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  • Stanford Rowing

The Impact of Varsity Status from the Class of 1957

My attachment to Stanford rowing spans more than 60 years. As a little guy, I was a coxswain, 1954 - 57. At that time Rowing was a club sport with absolutely no financial support from the University. We built a boathouse ourselves along a slough near Redwood City. Our coaches were entirely volunteer. Financial support came from alumni and friends. That was the source of the shells and oars. Recruiting occurred at registration by talking to tall guys about a sport many of us knew nothing about. Travel was by our cars and sometimes hitchhiking. Our success in competition may have had something to do with men’s rowing subsequently becoming a varsity sport. We beat Cal 3 years in a row. My eight was 3rd in the IRA in 1957. Stanford Crew was represented on the U.S. Olympic Team every 4 years from 1952 through 1972. There were several gold medals.

My experience at Stanford was highlighted by those years on the water and lifelong friendships. I was from Michigan, but rowing led me to move permanently to the West Coast.

Men’s Rowing is an essential part of Stanford’s wonderful athletics history and should not be allowed to die.

-Kurt Seiffert, Class of 1957

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