Core Values

Core Values

These core values best define who we are. We seek to consistently reflect them on the water, in the classroom and in our communities. 

Equal and Inclusive

Hiram Conibear has been lauded for being an innovator and leader in the sport of rowing, but perhaps his greatest contribution at Washington was his insistence that the sport be open to both men and women. Today, Washington’s men’s and women’s crews receive strong support from the University, share training facilities at Conibear Shellhouse and are thriving.


From winning national championships and Gold Medals to the annual Class Day Regatta, the Cal Dual, Windermere Cup and the VBC banquet, tradition is at the heart of Washington Rowing.


Community is the Varsity Boat Club, our student-athletes, coaches, alums, friends, and parents. Community lies in the bonds made in four years at Washington, lifelong bonds that bring classes together fifty or sixty years later. And community is the University and Seattle itself, a city that from day one came out in droves to watch the crew races, and, on each and every Opening Day, does again.


Teamwork is abundantly evident while rowing, referred to often as the “ultimate team sport.” At Washington, the rowing part—which we do well—is only a fraction of what it means to be a team. Our team includes our alums, our parents, our friends, our donors. Our team is a mix of tradition and community, an equal and inclusive group that sets goals and seeks to achieve them, together.


Our student-athletes come to Washington for a first-class education. There are no professional rowing leagues, no sports agents, no television cameras to compete for or seek. We come to Washington to learn. Part of that learning experience—in fact a significant amount—takes place in the early morning hours on Lake Washington. That is a consistent message from our alums, and an education that remains highly valued personally.

"I’ve heard men shriek out with delight when the swing came in an eight; it’s a thing they’ll never forget as long as they live."
– George Pocock
Washington Rowing Stewards