Dartmouth Figure Skating Team
2004 - 2008 U.S. National Intercollegiate Figure Skating Team Champions
The CLASS OF 1949 once again came to the fore in support of Dartmouth’s Figure Skating Team. On Friday April 13, prior to Dartmouth’s first-ever home competition (Nationals!), Gordon Thomas ‘49 pulled together the best of the best to create a memorable luncheon to honor Coach J. Michael McGean ’49 and the Dartmouth figure skaters past and present. With ongoing work by ’49 President Doug Thomson, Paul Woodberry ‘49, John Stearns ‘49, and a host of devoted ’49’s, Gordon brought Thad Seymour ’49A from Florida to emcee the luncheon. Thad spoke with humor and touching eloquence. (Below, in italics, see 4/17/07 note from Thad to Bob Bartles.) Also in attendance was Charles F. Foster, former president of US Figure Skating. President Wright and Susan graced the event and Athletic Director Josie Harper, as well as Roger Demment from Dartmouth Athletics lent their support. Amy Stetson ’00, the Team’s founder and Emily Schaller ’02 spoke passionately about Coach McGean and the ongoing success of the skaters here.
The enduring support by the Class of 1949 as well as individual classmates has been instrumental in helping to fund the Team each season. The J. MICHAEL MCGEAN ’49 ENDOWMENT FUND, held by Dartmouth Athletics, was announced during the luncheon bringing the Team its first ever permanent funding source. Many from the skating world were surprised to find that Coach McGean had impressed those at Cardigan Mountain School, the United Way, the Upper Valley Land Trust, and many other local organizations with his hard work and generosity of spirit.
The GREAT CLASS OF 1964 looked to President Wright to lead off an overnight fundraising drive that not only funded the National Championships at Thompson Arena, but carried the Team into its 2007-08 season. The Team was overwhelmed with gratitude to find that generous ’64 classmates, trustees, and the President all made contributions to support the defense of their 4th consecutive National title. The Class, as well, designated the Championship weekend as a class project and made a contribution from the entire class. The presence of the ‘64’s at Thompson Arena during the championship was evident throughout the weekend with a display of infectious enthusiasm. (Moments after the figure skaters were awarded their 4th consecutive National Championship by President Wright, they posed with the 1964 banner (see photo above, April 15, 2007)).
In an outstanding show of Dartmouth spirit and determination, DAN DITTRICK ’08, dedicated his winter term to organizing the Nationals weekend at Thompson Arena. Working with Club Sports personnel, team officers, and teammates, Dan was front and center in creating an extraordinary weekend here. The Team is deeply appreciative of his unwavering efforts and wonderful accomplishment.
The Team is enormously grateful to its dedicated BOARD OF ADVISORS. The support and generosity of this devoted group of alumni has been instrumental in maintaining stability and improving the year round program for Dartmouth’s figure skaters. A heartfelt thank you to Doug Thomson, President Class of ’49, Gordon Thomas ’49, Paul Woodberry ’49, Joe Stevenson ’57, Jim Tonkovich ’68, Bob MacArthur ’64, and Bob Bartles ’64.
The Team has been fortunate to have two extraordinary ACADEMIC ADVISORS, Professor Robert Binswanger ‘52, and Professor Ben Bostick. Many thanks for the wise counsel they provide us.
In 2007, the Dartmouth Figure
Skating Team received a CLASS OF 1951
AWARD. The Team was extremely
grateful to receive this special distinction and funds helped the Team finance
their successful weekend hosting the US National Intercollegiate Figure Skating
Team Championships on April 14-15 in Thompson Arena.
In the spring of 2005, Dean Larimore honored the
Team with the MILTON SIMS KRAMER '54
GROUP AWARD. It is presented to only
one group on campus who contributes significantly to the College and represents
"all that is Dartmouth". This
award, granted to only one group each year, was a tremendous honor for the
Figure Skating Team and helped provide needed funds for their 2004-2005 season.
note from Thad Seymour to Bob Bartles, 4/17/07:
I have read and re-read several times your stunning "Report on Skating" and write to express heartfelt gratitude for all that you did to make Mike's weekend unforgettable.
It has been more than fifty years since Polly and I arrived in Hanover, and there have certainly been memorable days and experiences along the way. But I have to say frankly, none could match this past weekend for its Dartmouth spirit and for its eloquent expression of the College at its very best. The luncheon for Mike was a beautiful expression of friendship and achievement. "'It's love brings us here."
The skaters stole the show, first as tender and articulate admirers of their coach(es) and supporters, then as intense competitors on the ice of Thompson Arena. I am so glad to have seen them in both roles.
I was particularly pleased to sit with Jim and Susan Wright, whose loyalty and vision have meant so much to the team.
And I admire beyond words what you, Gordon, and all your '49 and '64 classmates have done to encourage figure skating at Dartmouth. That's the REAL tribute to J. Michael McGean. You all own a piece of that trophy!
Finally, Bob, I can't tell you how touched I was by the phone call from you and Loren on Sunday afternoon. As with the whole weekend, I will never forget it.
Email us at Figure.Skating.Club@Dartmouth.edu
Last modified August 17, 2010