Dear Alumni and Friends,
This has been an incredible year already – and there is so much more to come in 2024!
This summer we were finally able to take a team to Henley Royal again after a six-year hiatus – it was an amazing experience, not just for the 15 team members getting to train in Switzerland and race in England, but also for all the teammates at home watching online, including you! In addition, we had numerous parents, alumni, and fans joining us for the excitement – an event so energizing for Virginia Men’s Rowing.
We graduated a huge class of 18 in the spring, everyone with goals, jobs, and the resilience that only rowing can give them. We are proud of their contributions, especially during the pandemic.
By the time you read this, we will have celebrated 50 years of women’s rowing at UVA (and VRA’s 55th anniversary) with 250 alumni and friends attending the reunion at Alumni Hall. From its humble beginnings of a few bold women finding their way to the “boat shed” to one of the top Division I programs in the country, women’s rowing at Virginia has always been a source of pride and we look forward to many more years of energy, passion, and shared experiences.
Despite our challenging financial goals last year, we were able to finish off with a small surplus, thanks to your unwavering support and dedication to what is so dear to all of us.
But we will not sit back; on the contrary! With a small fourth year class due to the pandemic, we will have to do better than ever in developing our varsity and continuing our strong work with the novices. To stay on top and provide the team with needed equipment, we will have to make major investments in our fleet for the first time in years.
We were able to buy a new racing eight, called “The Gift,” thanks to the pledges and commitments from the alumni from 2010 to 2023. Now in his 15th year, Frank is proud that he can count on these graduates to step up to fund vital purchases.
We are also investing almost $60,000 into a new small boat fleet, consisting of six pair/doubles and four singles. Although we do not primarily race small boats, they have become an essential tool for training and skill development of varsity and novice athletes. We are keeping our old small boats – they continue to serve us well for summer camps and learn to row classes.
In addition, we have invested resources into maintaining our current fleet of eights – getting some boats repainted and equipped with new hardware. These boats will continue to serve us well for training and racing. Despite a large graduating class, we are holding steady at 65+ team members – that is a lot of seats needed!
After a successful fall season with numerous wins at the Occoquan Chase and top placements at the Head of the Charles, we are going full steam into winter training. We are optimistic for another successful spring season, maybe even better than last year’s!
But we cannot make it without your support and contributions. Virginia Men’s Rowing depends on your generosity and willingness to not just maintain what we have, but continuously improve our program and ensure its competitiveness into the future.
To meet our challenging goals with our essential, structural investments, we will need to raise $180,000 by June 2024. Your ongoing support is critical to the financial future of our program, and sends a message to the current athletes that they have a team behind them, supporting them and our wonderful sport. In short, your gift is a testament to a common purpose we share across generations of rowers and their families.
Donations can be made online, mailed in via check, or sent via stock and wire/ACH transfer. If mailing a check, please use the following address:
UVA Fund Gift Processing Services
PO BOX 400314
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4314
For more information on how to donate, please visit our donation page.
Matt Miller, Engr 11, Darden ’18
Stacie H. Reid, Comm ’96