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    Commencement 2009 Awards


    Editor's Note: the following awards were presented at our Commencement ceremony on Sunday, 5/24/2009. Faculty members close to each award winner are asked to write a paragraph in honor of the recipient. An abbreviated version of the write-up was read at the ceremony, but we offer the full write-up both on the card accompanying the award and here. Congratulations! 

    Presenter: Phil Peck

    The Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded to an alumnus or alumna who has displayed outstanding leadership and/or service in their community or in his or her professional field.

    This year's award goes to William Clough '57.

    Bill Clough began his career in education, perhaps, in 1957 as the house leader of Hoit, holding himself and others accountable to high standards. After graduating from Holderness and then Colby College, Bill returned to Holderness to begin an 18-year career as a teacher and administrator.

    In 1983, he moved on to become the headmaster of Gould Academy, a school that he built into one of the most vibrant independent schools in northern New England, while simultaneously strengthening organizations that serve all northern New England independent schools. Since retiring from Gould in 2001, he has among other things worked as a consultant for CAISA, the organization for international school accreditation.

    That process of betterment that began in Hoit in 1957 has enriched this entire region, and now schools all over the world. Holderness is proud to present its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award to Bill Clough.

    Presenter: Rev. B.W. "Pete" Woodward, Jr.
    The Rev. B.W. "Pete" Woodward, Jr. Prize is awarded in recognition of a Holderness graduate, in his or her junior year in college, for exceptional leadership, academic achievement, and/or service to his or her college community.

    There are two winners of this year's award. Our first Woodward Award winner is Anna Parrott '06.

    Anna Parrott has left her stamp on nearly every aspect of scholastic and community life at St. Lawrence University. An environmental studies major who maintained a 3.5 GPA during her first two years, she is also co-captain of the varsity lacrosse team. Through her work as part of SLU's competitive Kenya Semester Abroad program, she carried out an independent study with a software provider in Jinja, Uganda to improve the computer infrastructure in schools in Jinja.
    Anna has worked for the betterment of humankind in both local and distant settings while at the same time posting a sterling record of personal achievement at St. Lawrence. It's a record that unites mind, body, and spirit underneath the umbrella of service, and Holderness School is proud to present her this year's Rev. B.W. "Pete" Woodward Award.

    Our second Woodward Award winner is Colin Edge '06.

    Colin Edge has carved a space for himself as a walk-on on the competitive Connecticut College ice hockey team, this year earning a place on the NESCAC All-Academic Team, as well as the team's "Unsung Hero" award.

    Off the ice, this double major in government and psychology has posted a GPA of 3.6, and has worked as an intern in risk management at a Massachusetts hospital. In Connecticut he has both coached youth hockey and worked at a middle school with special-needs students. This spring at the college he carried out a research project on the role of peer pressure in alcohol consumption.

    For his hard work, tenacity, and focus on others, we are proud to present Colin Edge with the 2009 Woodward Award.

    Presenter: The Right Reverend Douglas E. Theuner
    The Right Reverend Douglas E. Theuner Award is named in honor of the eighth bishop of New Hampshire and a faithful servant of Holderness School, this award is given to a person who has significantly increased and furthered the mission of Holderness School.

    The Theuner Award is awarded each year to an individual - or a family - who has made a difference in the life of Holderness School. Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo have been making important differences at Holderness since they came to Holderness with their son, Sander '94.

    In the early 1990s, as head of the board of the trustees' investment committee, Eijk was the presiding genius in the development of a portfolio management plan unique among non-profits, one aggressive enough to greatly increase our endowment in a relatively short time, and at the same time conservative enough to protect us even against this past fall's downturn.

    At the same time Eijk and Rose-Marie, out of their vast affection for the teachers of Holderness, quietly funded a professional development program for our faculty that is second to none in the independent school world, helping our master teachers to reinvent and reinvigorate themselves and their teaching. Recently, they gave the largest gift in the history of the school and applied it to financial aid, helping to keep Holderness School accessible to another generation of students.

    Last but not least, consider the setting for our Commencement exercises today, the Livermore Common. It, too, is a gift from the van Otterloos who continue to invest in Holderness with their time, knowledge, and generosity, helping to keep us financially strong, accessible, healthy, and moving forward in pursuit of our strategic goals  Please join with me in applauding them as worthy recipients of the 2009 Theuner Award.


