[HMSD] HMSD - The Power of the word Team
Tim D. Murphy
tdmurphy at fas.harvard.edu
Wed May 21 21:59:07 EDT 2008
Hello from Blodgett Pool!
Many people have asked me about the success of the Men's Swimming
and Diving Team this year. I have commented that a key
ingredient was the leadership of our captains Geoff Rathgeber and Sam
Wollner. Recently Geoff was asked to give a speech to the
Visiting Committee as a representative of the student athlete community.
Geoff has given me permission to share his speech with you.
I believe you will find his words to be a powerful testament to the
meaning of "team" in Harvard Men's Swimming and Diving.
/*Visiting Committee Speech
Tonight, I'm going to fight nerves and my urge to be overly
nostalgic, and explain why my athletic career has been the single most
important part of my Harvard experience.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to address a group of
recruits before the first night football game in Harvard's history. My
takeaway point for the recruits was that it was possible for them to
come to Harvard, to get better in their respective sports, and to make
an impact on the national level. I wanted them to realize that Harvard
has one of the finest athletic departments in America and that they
would be well served if they came to Cambridge.
I delivered that speech at the beginning of my senior year.
At the time, I thought I had crafted the perfect speech for that
occasion. Now, seven months later, I wish I could go back and add one
crucial thing onto what I said. It's funny.... A senior year seems to
change your perspective on everything.
Looking back, I have achieved a lot over the years. I have
medals, plaques, Ivy League Championships, and All America certificates
to my name. Though I am proud of all of these things, they are still
What I cherish most about my four years as a swimmer at
Harvard are the people. A month ago at our awards banquet, the team's
seven seniors had a chance to speak in front of our teammates, parents
and friends. It may surprise you that, in these addresses, none of us
mentioned our team's undefeated season or our two league championships.
Instead, we all took the opportunity to thank our teammates and coaches
for being the best part of our time at Harvard. Luke Sanders, a senior
diver and Ivy League Champion, likened us all to a huge alternative
family with three dads and forty brothers. We were that close.
Well how did we get that close? I think I finally realized
the answer last week when one of my professors gave his last lecture
here at Harvard after 46 years of teaching. Fighting back tears, he
told us that the most important lesson he learned in his career is to
hold on to one's particularities. As Couch Murphy can attest, our team
thrived on these particularities. Never before have I been part of a
program that has been so accepting of everyone: black, white, shy,
outgoing, gay, straight, Asian, British, etc.... we relished in each
others differences, and it is these differences that gave our team its
What gave our team its heart, however, is a singular fact
about all Harvard athletes. That is the fact that none of us are here
on scholarship. Coach Murphy reminds us that at the beginning of each
year. We are here, a part of this program, because we want to be here.
The fact that we commit twenty hours a week of strenuous exercise not
out of obligation but out of love for the sport unites us in a fraternal
bond that will last a lifetime.
Now, I don't know how many people here have read the book or
seen the movie Into the Wild. The story's protagonist, Christopher
McCandless, has to travel throughout the United States and live by
himself in the wilderness of Alaska to realize one thing: that happiness
is real when shared. Athletics at Harvard taught me this lesson in four
short years. Yes, sport is about the victories, the championships, and
the practices, but it is also about the people you get to share those
experiences with. The people who ride the 5:40 shuttle with you to
practice; the people who laugh with you at morning breakfasts in Eliot;
and the people who jump into the Blodgett Pool to celebrate with you
after winning an Ivy League Championship. No where is this lesson better
exemplified than at Harvard where we athletes compete not out of
obligation to a scholarship but for the love of the game and the love of
Thank you to everyone for listening, and members of the
Visiting Committee, know that the Harvard Athletic Department is serving
its students extremely well.
_*/CL//ASS CREDIT FOR ATHLETIC GIFTS:/*_*
*We have some exciting news regarding class credit for athletic gifts.
Michael Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently
announced that *gifts to athletics Friends groups up to $10,000 will now
receive class credit with the Harvard College Fund. *The agreement,
forged through a strengthened relationship between the Harvard College
Fund and the Department of Athletics, has been implemented on a
three-year trial basis and is retroactive for gifts dating back to July
1, 2007. Dean Smith and Bob Scalise, Nichols Family Director of
Athletics, see this as a way to strengthen fund raising initiatives for
both the athletic department as well as the Harvard College Fund. It is
imperative that both groups continue to receive the outstanding annual
support of our loyal alumni/ae.
[For those of you unfamiliar with class credit, each class at Harvard is
encouraged to support the Harvard College Fund to raise dollars for
Harvard College and FAS priorities as well as University initiatives.
Donors are honored with public recognition by crediting their gift to
the College class from which they graduated. Donors' names are listed
by gift range in annual reports and donor listings.]*
*We would like to thank all of our Friends who donated this season. If
you have not contributed and would
like t**o make your annual contribution, please donate on line:
_/Thank you to all have supported our Friends group so far this year/_
Abramson, David Harold '65
Berizzi, Steven S. '73
Bierrie, Eric P. '51
Bowen, Bradley J.
Briggs, Winslow R. '50
Brown, Shepard '50
Brunnick, Peter A.
Buffington, Peter '58
Cleveland, William E. S. '87
Clifton, Roger L. '57
Coffman, Amos J. '62
Cooley, Frederick B. '61
Detzner, John '77
Diekema, Jylene P'11
Flynn, Paul A.
Gorman, Francis X. '59
Gray, J. Cary
Guernsey, David T.
Healy, Patrick J. '89
Hehir, Michael G.
Hersh, Craig P. '93
Holland, Susan A.
Hoon, Douglas M.
Hunter, Dennis A. '64
Illig, Alan P'84
Jewell, Pliny '54
Kastin, Abba J. '56
Kaufman, Joseph H. '89
Kaufmann, Robert E. '62
Kidd, Donald A. '92 M
Krause, Stephen K. '71
Law, David B. '72 M
Lawton, Robert K. '73
Lewkowitz, Herman P'11
Lightfoot, John D. '85
Lind, Jon R. '57
Lockman, Andrew R. '83
Lundberg, John D. '83
Lynch, James R.
Maegli, Juan U. '50
Malcolm, Miller D. '54
McCartney, Douglas '60
Meier, Anthony P. '84
Miller, Clayton C. '87
Mitchell, Frederick L. '74
Morrissey, Martha Stedham
Nyweide, Justin C. '02
Osterberg, Richard B. '96
Perkins, Warren W. '79
Quinn, Kevin G.
Ranta, Bruce A.
Rapperport, Alan S. '55
Rathgeber, Susan & John
Reese, Jeffrey H.
Roebuck, Richard Ramsay '73
Root, Stephen C. '93
Ruberton, Robert J. '97
Sanders, H. Robert
Sanders, H. Robert
Thayer, Philip H. '36
Titcomb, Caldwell '47
Tompkins, Richard F. '68
Tyler, Robert S. '84
Vera, Joseph Sequeira '50
Walther, Douglas L. '69
Watkins, H. Norman '50
Wilson, Harry J. '93
Winslow, Boyd H. '70
Winslow, Boyd H. '70
Wise, Stephen A. '46
Woods, Thomas S. '50
**/* If by chance we failed to list your name please let us know. *//*We
will be sure to send out updated list. */
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