On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the first Blue and Gray Day celebration occurred at Gilmour Academy. Blue and Gray Day is an event that brought the community together and celebrated the 193rd birthday of Bishop Richard Gilmour, a former Bishop of Cleveland and the namesake of Gilmour Academy.
Ms. Madison Moreno, Associate Annual Giving Officer, worked to make this day a success. She helped prepare and create a video to spread awareness about Blue and Gray Day. Moreno believes that Blue and Gray Day was a success and a day “to bring some unique voices to Gilmour to reflect the warmth and generosity of the community.”
Hannah Loncar (`18) appeared in the Blue and Gray Day video that was created by Mr. David Kilkenney and his students. Loncar said, “I was excited to be a part of such a special day and represent the school.” The video went viral within the Gilmour community via social media making this event well known.
Blue and Gray Day raises money and awareness to support programs and activities at Gilmour Academy. The annual fund provides new supplies and materials for special projects throughout the campuses of Gilmour Academy. In previous years, Gilmour participated in Giving Tuesday, like many other schools, to solicit donations for the Annual Fund. But this year, “We wanted to make it more Gilmour-centric” said Moreno. To celebrate Bishop Gilmour’s 193rd birthday, Gilmour Academy hosted Blue and Gray day, hoping to receive 193 donations in his honor. Moreno said, “With 165 donations, we raised over $30,000. I think the inaugural event was a success.”
Students and faculty came together to celebrate this day. During all of the lunch periods, students watched a video about Blue and Gray Day while eating cake. The school-wide dress down day helped to promote Blue and Gray Day by having students wear Gilmour clothing.
Students expressed their thoughts about the day. Arianna Mack (`18) said, “I think Blue and Gray Day was a success. A lot of students participated, especially since it was the first time this event took place.” Carter DiVincenzo (`19) added, “I think Gilmour spirit was elevated that day.” Students celebrated the day with cake during their lunch periods.
However, others did not have the same opinion. Katelyn Schlotter (`18) thought “it was a good idea, but there should have been more activities and events to celebrate the 193rd birthday of Bishop Gilmour.” Multiple students said they were unaware of Blue and Gray Day and they were just happy to dress down and eat cake.
Mack believes that to make this day even better, Blue and Gray Day should be “more of a Gilmour family type thing, not just a day for students to dress down.” For Blue and Gray Day next year, “Gilmour plans to try for 194 donors for Bishop Gilmour’s 194th birthday. We will also introduce more student activities and involvement during the day,” said Moreno. Blue and Gray Day is expected to become a new tradition at Gilmour Academy.