    - Abigail Jane Alexander
    - Christopher William Bradbury
    - Sarah Rogers Clarkson
    - Hyun Jung Chung
    - Mary Jo Germanos
    - Mireille Cecile Pichette
    - Laura Olivia Pohl
    - Sarah Ashby Sussman

    - William Cody Bohonnon * 
    - Isabelle Lane Curran
    - Elena Crawford Hayssen
    - Jacob Bradshaw Manoukian *
    - Tenley August Malmquist *
    - James Randall Mathews *
    - Meghan Ann McNulty
    - David Morgan
    - Kelsey Ann Muller
    - Meredith Tracy Peck
    - Allison Bennett Robbins
    - Sophia Isabelle Schwartz *
    - Amelia Field Simmons *

    * Inducted as a Junior

    Presenter: Randy Houseman
    The M.J. LaFoley Award is given in memory of Martin John LaFoley, a former student, to a boy or girl in the third or fourth form who, in the opinion of the Head of School and faculty, exemplifies outstanding character and integrity, and who puts forth exceptional effort and spirit in all aspects of Holderness life.

    Samuel Macomber's efforts in the classroom are exemplary. On the ski slopes and baseball diamond he is a fierce competitor. He is also an outstanding community member, often taking time out of his busy schedule to play with young faculty children. These are all admirable qualities, yet it is his unique ability to bring joy to every activity that makes Sam stand out in a crowd. In the classroom he enjoys learning and on the ski slopes and baseball fields he plays with the unbridled enthusiasm of a child. More importantly, the joy that Sam brings to every event, from pantry to chemistry extra help, is contagious. If you are lucky enough to spend any time with Sam, you will leave with a smile on your face.

    Presenter: Alan Smarse and Lance Galvin
    The Coach's Award (Ford B. Hinman: Teacher, Coach, Director of Athletics, 1932-1974) is awarded to the student who in the opinion of the Director of Athletics and the Head of School, has contributed the most to the spirit of Holderness on and off the field.

    This individual reached her goals with great enthusiasm. Through hard work, determination, and an uplifting attitude, she was able to compete at the highest Junior level in the world.  When the results did not favor her goals, she was quick to realize that the journey was more important than the destination. This year's Coach's Award was earned by Jamie Mills.

    Presenter: Lindley van der Linde
    The Coach's Award (Ford B. Hinman: Teacher, Coach, Director of Athletics, 1932-1974) is awarded to the student who in the opinion of the Director of Athletics and the Head of School, has contributed the most to the spirit of Holderness on and off the field.

    If you were witness to a cross-country running, Nordic skiing, or cycling race at Holderness in the last three years, you saw the icon that is Ian Nesbitt. Extraordinarily physically fit, Ian graduates today leaving a storied legacy, including being both a New England Prep School Champion and Lakes Region Champion. These successes did not come without hard work. Ian trained religiously out-of-season and took advantage of every workout in-season. Every race start was an Olympic competition to Ian. He was always up to date on the latest racing journal articles and eager to pass on his knowledge and excitement to his coaches and peers. Such commitment, intensity, and willingness to take risks extended well beyond Ian's athletic realm. Ian was a dependable House Leader in Hoit, was a strong presence on the stage in Chicago, was a lead singer in the chorus concert, and presented a rigorous Capstone project using cutting-edge Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning System technologies, which for Ian were primarily self-taught. For the tireless dedication he brought to his sports, for the joy he received from engrossing himself in each event, for his high level of sportsmanship, for his athletic accomplishments, and for taking advantage of everything that Holderness has to offer, I proudly present Ian Nesbitt with this year's Coach's Award.

    Presenter: Frank Cirone
    The Webster Cup Award is the gift of a former Rector, the Rev. Lorin Webster, to be awarded for excellence in athletics. (The student receives a cup and the name is to be engraved on a plaque to be retained by the School).

    Mark Haggarty is a positive, consistent leader in hockey, soccer and baseball, and is a prime example of what it means to finish strongly. After breaking his hand in varsity soccer's shutout win against an undefeated team, this captain goalkeeper continued to make saves. Ignoring the cast on his arm, he led the team to an exciting Tabor Day win from the midfield. In hockey, his return after surgery infused the team with excitement and passion and helped turn the season around. This captain finished strongly again, scoring a hat trick on Parents Weekend. This spring, he led his baseball team to an undefeated season. For excellence in athletics and for consistently finishing strongly, the Webster Cup is awarded to Mark J. Haggarty.

