President christens boat, rows with crew team on river

20 Sep 2010 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Candy Gonzalez

Elizabeth Bernal ‘11, Emily Carol ‘11, Cleo Schneider ‘11, Director of Athletics Laurie Priest, Robin Kranzler ‘11, Lynn Pasquerella, Sarah Patches ‘11, Executive Assistant to the President Irasema Perrault and Sarah Baughman ‘11 row the Lynn Pasquerella on the Connecticut River on Sunday morning.

Friends, family, alumnae and students gathered at the Mount Holyoke Community Boathouse on Sunday morning to see the president of the College christen and then row a new boat.

President Lynn Pasquerella and Head Crew Coach Jeanne Friedman poured river water and champagne over the new boat to christen it, as part of a team tradition that originated in the 90’s. Then Pasquerella, six varsity rowers, an alumna and Director of Athletics Laurie Priest rowed the Lynn Pasquerella out onto the Connecticut River.

Boats can cost anywhere from thirty to thirty-four thousand dollars. In the crew team’s case, most of these funds come from donations from alumnae, parents and friends, according to Friedman.

Rowing boats come in different shapes designed to meet the needs of the rowers. The new boat’s flat-bottomed frame provides optimal stability so that the boat is less likely to tip in the water. Experienced rowers opt for narrower boats which are more difficult to balance on the water but are faster. The Lynn Pasquerella ’80, with its wider frame, best suits novice rowers who are just learning how to distribute their weight on a boat.

Friedman felt that the stable, reliable structure of the boat mirrors Pasquerella’s leadership style. Pasquerella’s first year of presidency coincides with the new boat’s first year on the water. Hence, the decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Friends of Rowing to name the boat after Pasquerella.

“As Lynn is getting her feet wet in her novice year, we thought it appropriate to name our novice boat ‘Lynn,’” Friedman said.

Pasquerella, who received a letter announcing the boat’s name a month ago, said she was moved to tears at the news.

“It means a lot to have something that supports student athletics bear my name,” Pasquerella said.

When asked whether she would consider rowing her boat in the future, Pasquerella responded: “I would love to; [rowing] is certainly therapeutic.”

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