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Chris Davenport ’89 to Speak at 143rd Commencement
Andrew Herring

Two-time World Champion skier Chris Davenport ’89 P ’19 ’21, a pioneering big-mountain skier who has skied on Mount Everest and appeared in more than 30 films by Warren Miller and Matchstick Productions, will speak at the school’s 143rd Commencement on May 22, 2022.


In the years since his own graduation from Holderness, Mr. Davenport – who is also a Holderness School trustee – has built a hugely successful career as a professional skier, author, and entrepreneur. He will speak to students about his own Holderness experience and lessons learned in his decades-long career as one of the world’s preeminent big-mountain skiers.


“Being asked by the Senior class to be their commencement speaker is one of the great honors of my life,” Mr. Davenport says. “Not only did Holderness play a huge part in my personal development as a young student and athlete, it did the same for two of our boys. I can’t wait to share some stories and life lessons with the Class of 2022.”


Mr. Davenport’s accomplishments as a professional skier are numerous. Just some of his career highlights include winning the World Extreme Skiing Championships in 1996, taking home an X-Games Bronze Medal in 1998, and winning the IFSA World Freeskiing Championships in 2000. His skiing bona fides go far beyond competitions, however: in 2011, he summited Mount Everest and became one of the few people to ski down the imposing Lhotse Face, an icy, 50-degree slope that descends some 3,700 feet from the peak’s upper reaches. He has also made numerous first descents of peaks around the globe, and in 2007 became the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than one year.


Today - in addition to skiing and guiding around the world - Mr. Davenport is an entrepreneur and professional speaker who lectures on risk management as it relates to business and mountain sports, and serves as an advocate for combatting climate change. He is also a co-owner of Kästle Skis, Director at Protect Our Winters, and a TV commentator for ESPN, ABC Sports, and Outside Television. He is also an author, having written two books, Ski the 14ers and 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. The entire Holderness community is excited to welcome Mr. Davenport back to campus.


“We are honored to have Chris Davenport speak at Commencement,” says Head of School Phil Peck. “In addition to being one of the world’s most accomplished big mountain skiers and an exemplary adventurer, Chris truly lives his life to work for the betterment of humankind and God’s creation through his activism and advocacy work around climate change and conservation.”


Holderness School’s 143rd Commencement will take place at 11 a.m. on Livermore Commons on May 22.

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