    Presenter: Margot Moses
    The Webster Cup Award is the gift of a former Rector, the Rev. Lorin Webster, to be awarded for excellence in athletics. (The student receives a cup and the name is to be engraved on a plaque to be retained by the School).

    Although not a varsity athlete for all four years, this student has been a serious competitor on every team that she has been a member of. Plain and simple, she loves sports and loves to play at any level. When the last whistle has blown or the finish line is reached, you know that she has given it her all. Without a doubt she has wholeheartedly embraced Holderness's three-sport requirement and the athletics program is better off because she was such an active participant. George Sheehan wrote, "Competition is simply each of us seeking our absolute best with the help of each other." Throughout her four years at Holderness, Hadley Bergh has wholeheartedly embraced this concept by pushing herself and her teammates to reach their goals.

    Presenter: Margot Moses
    No one would argue that the past two years have been a challenge for this senior. At the same time, all would agree that the challenges that she faced have certainly made her stronger. She has had to work incredibly hard to prove herself in the classroom, but that never once stopped her from giving it her all. Athletically she is a true competitor. She thrives in head-to-head competition, but is always modest about her victories. Her life experiences have enabled her to maintain a clear perspective when in the midst of boarding school drama. She's always true to her beliefs and does not shy away from tough conversations. This community is stronger because she chose to come to Holderness two years ago. It is with great pleasure that the faculty honors Kelsey Nichols with the Special Faculty Award.

    Presenter: Susie Cirone
    The Ned Gillette Spirit Award is awarded annually to the graduating senior whose career at Holderness who best reflects Ned Gillette's genuine leadership, competitive attitude, and spirit of adventure. The Headmaster in consultation with members of the faculty will select the recipient.

    Tasha Rivard jumps into new experiences, somehow knowing that she'll always stick the landing. Her curiosity seems limitless, and she takes the same enthusiasm that makes her a standout hockey and lacrosse player, to a rock face, a poetry recitation, a Capstone presentation, or even a rope swing on Squam. Although she seeks the sometimes all-too-dangerous thrill of new challenges, Tasha is equally reflective and inclusive. She instills confidence in her teammates, coaches, friends and teachers by demanding a lot of them and also trusting them. She can laugh hilariously at the absurdity of her failures, but burns to win. This year's Ned Gillette Spirit Award goes to Anastasia B. Rivard.

    Presenters: Janice Pedrin-Nielson and Franz Nicolay
    The Don and Pat Henderson Award is given to the senior who, in the opinion of the Faculty and Head of School, has given himself (herself) most freely and generously to the welfare of the community and has exhibited leadership. (The student receives a cup and his (or her) name is to be engraved on a bowl to be retained by the School).

    For her tireless efforts to help those who are less fortunate, for her care and concern for the earth and our role in keeping the planet green, for her personal compassion and generous offerings of hard work, creative ideas, and positive thinking, we are honored to present the Henderson Award for leadership this year to Amelia Simmons. 

    Presenter: Peter Durnan
    The Richard C. Gallop Award for Creative and Community Leadership will be awarded to a senior student chosen by the Headmaster and the faculty. This award is given in memory of Richard Gallop, a parent and trustee, to a senior who demonstrates both creative and community leadership as one willing and able to assert those qualities which further the unique sense of community at Holderness. (The student receives a silver cup with his or her name engraved on it. Also, the student's name and graduation year will be engraved on a silver bowl to be retained by the School.

    Creativity is the expression of innovative, inspired ideas, and So Hyun Lee has been an embodiment of creativity during her years at Holderness. In her drawings, photographs and paintings - even in her uniquely casual stylishness around campus - So Hyun has been a beacon of thoughtful individual expression. Possessed of a ranging intellect, So Hyun appreciates the beauty of the equations she ponders in BC Calculus with an awe equal to that she feels in the presence of a painting by Marc Chagall. Her inspiration is to be found everywhere, from the JV tennis courts to the halls of Carpenter. It is a pleasure to honor her with the Gallop Award for Creative and Community Leadership.

    Presenter: George Macomber
    The Dana H. Rowe Memorial Award is given to that girl in the senior class who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the School through her academic achievement, her participation in sports and extra-curricular activities and her love of life.

    Meghan McNulty is the deserving winner of the Dana Rowe Award. For four years, Meghan has been a strong student, accomplished snowboarder, and energetic leader. But more importantly, the bounce in her step, her funky clothes, and her ever-present smile symbolize her love of life. As a student, Meghan loves to read and to talk about books and ideas; and on campus people love to spend time with Meghan because her conversation makes them smile and think in new and interesting ways.

