Skip To Main Content

Leadership & Service

Sun shines on Schoolhouse during a fall morning

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

Student Leadership

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. 

Job Program

Holderness students wash dished as part of Pantry

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.

Community Service

Students participating in Project Outreach support the Special Olympics

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. 



Hours of community service performed by ninth graders during Project Outreach


Pints of blood donated during on-campus Red Cross Blood Drives


Participants on 24 teams during Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society


Local kids who get homework help and mentoring from Holderness students at the Pemi-Baker Youth Center


Dollars raised for Special Olympics by ninth grade students during Project Outreach


Meals served each semester during Meals for Many at Plymouth Congregational Church

Explore More!

Location, Location, Location

Take the Next Step

Is Holderness right for you? The best way to find the right boarding school is to reach out. Check us out in person in New Hampshire or virtually. See why Holderness is more than a school, it's an elevated experience.