On 18 April 2014, a vital member of our team passed away suddenly. Senior Robert “Bob” Ericson, an environmental science major, was a captain of the men’s team and an avid member of one of UMW’s best acapella groups, The One Note Stand. Not only was Bob a strong leader of the rowing team and acapella group, but was very involved on campus, participating in fundraisers such as Relay for Life and other events hosted by the student government.
Shortly after his death, Bob’s parents and three brothers created the Robert “Bob” Ericson Environmental Research Endowment through UMW. This Endowment provides investments towards environmental research through the university.
Even after his passing, he still remains a very important part of UMW Rowing. A year after his death, our team and The One Note Stand worked together to hold a Bob Ericson Memorial 5K on campus. Participants had the option of running or erging a 5K in his memory. Soon after, we knew this would become an annual event to honor such a beloved member of the UMW community. We will always remember how much he meant to the team and how much the team and UMW meant to him.
The Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference, or MARC’s is one of UMW Rowing’s most important regattas, which takes place at the conclusion of the spring semester, in York, Pennsylvania. UMW Rowing is a founding member of the MARCs regatta. When we competed at MARC’s a year after Bob’s passing, the conference presented the Ericson Memorial Cup during the awards ceremony. The cup will continue to be awarded to the Mid-Atlantic Division III Men’s Varsity 8 Champion and is in memory of men’s team member and captain. It is very important to the team that we both compete in this regatta as well as honor our teammate.