For one week every winter, Berkshire students participate in two unique, intensive courses of their choosing, taught by faculty, staff, parents, alumni, friends, and other students. The Pro Vita Winter Session is focused on the "Make. Perform. Do. Solve. Serve." model, in which students explore courses within the areas of art and design, sustainability, philanthropy, diversity, and sense of place.

The goal of this program is for students to have the opportunity to explore the larger world around them and to embrace the School motto: Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, "Learning—not just for school but for life.” Pro Vita offers more than 60 courses, a lunchtime workshop series, several site-based excursions, and various guest speakers, which allow students to uncover new talents and discover lifelong pursuits.

Follow Pro Vita Live

During Pro Vita there's a lot going on—classes, off-campus trips, performances, speakers, and special events. You can keep up with all of the excitement here or by following our Pro Vita Instagram account.


Sunday, Feb. 25


7:00 p.m. | Allen Theater

Monday, Feb. 26

Green & gray Trivia night

7:45 p.m. | Benson Commons

Tuesday, Feb. 27

dom flemons

7:00 p.m | Allen Theater

*this event will be available via WEBSTREAM

Wednesday, Feb. 28

where there be dragons

7:00 p.m. | Lecture, Fentress Reading Room (limited space)

8:30 p.m | Documentary, Allen Theater

Thursday, Mar. 1

telluride mountainfilm on tour

7:00 p.m. | Allen Theater

Friday, March 2

max holmes

7:00 p.m. | Allen Theater

*this event will be available via WEBSTREAM

Saturday, March 3


8:30 a.m. | Allen Theater

Course Catalog

Speaker Series

dom flemons | TUESDAY, February 27 • 7:00 p.m. at allen theater

Dom Flemons is a Grammy Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music.

Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Dom’s involvement with music began by playing percussion in his high school band. After picking up the guitar and harmonica as a teenager, he began to play in local coffee houses and became a regular performer on the Arizona folk music scene. Dom wrote his own songs and produced 25 albums of singer-songwriters and slam poets in the Phoenix area, including six albums of his own, during this time. He took a brief break from playing music in order to pursue slam poetry (he majored in English at Northern Arizona University) and performed in two national poetry slams in 2002 and 2003. Aside from exploring slam poetry, he spent his early adulthood listening to records and discovering a love of folk music, blues, jazz, jug band music, country music and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll. Dom became interested in folk musicians such as Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, and Mike Seeger, as well as musicians such as Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin’ Wolf, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. After stepping away from the slam poetry scene, he rekindled his interest in music, this time focusing on the old-time blues music of the pre-WWII era.

To listen to his music, or read more about Don Flemons, visit his website.


Held every Memorial Day weekend, Mountainfilm is a documentary film festival that showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter. Along with exceptional documentaries, the festival goes beyond the film medium by bringing together world-class athletes, change makers and visionary artists for a multi-dimensional celebration of indomitable spirit. Mountainfilm, which includes interactive talks, free community events, a gallery walk, outdoor programming and presentations, aims to inspire audiences to action on worthy causes.

Presenter Stash Wislocki will present at Berkshire on March 1.

To learn more, visit

dr. MAX HOLMES | friday, march 2 • 7:00 P.M. AT ALLEN THEATER

Dr. Max Holmes is an earth system scientist who studies rivers and their watersheds and how climate change and other disturbances are impacting the cycles of water and chemicals in the environment. He is particularly interested in the fate of the vast quantities of ancient carbon locked in permafrost in the Arctic, which may be released as permafrost thaws, exacerbating global warming. Dr. Holmes has ongoing projects in the Russian, Canadian, and Alaskan Arctic, and in the tropics in the Amazon and the Congo. He is committed to engaging students in his research projects and to communicating the results and implications of his research to the public and to policy-makers. Dr. Holmes recently served for two years as Program Director of the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program and in 2015 was named National Fellow of the Explorers Club.

Lunch Series

Lunch Series Workshops will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., some with limited space.

Monday, February 26 - Fentress Reading room

BEARing It All: Two Different Roads Of Public & Global Service After Berkshire
with Bruce Shields '57 & Malcolm Odell '57

Come listen to these two Berkshire alums as they recount their adventures on the Mountain and beyond. They will discuss and field questions about how their Berkshire experiences laid the foundations for the passions and inspirations of what they would pursue in college and after in two very different careers- one in the Green Mountains, the other in the Himalayas.

tuesday, February 27 - berkshire hall room 103

Come Learn About the Enneagram: A Self- Awareness and Relationship Tool
with Margo Montgomery P '10

The Enneagram is a personality mapping system that tells us about our unconscious patterns of thinking, feeling and acting and how they were developed early on in our lives. This pragmatic and powerful tool indicates what you “x” out in life as well as your specific growth path. But, guess what? You are a type but there are eight others. This workshop will give you a glimmer of all the types and you might even recognize yours. You may think you know yourself, but I promise you will walk away with new insights. This is the quickest, deepest tool I know for self- awareness and to develop your emotional intelligence which research shows is the greatest predictor of success and well-being. Come join us and better understand why people don’t think like you!!!

