Hall of Fame

James Nathanson

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

James Nathanson was the Class A and B Division low point skipper in the National Dinghy Championships, and was the low point skipper in eight championship team victories from 1951 through 1953 for the sailing team. Additionally, he was a momber of the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association Hall of Fame, an honor that pre-dated All-America designation.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

Harvard athletics always seemed to me to achieve the appropriate balance: allowing extremely competent (and in some cases superior) athletes to compete and develop athletic skills while never permitting athletics to supersede the university's educational mission. Without becoming a professional farm team developer and yet being realistic enough to maintain competiitive teams for it's own league, Harvard athletic activity was a maturing and developmental experience. My own undergraduate athletic experience expanded my arena of social, intellectual and physical development. It allowed me to develop skills that have been, are now, and will be important to me. By allowing me a competitive experience, it gave me an opportunity to achieve a level of success early in my life against which I could, and have, measured other experiences.

Particularly in my most recent professional experience -- seeking and winning election as a local/state legislator -- the competitive skills of that endeavor were honed by collegiate competition. In my prior professional activity -- teaching, which involved coaching -- collegiate experience led to rewarding professional results. I was able to transfer skills into my teaching and coaching of young people, some of whom became extremely competent sailors, garnering national recognition and championships.

In summary, I have always felt grateful to Harvard and its athletic program for giving me an opportunity to develop and perfect skills which I have used both for my own personal success and enjoyment and for passing on to others who, in turn, have become proficient.