Be hungry. Be humble. Be fast.
Those were the words I heard as a freshman in 1979 as the class of ‘82 sat together on the floor of the south boat bay as our alums prepared us for the racing season. I will never forget it.
Almost 40 years later those words still define who we are at Washington. And all of us – all of us who benefited from this program and experience – can attest to the fact that we never did this alone. There were always alumni present, there were always new shells being christened, and there was always a strong sense of the tradition that was built before we arrived.
Today, we are those alums. We are the tradition. We are the foundation for which this program is built. It is our responsibility to see that what we experienced is also experienced by the young men and women at Conibear Shellhouse today.
We just reached our financial goal for the annual drive of $250,000 in about three months. That is impressive, and thank you to everyone who participated. But we did that with only 351 donors. 141 of them were alumni. That represents about a 2-3% participation rate from our alumni base.
We can do better. In fact we can do a lot better.
In the coming year, we will be urging all of our alums to re-connect to the program. And that is at any level – whether it is through a donation or gift, volunteering for an event, or getting back involved with classmates.
The Washington Rowing program is about all of us, together. That has been our tradition since the days of Hiram Conibear – on both the men’s and women’s side. It is who we are. Let’s remember that, and give back to this program that helped shape who we are today.
-Eric Cohen, ‘82