honor and hear from Jenifer during the fall 2021 Breakfast at Blake: Reunion Edition.

New Blake Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Isaac Anderson ‘06, Megan Gallivan Mazullo ‘08, Leslie Hale ‘83  and Charlie Seel

Blake’s newly created Athletic Hall of Fame highlights the accomplishments of alumni, coaches and friends and celebrates the school’s sports history. Congratulations to the 2020 inductees: Isaac Anderson ‘06, Megan Gallivan Mazzullo ‘08, Leslie Hale ‘83 and Charlie Seel. In addition to this year’s inductees, the Hall of Fame includes members of Blake’s Hockey Hall of Fame and past recipients of the Alumni Athlete of the Year award. The inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, at which the inductees will be honored, has been postponed until fall 2021. Submit nominations for future consideration.

Alumni Spotlight

Ace Rice ‘01Ace Rice ‘01 is creative director and global head of marketing for the footwear and apparel brands SUPRA and Krew. He began his marketing career in the music industry, launching a street promotions business in Minneapolis, while simultaneously working with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Wild. Now based in Los Angeles, Ace continues to manage hip-hop artists in various capacities and has relocated his art gallery, PLOT, from Minneapolis to West LA. He has expanded his work to include painting and launched a creative and marketing agency to help grow his clients’ brands. Ace was interviewed for We The Project’s podcast, “Roll Call,” on which he talks about how his different experiences have helped pave his way in the entertainment industry.

Chris Maxson ‘88 is owner and CEO of Acucraft Fireplaces. He spoke with the home design website Houzz about his company’s story and ideas for creating a custom fireplace.

John DeNero ‘98 is co-founder and chief scientist at Lilt, an enterprise language translation platform that builds AI-powered software and sells translation services to companies around the world. His research team had a paper published with the Association for Computational Linguistics in which they describe their purely neural word alignment system.

Molly Bloom ‘01, host of the science podcast for kids “Brains On!,” and the show’s co-creators are releasing a new book. “It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us” presents a humorous, fact- and fun-filled look at life on Earth — from deep sea creatures and carnivorous plants to the human body and stinky bacteria. Read our Q&A with Molly in the Fall 2019 issue of Cyrus (“Molly Bloom ‘01 Gets Serious about Being Curious”).

Stephanie Rich ‘01 has joined Bread and Butter Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund, as the head of platform. The firm has been profiled on Minne Inno and in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Jessica Swenson ‘06, an assistant professor at University at Buffalo, is one of four engineering education educators to receive a 2020 Apprentice Faculty Grant from the Educational Research and Methods (ERM) Division of the American Society of Engineering Education. The grant encourages and honors promising engineering education scholars who demonstrate the potential for substantial contributions to the community.

Laine Higgins ‘13, a sports reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was a guest on the podcast “The Double Double,” where she helped break down college football’s mid-pandemic return with voluntary workouts.

Isaac Gittleman ‘19 and Zach Marmet ‘19 discussed finding balance, time for self-care and handling the stress of college and being home during the COVID-19 pandemic on an episode of “The Art of Living Well” podcast.

Addie Burton ‘20 and Audrey Wethington ‘20 are two of eight newcomers to the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher women's hockey team. They each talked with Gopher Sports about hockey, why they chose the University of Minnesota and what they plan to study. Read Addie’s Q&A here and Audrey’s here.

Today at Blake

LearningWorks Virtual Visitors Day July 29

Toroso wearing LearningWorks sweatshirtThe 20th summer of LearningWorks at Blake has kicked off, and students and faculty are excited to spend the next few weeks together virtually where “it’s cool to be smart, it’s cool to be you, and it’s cool to care.” Join Head of School Anne Stavney, outgoing LW Executive Director Natalie Owens-Pike ‘07 and incoming LW Executive Director Tricia Crossman via a Zoom presentation to see this public-private partnership in action. Register here by Monday, July 27.

Spring 2020 Applause

Ben Fox ’24, Paulie Nathanson ’24, Arav Saksena ’24 Karn Kaura ’24

Read the latest installment of Applause, a roundup of Blake student and faculty accomplishments in academics, arts, athletics and community engagement.

Notes and Reminders

Reunion 2020 Update

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, most in-person reunion events are postponed until fall 2021. We look forward to celebrating with you then.

Alumni Award Nominations

Blake is accepting nominations for the 2021 alumni awards. Nominations are welcome year-round, but consideration for the 2021 award closes on Oct. 31. Award criteria and nomination forms at the links below:

Outstanding Alumni of the Year
Young Alumni of the Year
Jenny Stephens Hagen Spirit Award

Thank You for Supporting the 2019-20 Blake Fund

Blake students forming a human pyramid

Thank you for your 2019-20 Blake Fund gifts. Contributions from our parents and guardians, alumni, grandparents, parents of alumni, faculty, staff and students help to support Blake’s arts, athletics, student financial assistance, faculty professional development, LearningWorks and areas of greatest need. See the impact of your gift here.

The Blake School, 110 Blake Road South, Hopkins, MN 55343