Leadership & Service
At Holderness, leadership and service are central to every aspect of our culture.
During their time on campus, we teach kids to step forward with courage, humility, and perseverance so that they can transform their own lives and work for the betterment of humankind. Leadership at Holderness is each person’s journey to best serve and empower others
Each spring, in a tradition that dates back more than 70 years, Holderness students elect their school leaders for the following year. It’s a unique process without speeches or campaigning, where rising seniors are assessed on the qualities of fairness, initiative, dependability, and empathy. Those student leaders then go on to run key aspects of the school as president and vice president, dining hall supervisors, dorm leaders, and Job Program leaders.
Since the 1930s, students - led by senior leaders - have worked alongside staff to help care for the wellbeing of the school. Today, students spend several hours each week working on grounds crews, giving Admission tours, serving as dinner stewards, leading campus sustainability and recycling efforts, and building community as house and floor leaders. Along the way, students become truly invested in the community and develop important skills - punctuality, self-reliance, and responsibility, among others - that serve them well in college and beyond.
Pro Deo et Genere Humano - “For God and Humankind” - is our school motto, and our commitment to serving others is strong. Forty hours of community service are required for graduation, but students regularly go far beyond that. Throughout their four years at Holderness, students give back through their work on Project Outreach, Vestry, Relay for Life, and many other initiatives.