On March 7, 2019, noted explorer Victor Vescovo ’84 took a break from his record-setting Five Deeps Expedition to visit St. Mark’s during a Senior Class Meeting and share his story with students. Following the meeting, Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini announced that, after consulting with the Class of 2019, Vescovo had been selected to return to St. Mark’s in May to deliver this year’s Commencement Address.
After graduating from St. Mark’s, Vescovo earned degrees from Stanford University, MIT, and Harvard Business School. He co-founded the private equity firm Insight Equity and spent more than two decades as an operational intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 2017, Vescovo became the 53rd person in history to complete the Explorers Grand Slam, which includes climbing the Seven Summits and skiing to both the North and South Poles.
Beginning in December 2018, Vescovo embarked on a new adventure to explore the deepest points in each of the five oceans, dubbed the Five Deeps Expedition
. He dove solo 27,480 feet in a custom-built submersible in the Puerto Rico Trench, the lowest point in the Atlantic Ocean. Two months later, Vescovo reached the bottom of the Southern Ocean’s South Sandwich Trench at 24,388 feet. The Expedition will continue on to explore the Java Trench (Indian Ocean), the Molly Deep (Arctic Ocean), and the Mariana Trench (Pacific Ocean). The Discovery Channel is filming the entire expedition for a documentary series that will air in 2020.
Throughout his adventures, Vescovo has maintained his close association with St. Mark’s, even carrying a custom School flag to the summit of Mt. Everest and to the South Pole. After summiting Everest, Vescovo told The Pride magazine in 2010 that St. Mark’s helped foster the character necessary to attempt and accomplish the Seven Summits. “The most important trait that distinguishes those who summit from those who attempt seems to be persistence. And to make it through St. Mark’s, you have to be persistent.”
Victor Vescovo will deliver the Commencement Address on Friday, May 24, 2019.