Hall of Fame

Arthur Woods Hollingsworth

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

Hollingsworth was a two-year letter winner for heavyweight varsity crew and helped the 1985 men’s heavyweight crew team to its induction in the Hall of Fame. This crew achieved a remarkable record, including victories in the Eastern Sprint Championships, the Harvard-Yale Race, the National intercollegiate Championships in Cincinnati and the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. No other crew from Harvard or any other university has duplicated this accomplishment. The crew recorded victories over every other major university crew in the United States and England over the course of the season and stamped themselves as one of the outstanding university crews of all time. The crew recorded a decisive victory over Princeton, Brown, Navy and the rest of the eastern universities in the Eastern Sprints Championships. They then switched gears very effectively and rowed to a convincing four length victory over Yale at New London, ending Yale’s four year win streak in the race. Just one week later the crew made the difficult adjustment back to the 2000-meter distance and rowed perhaps their best race of the season. In the finals of the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships the crew rowed through a greatly improved and determined Princeton crew in the last few strokes of the race. It was both the closest and the fastest race for the Championship. Shortly after winning the National Championships, the crew traveled to Henley, England to compete for the coveted and prestigious Grand Challenge Cup. Olympic and World Championship crews often win the cup and only one US crew had won it in the previous 26 years. Undeterred, the crew entered the event full of confidence and went on to row three outstanding races over the 1984 Danish World Champion Lightweight eight, Cambridge University and, once again, Princeton. No other university crew from the United States or elsewhere has won the event until Harvard did it again in 2003.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

I can't recall a more thrilling letter than the one dated June 1, 2004 from the Hall of Fame Committee congratulating our 1985 Crew on being selected to enter the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame. Joining the 50 male and female crew inductees, dating back to 1878, is an honor of a lifetime, and a memory I will always cherish. I am so proud of my teammates whose rowing skills dwarf my own, including two Olympic Silver medalists. It is also a great honor to join our eight fellow 2005 inductees representing victories in a wide array of sports, the breadth of which few other universities are so dedicated to support. We are all true amateur athletes that competed without athletic scholarships or promise of future riches in professional sports, which is unfortunately too rare now in college athletics. It is said that "the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eaton." The Harvard rowing experience is no different. The lessons I learned through our training, coaching, victories, and failures, over my four years on the Harvard Crew, provided an unequalled foundation to tackle the challenges and opportunities that awaited beyond Harvard's gates. The inner strength, competitiveness, and work ethic that our coach, Harry Parker, forged in each of us, is something I draw on every day. Our 1985 season was shaky at first, but ended in a dreamlike fashion. We truly hit our stride winning the EARC Sprints Championships, and joining the other 21 Harvard Crews to win that event in its now 53rd year. Our next major challenge was the Harvard - Yale Regatta, the oldest intercollegiate athletic event in U.S. history, dating back to 1852. The Eli's had posted an uncharacteristic four year winning streak. This time, the four-mile race was convincingly a victory for Harvard. The next challenge was the National Championships in Cincinnati. Converting back to a 2000 meter race from the four miler was a critical adjustment. After a come-from-behind victory against Princeton, Harvard had its sixth National Championship. Our final endeavor together was the Royal Henley Regatta, Grand Challenge Cup. The event had been held since 1839, and only 10 American crews had ever won, including four from Harvard. The winning Harvard Class of 1914 had even furnished the replacement trophy. After several days of racing we faced Princeton in the finals, and proceeded to beat them for a fourth time that season. The stewards allowed us to hold the over two foot tall cup for an hour, and it was quickly filled with a magnum of champagne. The image of my father drinking out of this giant cup will never fade. Just prior to our proceeding to the stage to receive our medals from Prince Andrew, Coach Parker presented me with his Harvard rowing jacket he had worn at Henley in the early 60's. I am still humbled by that wonderful gesture. The Harvard crews of today extend this legacy. The current Varsity Heavyweight Men's team has enjoyed two consecutive undefeated seasons and National Championships to its credit. Mine and my teammates' parents and step-parents, that endured endless cold river banks in support of our team, deserve to be honored as well. The nine of us were just a tip of the spear of the broader heavyweight men's team, whose support and competition drove us to success. A constant supporter and friend of the team was Jack Reardon, Director of Athletics, and is now Executive Director of the HAA. My devoted personal thanks goes to my brother Val, captain of the 1976 University of Pennsylvania heavyweight team, who was the mentor and example I could not have competed without.