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Introducing The Davis Center: An Academic Catalyst

Holderness School is pleased to announce that the science and math building currently under construction will be named The Davis Center in honor of Trustee Andrew Davis P'18 and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. 
The Davis Center is made possible by the generous support of Mr. Davis and all of the donors of the Elevating Academics Campaign, a $27.3 million fundraising effort to support teaching and learning at Holderness School. The Elevating Academics Campaign supports the construction of The Davis Center, renovations to existing academic spaces and the school’s auditorium, and the construction of an academic quad and outdoor classroom.

The Davis Center is a 35,000 square foot academic facility that will be home to Holderness School’s math and science departments. Designed under the themes of innovation, collaboration, flexibility, and connecting to the outdoors, The Davis Center will feature wet and dry science labs, versatile classrooms, enhanced faculty planning spaces, break-out rooms, and an atrium-like Winter Garden with stunning views of Stinson Mountain. 

“The Davis Center not only provides Holderness School with dynamic teaching and learning spaces, it also allows us to transform every teaching and learning space across campus," says Head of School Phil Peck. "We are deeply appreciative of Andrew Davis for believing in Holderness and helping us to be a leader in science and math education among independent schools.”

Well-versed in the world of independent schools, Mr. Davis sees opportunity in a Holderness School education.“Holderness is compelling.  The school has a remarkable outdoor program, an incredible emphasis on community and leadership development, and a ski program with an extraordinary legacy,” Mr. Davis says. “While Holderness offers strong academics, there is an opportunity to elevate and enhance this program so that the school is known for academics just as much as it is known for the outdoors or skiing. Holderness allows students to learn and grow in a supportive environment.  I am inspired by the totality and promise of the Holderness experience, and I hope to help the school realize its full potential.”

The Davis Center will undoubtedly support Holderness in reaching its full potential, but Mr. Davis reminds us that what happens among the classrooms and science labs is critical. “Buildings follow program, and we would not have supported this campaign if we didn’t believe in the program,” Mr. Davis says. “The Elevating Academics Campaign emphasized the future of teaching and learning at Holderness, not as a collection of buildings but as programmatic initiatives. The Davis Center catalyzes these initiatives and gives the education of the Holderness student a real home.”

Speaking to this catalytic effect, Director of Teaching and Learning Kelsey Berry states, “The Davis Center will empower teaching and learning at Holderness to be more student-centered, more inquiry-driven and more collaborative. From student break-out rooms to faculty collaborative spaces and flexible classrooms that will house yet-to-be imagined learning, this building will give our robust curriculum the space and resources to even better serve our students.“

The reach of The Davis Center will go far beyond just science and math. The building will have tremendous influence on the entire Holderness experience, increasing available classroom square footage by 50%, informing curriculum design, and ushering in a wave of renovations across existing learning spaces.  

“This building will add definition to the campus, connect learning spaces to the outdoors, and give the academic program the room it needs to deliver a complete Holderness education,” says Mr. Davis. “Schools must have campuses that are effective, more than just a collection of buildings.  The Davis Center will be a magnifier.  Our teachers will be better resourced, able to offer a stronger program, and the students will have greater learning opportunities as a result.  No question.”

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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257