Following a spirited, early morning alumni race, coaches, alumni and friends of MIT crew gathered at the Pierce Boathouse Saturday morning to dedicate the newest racing shell in the Tech fleet in honor of Director of Athletics and DAPER Department Head Julie Soriero.
Director of Rowing Tony Kilbridge addressed the crowd gathered on the boathouse dock — which included friends and family members of Soriero's in attendance — and thanked the athletic director for her support of MIT crew since her arrival in 2007. Kilbridge then turned to Soriero who performed the traditional "christening" by pouring a bottle of champagne over the bow of the boat.
"Since her arrival at MIT, Julie Soriero has been a tremendous ally and advocate for the crew program," Kilbridge said. "The progress that MIT's crew has made over the past four years could not have happened without Julie's leadership and enthusiastic support. Naming our new shell after Julie is a small but tangible way for the crew program to express its thanks."
The eight-person shell, made from carbon fiber, will be used as the top boat for the openweight women's squad.
Women's openweight head coach Holly Metcalf remarked, "When our varsity crew raced in this new boat for the first time, the rowers' intensity, unity, ferocity and yet sensitivity to the hull's needs all came together and resulted in a season that included the program’s first-ever wins against some of its Division I opponents. This also describes a microcosm of Julie's efforts and presence."
The "young alums" were victorious in the alumni race that opened the festivities on Saturday, beating — with a furious sprint to the finish — a boat comprising primarily members of the Class of 1963.