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A Tradition of Service: Holderness School on Independence Day
Greg Kwasnik

As our community celebrates Independence Day, Holderness would like to recognize three recent graduates who have committed to serving their country: Calvin Sweeney ’24, Cooper Boulanger ’22, and Tommy Raymond ’23.

Calvin, who will attend Purdue University this fall, is the recipient of a prestigious $180,000 Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship. The NROTC Scholarship provides its recipients with a fully funded path to college at one of 160 colleges and universities across the nation.  Applicants are evaluated based on their proven leadership abilities, physical fitness, and scholastic excellence, in addition to a host of other categories. This year, only 54 students in the Northeast region received NROTC scholarships.
Other students bound for military service include Cooper Boulanger ’22, who will attend the United States Air Force Academy and play hockey for the Falcons, and Tommy Raymond ’23, who is enrolled in an Army ROTC program at Boston University.
In the early decades after its founding in 1879, Holderness School sent many graduates into the military. A 2013 Holderness School Today story reminds us that:
"Back in 1879 the Civil War was as recent an event as 9/11 is for us now, and college wasn’t the only favored destination for a bright young man. The earliest school catalogs promised that Holderness students would be ‘fitted for College, the United States Naval and Military Academies at Annapolis and West Point, and the higher Scientific Schools.’ In fact, many of the school’s first students came from military families, and there are several photos in the archives of the Holderness 'cadet corps' drilling in uniform and with rifles on the Quad in front of the Schoolhouse and Knowlton Hall. “Instruction in military tactics” was part of the physical training offered each student…With the arrival of Lorin Webster as rector in 1892, the cadet corps disappeared, as did the military academy track."
As we celebrate Independence Day, let’s take a moment to reflect on the many Holderness graduates who have devoted themselves to their country. We thank them for their service - from those first students in the Cadet Corps to the many subsequent men and women who have enlisted in the military, Peace Corps, and other avenues of national service. 

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