Virginia Rowing’s Alumni Groups

Steve Plott, ’70, once said, “Nothing unimportant ever happens in a boathouse.” We’ve all experienced the truth of Steve’s observation. Our years at the boathouse changed us forever. The sacrifice and commitment we shared on the water binds us as teammates from one generation to the next. Whether you helped start the program, worked to hold things together in the lean years, or raced at Henley, what happened at the boathouse was always important.

At the request of the VRA Board of Directors, I’m working to improve the connections between you—our alumni and friends—and the Virginia Rowing Association. This is YOUR program and YOUR boathouse. In the Jeffersonian tradition, your fellow alumni have organized the following groups to support Virginia Rowing:

  • Steve Plott organized the Founders Group, who gather in Charlottesville almost every year and who recently donated the funds to purchase a new Hudson 8.
  • Sandy Harris, ’74, and Trennie Walker, ’74, reunited the first Virginia crew that won the Head of the Charles (in 1972!), and they recently donated funds to name the “Todd Tisdale, ’74”—a Hudson shell in which our current athletes have won two Charles gold medals in a row!
  • The Schmitt-Reilly Group (named after a rower and a coach from the 1980s) gathers every year for the DC cocktail party. They have organized group gifts to Virginia Rowing.
  • John Heuisler runs a fantasy football league, composed of rowers from the 1990s and later, who donate the league’s proceeds to Virginia Rowing.
  • Each year, graduates from 2000 and later race in the Head of the Charles Alumni 8 event. In fact, two VRA alumni 8s raced this year!

If you are interested in joining a group, or in forming a new one, please contact me at Also, please remember to update your contact information (at the ALUMNI tab on our Web site) should it change. In addition, you are invited to join the Virginia Rowing Alumni group on Facebook!

We want to reconnect more of our alums to Virginia Rowing so that we can continue to share the experiences that have made the boathouse such an important place to us all, and so that together we can lend our financial support to the program.

Dan Mudd (CLAS ’80)
Board Member
Virginia Rowing Association