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Cyrus Monthly Winter Masthead

Upcoming Events

Jan. 28
Alumni Trivia Night
7-8:30pm (CT)

Feb. 4
The Equity Lab presents "Intentional Engagement in the Hiring Process"
5:30pm (CT)

Feb. 18
Breakfast at Blake with Tim Baylor GP'32
8:30-9:30am (CT)

Feb. 23
The Equity Lab presents "Talking to Kids about Race and Skin Color" (Part 1 of 4)
5:30pm (CT)


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Reunion and Homecoming

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Dayna WongPoe '76Dayna WongPoe '76 has worked in the learning and development field for Alaska Airlines for more than 35 years. Originally skeptical of robot vacuum cleaners, Dayna has since determined she was wrong to dismiss them. Learn more about Dayna 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

Stephen Hoge '94Stephen Hoge '94 is a doctor, scientist and president of Moderna Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that developed one of the first coronavirus vaccines to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Stephen joined Moderna in 2012 and became president in 2015. In November, as clinical trials were showing promising results ahead of the vaccine's mid-December FDA approval, Stephen spoke with Katie Couric, describing in layperson's terms the complex topics related to COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Scott Donaldson '46, a biographer of literary legends like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Cheever, died on Dec. 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 92. The New York Times wrote this tribute.

Ken Willcox '63 ended his 12-year, three-term tenure as mayor of Wayzata, having decided not to run for re-election. The Sun Sailor talked with Ken about his reflections on his time in office, and the city created this appreciation video (complete with outtakes).

Charles Baxter's '65 latest novel, "The Sun Collective," was a recent editor's pick in the New York Times' "11 New Books We Recommend This Week."

Interior designer Lucy Thatcher Penfield '78 spoke with the Star Tribune to share her tips for home decorating with Pantone's latest colors of the year, Ultimate Gray and the lemony yellow Illuminating.

David Downie '79, a professor in the environmental studies program and department of politics at Fairfield University, has released the eighth edition of his book "Global Environmental Politics." In the latest edition, David and co-author Pamela Chasek cover critical new developments in global environmental politics and policymaking.

Kate Jackson '88, founder of Enso Wellbeing Coaching, was a guest on the Antidōt podcast where she discussed how she found resilience after Stage 4 cancer and divorce.

Alyssa Story '19, a sophomore journalism and film, television and media studies double major at Loyola Marymount University, has been named editor-in-chief of the school's student newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Learn more about Alyssa in the paper's Q&A "10 Burning Questions with Alyssa Story."

Today at Blake

Head of School Addresses U.S. Capitol Events, Inauguration Plans

American flagIn two recent messages to the Blake parent community, Dr. Anne Stavney responded to the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. "Beyond an attack on our nation's ideals," she writes, "what we saw in Washington stands in direct opposition to our school's own mission, commitment to pluralism and core values. As educators, as parents/guardians, as Americans we must all be clear, unwavering and explicit in denouncing the domestic terrorism we witnessed." She also shared division-specific plans for the teaching and learning regarding the presidential inauguration.

The Equity Lab Announces Spring 2021 Events

Equity Lab logoAlumni are invited to take part in the Equity Lab's upcoming spring events including a four-part parenting series, "Talking to Kids About Race and Skin Color," curated and facilitated by Blake parent Sarah Hardy, a local school district parent educator. Other sessions include "Intentional Engagement in the Hiring Process," with facilitator Varghese Alexander of the Pipeline Collaborative, and "Artistic Maps: An Unprovoked, Aggressive and Most Savage War," presented by Jennings Mergenthal, a Macalester senior majoring in Indigenous studies. Learn more and register for these events on the Equity Lab webpage.

Author Elizabeth Rush Visit Rescheduled for 2022

Elizabeth RushBlake's 2020 Philip Otis Environmental Author was unable to visit campus last spring due to the pandemic. Students and the Blake community will hopefully have an opportunity to hear her speak in person next year. Also, we remember Blake's first Otis Environmental Author, Barry Lopez, who died in December. Former faculty members Jan and Lee Woolman, who coordinated the program's first several author visits, credit Lopez with much of its enduring success.

Bears Launch New Athletics Podcast

Blake Bears Banter logoThe Athletics Office introduced the first of what expects to be a weekly podcast featuring members of the Blake community. In the first episode of "Blake Bears Banter," hosts Athletic Director Nick Rathmann and Associate Athletic Director Shawn Reid talk with Robbie Massie '03, head coach of the Blake alpine ski team, about his time at Blake, the joys of coaching, skiing in Minnesota and the Blake coaches and teachers who made an impact on him.


Volunteers holding crayons and coloring booksRead this roundup of Blake students and faculty recognized for accomplishments in academics, arts, athletics and community engagement.


Notes and Reminders

Register for Alumni Trivia Night January 28

Trivia Mafia logoPatents, TV parents and even a little Blake and Northrop history, written and presented by Jan Woolman and Rod Anderson. You will be introduced to all these themes and more during Blake's first Alumni Trivia Night on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 7 to 8:30pm (CT). Blake and Trivia Mafia will host pub-style trivia with the opportunity for alumni teams to win bragging rights in numerous categories. Don't wait—form your own team or be paired with other smart Blake bears and register by Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Breakfast at Blake with Tim Baylor GP'32

Tim Baylor GP'32Join Breakfast at Blake on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 8:30 to 9:30am (CT) to hear from residential and commercial developer Tim Baylor GP'32. An active member of Minneapolis' business and political scene, Tim will discuss how federal laws have created and impacted segregation and how they are still active at the Twin Cities' state and local levels. Register by Monday, Feb. 15.

Cassidy Blackwell '02 Presentation Available on YouTube

Cassidy Blackwell '02In her Breakfast at Blake presentation, "Sourcing Authenticity: Aligning the Personal and Professional Through Purpose," Cassidy Blackwell '02, the director of international communication for Airbnb, discusses her journey of rooting into her values to take the road less traveled into the tech and travel industry.

LearningWorks Hiring Summer Faculty

LW students highfiving through school bus windowAre you a college student committed to educational equity and interested in working with Minneapolis youth? LearningWorks at Blake is now hiring faculty for summer. Apply for this nine-week, paid teaching fellowship through the Breakthrough Collaborative's website. Be sure to select LearningWorks (Minneapolis) as your top site. Application deadline is Thursday, Feb. 25. Contact Becca Galey with questions or to learn more.

Spring Break at Blake Registration Open

Spring Break at Blake CamperThe Summer at Blake team welcomes Twin Cities-area students to attend on-campus spring activities. Spring Break at Blake (March 22-26) offers a fun variety of half-day specialty camps and an all-new full-day camp. View the program descriptions and register here.

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