Yale Dedicates Hazel Knapp Shell
Yale University used the occasion of the Dodge Cup competition featuring men's races among Yale, Penn and Columbia to christen its Hazel Knapp Shell. The boat will be used in the Community Rowing Program. Knapp was a longtime Derby resident and community leader whose life epitomized community dedication. She lived next door to the boat house on the Housatonic and served as a member of the Lake Housatonic Authority, the Valley Regional Planning Agency and many other groups in Derby.
Knapp was an avid supporter and protector of the river and would have been quite proud to see Yale not only develop a rowing program open to the public, but also to have the first shell dedicated to the program named after her.
The dedication took place following a full spring morning of racing. Andrew Morley, Director of Community Rowing at Yale, served as master of ceremonies for the program. After providing a brief biography of Hazel Knapp, he introduced Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett who praised everyone involved in the day's events and spoke of the importance of the Community Rowing Program and Yale's involvement in Derby and surrounding communities.
Legendary Yale alumnus John Cook then spent a few moments speaking about his personal connections with Yale, the Housatonic River and the Valley. A graduate of Ansonia High School who learned to swim just upstream from the boat house at the Recreation Camp, he went on to Yale where he distinguished himself as an Olympic Gold Medal winner. Jack Walsh, Chair of the Derby Parks & Recreation Commission thanked Yale for opening rowing to Derby and Valley residents through the development of the Community Rowing Program. Yale Men's Crew Coach Dave Vogel then spoke about the tradition of naming shells at Yale and the importance attached to the decision to name a boat for someone.
With the speeches complete, the boat was officially dedicated as water from the Housatonic River was poured over the bow of the boat.