This spring, St. Mark’s School of Texas will honor Victor Vescovo ’84 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Victor has enjoyed a remarkable career as both a businessman and an international explorer. On August 24, 2019, he dove into history by completing his ambitious Five Deeps Expedition. After reaching the bottom of the Molloy Trench, 18,209 feet below the Arctic Ocean, Victor became the first human to dive to the deepest point of all five of the world’s oceans.
“I am so proud of our entire, extraordinary team that made the Five Deeps Expedition possible,” Victor said in a press release. “It took us over four years to go from embracing the general mission to dive to the bottom of all the world’s oceans – something no government or organization has ever attempted – to building this amazing diving system and then actually doing it.”
In April 2019, Victor broke the undersea depth record when he piloted his submersible DSV Limiting Factor down 35,853 feet into the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean. Then, just before the expedition’s final dive into the Arctic Ocean, Victor joined a team of researchers who were the first people to visit the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 14 years.
“Victor has led an extraordinary life in every aspect, including his academic pursuits, his business pursuits, and now in his pursuit of exploration,” said Tom Fagadau ’76, Alumni Awards Committee Chair. “His passion for discovery and pursuit of knowledge inspired the Selection Committee and we hope inspires the entire St. Mark’s community to achieve the ‘possible.’ Victor not only embodies a lifetime of high achievement but, just as important, an impenetrable strength of character.”
On May 24, 2019, just weeks after his historic dive into the Challenger Deep, Victor returned to St. Mark’s to deliver the Commencement Address to the Class of 2019 (watch below). Vescovo offered 25 rules to live by to the graduating seniors, beginning with: “You only have a limited amount of time on this earth. Use it.”
Before setting his sights beneath the sea, Victor became only 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. Throughout his adventures, Victor has displayed his Lion pride, wearing a St. Mark’s crest on his diving uniform
and carrying a St. Mark’s flag to the summit of Mt. Everest and the South Pole.
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.
Victor will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award during Alumni Weekend on April 24, 2020. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes achievement of exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career.
Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award are:
- 1987 – P.O'B. Montgomery, Jr. ’38
- 1988 – Samuel W. Papert, Jr. ’37
- 1989 – Ray L. Hunt ’61
- 1990 – Tommy Lee Jones ’65
- 1991 – Carl Sewell ’61
- 1992 – Robert K. Hoffman ’65
- 1994 – Michael R. Levy ’64
- 1995 – William Clarkson IV ’66
- 1998 – Robert Decherd ’69
- 2002 – H. Ross Perot, Jr. ’77
- 2005 – Stephen T. Jurvetson ’85
- 2007 – Steve Miller ’61
- 2009 – S. Alan Stern ’75
- 2011 – Robert M. Edsel ’75
- 2013 – Kurt Eichenwald ’79
- 2015 – Kenneth Hersh ’81
- 2018 – John J. Nance ’64
to read more about each of the Alumni Awards.