    Presenter: Tobi Pfenninger
    The Clarkson Award is given to the student in the junior or senior year who, in the opinion of the Faculty, has used his (or her) abilities to the fullest in the total context of the life of the School, and who has shown that he (or she) can persevere.

    Gedvile Gineityte arrived to the Holderness campus in the fall of 2006. It was her first time in the United States and she was suddenly immersed in a new language and a different culture. She even spent her first two nights in this country sleeping in the woods during the Orientation Trip! Since that day, Gedvile has persevered through many challenges to improve her English and has taken advantage of everything this school has to offer. Gedvile's warm smile and outstanding leadership have made Holderness School a better place, and we are proud and honored to award her with the 2009 Clarkson Award.

    Presenter: Renee Lewis
    The Haslam Award is given by the School yearly in memory of the Rev. George Haslam, a former master, for excellence in Athletics, Sportsmanship, and Scholarship.

    Excellence is expected in all realms of life at Holderness, and in each of her new endeavors here Allison Robbins has been committed to not only achieving those standards but also exceeding expectations. Allison has taken full advantage of the offerings Holderness has extended to her, and she has excelled in every facet of her experience here. Her unwavering commitment to excellence is seen on the fields and slopes, in the classroom, and in all student activities. Her competitive spirit is matched only by her desire to have those around her excel, be it her teammates, her dorm, her classes or her friends. It is hard not to cheer for this young woman. 

    Presenter: Michael Carrigan
    The Dallas Award is given in memory of John Thompson Dallas, a former Bishop of New Hampshire, to the senior who clearly exemplified loyalty and dedication to the Judeo-Christian ideals of the School.

    This year's Dallas Award winner is an embodiment of the Holderness ideal.  In the classroom she is motivated to excel, but never loses sight of the ultimate goal: learning. Her academic efforts are not merely aimed at earning high marks; they are meant to quench her considerable intellectual thirst. She is a lioness of the Job Program and was a stalwart OB'er. On the athletic field, she is a tenacious but classy competitor. Between whistles she does everything in her power to win the contest. But once the game has ended, she puts all grudges aside and is immediately recognizant of shared humanity. Her work ethic and moral fiber are informed, in large part, by her deep and genuine spirituality. At a time when cheap materialism and spiritual indifference seem to pervade the larger culture, she plumbs the numinous seeking answers to the riddles of existence. All of this makes for busy days, but this student never fails to rise to the challenges of everyday life. She wears the stress of her work lightly and is always friendly, kind, and cheerful. And when Laney Hayssen walks across this platform to receive her diploma, it will truly be a proud day for Holderness School.

    Presenter: Chris Day
    The Marshall Award is given in memory of the Rev. Robert Eliot Marshall, a former Rector of the School, for an outstanding contribution to the life of the School. (The student receives a cup and his (or her) name is to be engraved on a bowl to be retained by the School).

    From his familiar "Quad side" Webster window he gazes out over his school like a Post Captain perched on the bridge of a splendid Man-o-War. Whether offering a perfectly timed barb in assembly, cheering on any and all student activities on campus, or providing sound and heady counsel to fellow students and administrators alike, Jake Manoukian has been a steady and balanced hand on the tiller through both fair breeze and ripping tempest. In his three-year Holderness career, capped by a marvelous term as school President, we have watched Jake grow from a boy to a man and have appreciated his wit, intellect, and boyish "Fordlike" enthusiasm for Holderness School. With full and grateful hearts we are proud to honor Jake with this year's Marshall Award. Steady as she goes, Mr. Manoukian, steady as she goes.

    Presenter: Phil Peck
    The Walter Alvin Frost Award is given in memory of a former student to the boy or girl who, in the judgment of the Headmaster and Faculty, reached the highest standards of the School. (The student receives a cup and his (or her) name is to be engraved on a bowl to be retained by the School).

    We often talk about balance at Holderness, and the need to do multiple tasks well. Nobody at Holderness does a better job than Sophia Schwartz in achieving excellence in every area of life that she tackles. Sophia throws herself into every task with joy, a sense of humor, and tireless effort. Her self-effacing approach to life and humble confidence inspires all of us to serve others and live our lives in alignment with our motto, "Pro Deo et Genere Humano."