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Holderness Recognizes Distinguished Alumni
Greg Kwasnik

Just days after saying goodbye to the Class of 2024, Holderness School welcomed more than 250 of its alumni back to campus for Reunion Weekend. In addition to reconnecting with longtime friends and teachers, alumni attended a special Chapel to recognize several of their peers for their contributions to the school.

Here are this year’s alumni award recipients.

The Tracy McCoy Gillette ’89 Distinguished Service Award

The Tracy McCoy Gillette ‘89 Distinguished Service Award celebrates graduates whose outstanding dedication profoundly enriches the school's well-being. This year, we gave the award to two deserving graduates:

Robert Kinsley II ‘88         

We proudly recognize Robert A. Kinsley II, Class of 1988, and parent to Aiden ‘19 and Annie ‘22, for his years of exceptional stewardship to Holderness. CEO of Kinsley Enterprises, Kinsley leads a multi-disciplinary team of architects, designers, and engineers, which has profoundly shaped the campus we stand on today. 

Serving as a Holderness trustee for close to a decade, Rob’s visionary guidance has been crucial in steering Holderness through changing educational dynamics and positioning it for the future. With a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, Rob has chaired the Buildings and Grounds Committee, where he has played and continues to play a pivotal role in transforming our campus. Our collaborations with Rob and his former firm, Warehaus, have led to the design of the Davis Center and to the renovation of Hagerman Center, which not only enhanced our facilities but also set a new standard for future architectural experiences at the school.

His strategic foresight and stewardship of Holderness make him an outstanding recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. We are grateful for Rob's enduring involvement in our community and look forward to his continued impact in the years to come.

Fred H. Harbison ‘89         

We also recognize Fred H. Harbison, Class of 1989, affectionately known as Harbo, for his three decades of dedication to Holderness School’s Out Back (OB) program, an 11-day rigorous winter expedition of hiking and camping in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Raised around the world in Bogota, Lagos, and Abidjan, Harbison developed a passion for adventure that was nurtured at Holderness under the mentorship of Mike Henriques ’76, the then-Director of OB. His career path as a firefighter, paramedic, and Alaskan Big Game Guide further solidified his commitment to outdoor education and leadership.

For thirty years, Harbo has returned annually as a group leader on OB, helping students transition from focusing on self-care to caring for the group. He excels at empowering those at risk of not completing the program, encouraging them with the mantra, "Pick one thing that’s yours. Excel at that, and we will help you with the rest."

Known for his distinctive 'Super Harbo' attire—red wool pants and colorful leggings—Harbison champions individuality, helping students embrace their authentic selves. His approach both puts students at ease and highlights the importance of authenticity in leadership.

We are grateful to Harbo for his steadfast commitment to the OB program. We recognize his contributions to fostering independent thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and empathetic leadership through Out Back with the Distinguished Service Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Richard C. Clark '48    

This year we were proud to present a special recognition award to an alumnus who has been a loyal friend and ardent supporter of Holderness School for over 75 years. Rik Clark, Class of '48, has diligently served as Class Correspondent and as a valued confidant to Heads of School Phil Peck and John McVeigh, often sending early morning emails to both leaders, offering encouragement and acknowledging their effective stewardship of Holderness.

True to the Holderness tradition of community service, Rik has been both a rider and a volunteer in the Pan-Mass Challenge. He embarked on his first ride at 63 in 1993 and completed his last ride in 2012 at the age of 82. Since then, Rik has continued to contribute as a virtual rider, and together with his wife Sandy, he remains an active volunteer. Throughout his commitment to the Pan-Mass Challenge, Rik has raised over $845,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Rik and Sandy have attended countless Reunions and gatherings, always seizing the opportunity to reunite with Holderness friends. Rik, we thank you profoundly for your enduring dedication to Holderness, and we look forward to celebrating with you at Reunions to come! 

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