The Boys in the Boat: A Tale of College Engagement

A Novel Group of Huskies

Sunrise Over Horsebarn Hill

As I finish the early chapters of The Boys in the Boat, what most poignantly and immediately strikes me is what an ideal novel this is for an Alumni reading group. This is because at the heart of the tale of Olympic competition, life during the Great Depression, and impending war glows a personal narrative highlighting the transformative power of engagement in college.

For Joe Rantz, becoming a west coast UW Husky meant joining a long tradition of scholarship and innovation, much like own, that could help him forge a new path for his life. This college experience also served as a simultaneous engagement with and insulation from major world events, and one that necessitated his reliance on a new family, his college community.  His story is especially harrowing and internationally dramatic; however, it is fundamentally one with which I believe many college graduates resonate…

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