I transferred from USCG Academy to GWU (Fall '84) after spending several years working for the defense contractor, Vitro Inc., in Silver Spring, MD. I needed to complete roughly two years of education to obtain my BSEE from GWU. I completed my degree in two years, attending GWU full time for two full semesters at my expense and part time for two semesters at the company's expense. Money was very tight. During those two years, I lived out of the back of my Toyota pick up truck with a cap, sleeping bag and two drawer filing cabinet. I was a walk on for the men's rowing team and obtained free day parking at the boathouse; my primary motivation for joining the rowing team.
GWMR team offered much more than free parking, it provided the much needed sense of inclusion and community needed when attending a university located in a major urban environment. GWU has no traditional campus and the mens rowing team provided that sense of community to a fairly diverse group of young men. The shared effort (pain) of rowing quickly forms social bonds, enhances personal responsibility and integrity needed for long term success. Thirty three years later, I have my own Concept 2 rowing machine, because GWMR instilled the need to maintain personal fitness. Rowing builds character, teaches one to continually test physical and mental limits, rely on your teammates and push for excellence in all things.
I have given every fiber of my being into this rowing program, athletic department, and this school—Every single generation of GW men’s rowers has since 1956. Whether it be a practice on the Potomac, an erg session in Smith Center, or the IRA National Championship race in California, representing The George Washington University was one of the greatest honors of my life. I am so proud of this school and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a student-athlete here.
It is hard to overstate how much rowing at GW has impacted my life. GW allowed me to fulfill a dream of competing at a varsity collegiate level when I walked onto the team as a 5'9, 140 lb, rising junior. Every morning since that first meeting in August 2012, I have felt the camaraderie, passion, and daily dedication that rowing brings out in me and all those I have rowed with over the years from GW and beyond. Cutting Rowing is not just the end of a sport at GW, it is the end of one of the few possibilities left to those of us who didn't find their fit as a teenager and were searching for something beyond themselves when they walked onto GW's campus for the first time.