wednesday, February 28 - crawford family lecture hall

Spy Games: Life in the CIA and Private Intelligence World
with Rob Richer and Matt Devost P '19

Join decorated CIA veteran Rob Richer and security expert Matt Devost P '19 as they take you on a tour through life in the CIA during the height of the Cold War and the Global War on Terrorism and provide a unique perspective on today’s top global security issues like terrorism, regional conflicts, and hacking. Curious about how the CIA recruits, trains and deploys spies and analysts around the world? How countries hack into each others global infrastructures? Join this casual fireside chat and bring your questions for a robust Q & A session at the end.

thursday, March 1 - berkshire hall room 208

No Mud, No Lotus: The Making of Metaphors and Origami Lotus Flowers
with Claire Emery

In 2012, during a difficult period in Claire's life, a Buddhist nun taught her how to fold origami lotus flowers. Origami is the art of paper folding: with this simple, meditative practice, we can make something beautiful out of the dross of every day life. Everyone will come out of the session with at least one lotus flower folded out of paper.

Friday, March 2 - fentress reading room

Adventure of a Journalist
with Carolyn Kormann

Reporting on topics such as climate change around the world and the culinary diversity of New York City in major publications such as The New Yorker, Carolyn Kormann has given readers a unique perspective and taste of the variety of experiences and challenges around the globe today. Carolyn will not only talk about the fun and engaging projects that she has taken on in search for truth since graduating from Middlebury College in 2004, but also about what inspired and led her to this career path.

Off-Campus Trips

Pro Vita Winter Session is a week-long program where the school community challenges and stretches itself in ways beyond the traditional high school curriculum. Designed around the motto Make. Perform. Solve. Serve., Pro Vita provides students with the opportunity to explore the School’s mission and core values and its commitment to Sustainability, Sense of Place, Philanthropy, Diversity, and For Life in a hands-on way. The Pro Vita experience fosters growth in Berkshire’s core values of integrity, perseverance, curiosity, respect, resilience, and inclusion. During Pro Vita, students live out the School motto: “Learning -- not just for school but for life.”

Pro Vita’s on-campus curriculum consists of over 60 seminar-style classes. Students also participate in a wide variety of evening events and hear from guest speakers. In 2018, Berkshire will be offering five off-campus excursions during Pro Vita, which falls on February 26-March 3, 2018. Below is a look at the destinations planned for Pro Vita 2018. If you are interested in receiving more information (cost, details and itinerary) about these trips, please contact Pro Vita Director Donald Anselmi at

Please Note: All of these trips go beyond the normal purview of Berkshire’s curriculum and, therefore, require additional fees for transportation, lodging, and food costs while off-campus. Prices vary depending upon enrollment and other factors, and are subject to change. Limited scholarships are available.

Florida: Aviation Science

A perennial favorite: students on this trip will attend a fully credentialed and FAA certified flight school based in Lakeland, Florida. They will undergo initial flight training for a Private Pilot and will complete approximately 8 to 10 hours of flight training and 15 hours of ground school training during the week. With additional trips to Jet Blue University and the Museum of Flight, Berkshire students will return from the trip with big smiles along with an experiential understanding of flying an airplane and gained sense of self confidence. No prior experience is needed.

Venice, Italy: Sinking Cities & Resilient Communities

Our journey will begin in Venice where students will explore the phenomenon of Italy’s work on rising sea levels and its impact on architecture, economy and urban planning. Students will investigate Venetian sites and water management projects before moving to the small village of Sant’Angelo in Pontano where they will work with architects and urban planners in design workshops to prepare a presentation to the Boston Society of Architects, who face a similar concern with rising sea levels.

Nicaragua: Leadership and Service

Through integrating in the community of Nindiri, a small town with a rich connection to Nicaragua’s indigenous past, students will explore the influences of the Nindiri families in topics like housing, education, health and agriculture. On a day to day basis, students will be working alongside community members to build a more sustainable and just world through service learning and community development. The experience will also showcase some of the beautiful sites of Nicaragua including Lake Managua and the Volcano National Park.

Thailand: How Does Tourism impact Culture?

In the modern global marketplace, Southeast Asia has experienced unprecedented economic growth. How has this impacted the local, indigenous cultures? Students will seek to answer this and many other questions as they experience Thailand and learn from the Thai people and from each other. Students will visit the markets of Bangkok, experience life in a small fishing village and the tourism industry along the coast, all while uncovering what goes on behind tourism and the sustainability of culture. Students will capture and share their experiences through digital storytelling—using photography, videography, and interviews to create a short documentary.

Utah: NOLS Desert and Canyon Expedition

Utah has a beautiful desert and canyon landscape where students will learn backpacking, outdoor living, leadership and technical canyoneering skills. Students will rappel, experience slot canyon descents, collaborate for group decision making, and understand how their actions relate to real consequences. The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming will partner with Berkshire School throughout the experience.