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President’s Corner

Each month President Blair will be posting on the blog to recap what’s been going on and talk about what’s on the horizon. Here’s his first post, covering the month of April and looking ahead to May!

April has been a busy month at Bryn Athyn College. The academic year is steaming ahead toward completion, and excitement is building toward graduation. A number of events have punctuated the calendar recently, including the Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP), the first annual Parents and Family Day, NCAA Division III week, the Academic Achievement Awards, and Diversity Day.

I am proud of the hard work our students put in throughout the year, but it’s especially fun to see the community of learning that is formed in the library during LNAP. Over the three LNAPs this year, 922 scholarly hours were logged by our students, and many personal academic goals were reached.

Parents and Family Day was held on April 8, and saw about 65 guests enjoying the event which included a welcome brunch, tours of campus, Cairnwood Estate, and Glencairn, an opportunity to cheer on the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and a BBQ on the terrace where the local band Hillbillies of Cohesion played a delightful set.

NCAA Division III Week gave our athletic teams the opportunity to volunteer in different ways throughout the community. The soccer, lacrosse, and basketball teams all offered clinics or helped out at the Bryn Athyn Church Elementary School practices. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee also got the student body to participate in making a mural for suicide awareness. Colorful handprints symbolized the willingness to lend a hand to those in need.

The Academic Achievement Awards are always an important moment to recognize the often-quiet work of scholars. Those on the dean’s list were honored, as were recipients of scholarships and grants connected to particular majors or initiatives. One new award was given this year to the winners of the Career Olympics. Team Djibouti was honored with gold medals and a cash prize for their excellent work creating resumes, LinkedIn profiles, attending a networking/interviewing event, and making a video for prospective employers.

Diversity Day was held indoors due to inclement weather, but that didn’t dampen anybody’s spirits! “Simple Gifts,” a talented string duo, played a variety of instruments from a range of cultural traditions while students, faculty, and staff roamed the Great Hall and sampled delicious cuisines from around the world.

It’s been a great month, and I look forward to seeing you all at upcoming events like the BAC Carnival on Saturday, April 29th; the Senior Capstone Project Presentations on May 10; the FeelGood Run and the Spring Dance Concert on Saturday, May 13; and graduation on the weekend of May 26.


President Blair


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Lessons From the Dutch Masters: Original Paintings by Martha Gyllenhaal

The Friends of the Swedenborg Library are pleased to announce a new exhibit of paintings by Martha Gyllenhaal, opening on Sunday, April 23.

Dr. Gyllenhaal, head of the Fine Arts Area of Bryn Athyn College, is an art historian and painter who integrates humanities and the fine arts in her teaching. She enjoys using the art collections in Glencairn Museum to enhance her classes.

An opening reception with a talk by the artist will be held at the Swedenborg Library on Sunday, April 23, from 3:00pm-5:00pm.  All are welcome.

The paintings will be on display in the Library through June 30, 2017.

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Warm Up America!

Over the past three months, students, faculty, staff, and library-goers have been knitting colorful squares to be assembled into an afghan for the charity project Warm Up America! Andi Sibley, reference and user services librarian at the Swedenborg Library, heard about the project and liked the way they encourage local involvement.

Sibley says, “Warm Up America! encourages communities to come together to knit and crochet and then donate their products to local hospitals, shelters, or charities, so we are giving it to the Bryn Athyn Cares refugee group. We love that we are able to do this fun project and give it to a local family.”baskets full of knitting materials

Tykah Echols, a student at Bryn Athyn College, works at the library and knitted four panels for the afghan. She says, “I had almost forgotten how much I love to knit when the knitting table appeared at the library and I got an excuse to do it again!” She has been knitting since she was about five years old, having learned by watching her mom knit for hours on end. Tykah says, “It was so wonderful rediscovering this craft that I have enjoyed all my life. Plus, the final product is not only useful, but beautiful too!”

This project was such a hit that it will likely return next winter. Sibley says that librarians are always interested in finding ways in the library to offer creative outlets for stress relief, like the coloring table that is set up on the main floor. Other ideas have come up, like doing a lego table or board games and tech toys. She adds, “Yarn arts seemed like an easy way to get started, have fun, and be creative.”

While students, staff, and other library guests benefit from the stress relief of crafting, the refugee family receiving the blanket will have a warm reminder of the goodwill and support from their local community.

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National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! The following work comes from Bryn Athyn College students: the first are haiku that were submitted anonymously to a BAC haiku contest; the final piece is a poem written by Bryan Martinez.


Stand in a meadow

You see the vastness of it

Yet the woods seem small



I sit in silence

Stars caress each leaf with light

Autumn, I thank you



You are powerful

Your dreams are attainable

Believe in yourself





Rain or Shine, We Fight

Don’t Give Up, For We Are Free

Believe In Yourself





What are Dreams Without An Imagination 

What are Dreams Without An Imagination

What is Imagination without your Dreams

Dreams are made in the far distance within clouds

Imagination is held with one simple spell

It goes up and up like a helium balloon

With fire beneath its wings

As it touches the sky; the night sky

The Stars Above

The balloon pops


The fire beneath becomes an ocean of waves

A flame of oceans swimming in the sky

With one attached


sunset scene


green meadow with blue sky

night time shot of fall tree leaves







white tree next to lake







sunset over water with clouds









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Embodied Expression: Dance at BAC

The Bryn Athyn College dance program presents stirring, evocative, and delightful performances every year. Behind the scenes in the classes, workshops, and rehearsals, amazing things happen as these shows are put together. Limits are tested, growth is nurtured, horizons expand, and lasting bonds are made.

Experience the thrill of the next dance concert on May 13th at 2pm and 8pm at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center. Let this BAC dance video inspire you in the meantime!

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Darlingside in Concert @Glencairn Museum April 2

Bryn Athyn College welcomes Darlingside in concert at Glencairn Museum on April 2nd.

Harmonies, humor and beautiful cooperative songwriting combine to make this a band one not to be missed live in concert. Their latest album, Birds Say, has received great critical praise and they are selling out shows around the US and in Europe. Last year Darlingside was an XPN artist to watch and selected by NPR as one of the 7 best performances (out of more than 200) on the World Cafe stage in 2016. Four guys, one mic, loads of instruments, amazing music all in the Great Hall of a stunning castle-like building. Don’t miss out!

Get your tickets hereopens in a new window

$22 in advance and $25 at the door.

“Birds Say is a sonic gem to be envious of and is one of the great albums released this year” – The Huffington Post

“Locomotive fold-pop confections so richly executed it’s hard to tell if it’s one voice or 12” – Rolling Stone

Check out some of their music videos and read more about the band at

The show is all ages and is general admission seating.

Doors open at 7:30. Get there early for the best seats!

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