Hall of Fame

Morgan Henderson

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

IRA National Champions … Eastern Sprints Champions … Defeated Yale by 39.6 seconds … Completed the season with an unbeaten 7-0 record.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

It turns out that writing a reflective essay on my time at Harvard isn’t easy. What was my time at Harvard? Nick and I arrived on campus in September 2002 and left in June 2006. In those four years, I lived in Canaday, Winthrop, and then Currier; I took 32 classes and had – presumably – 32 world-famous professors, almost none of whom I remember; and I rowed. This, the rowing, completely shaped my time at Harvard, as I suspect is the case for many of us. So, it’s on this topic that I will reflect. I knew very little about HUBC before stepping foot into Newell on my first day of the freshman fall season. Bill Manning had coached Nick and I in the Junior National Team coxed four that summer (along with Ben Niles and Brian Freund, both future HUBC rowers), but in typical Bill fashion, he focused on the task at hand. I recall trying to ask him about various HUBC-related matters, and I recall him steadfastly avoiding giving straight answers. Fair enough – I’d find out soon enough. The freshman fall was a blur. I found my legs on the erg and managed to knock off a couple club distances – the 10k and the 5k – culminating in a respectable performance at the Foot of the Charles (I think we beat Brown, but I don’t quite recall). I knew several of the guys in my year from various summer rowing programs – Adam Kosmicki, Mike Collins, Peter Brooks, Ben Niles, Jonah Todd-Geddes, Zander Gardiner – and really enjoyed getting to know the rest: Jonno Tompson, Dan Reid, Evan Wilson, Dave Reynolds, Thomas Wright, Amanda Caplan, Mike Stoll, and more. I can’t say I got to know many of the varsity guys in that first season – many of whom are here tonight – but I learned much about rowing, training, and racing by observing and quietly imitating. That spring, the 1F raced to silver and bronze medals at Sprints and IRAs, respectively, and beat Yale. Needless to say, Red Top was awesome. Sophomore year (2003-2004) was a challenge. There were 14 seniors in the top two eights – I could name them off the top of my head, but I think I’d hit the 500 word limit sooner than I’d like – and the sophomores (perhaps rightly so) felt like the low men on the totem pole. Plus, it turns out that rowing at HUBC in the early-mid 2000s meant training in incredibly heavy Pococks, with incredibly heavy oars. Total learning curve. I – along with Nick and many of the other sophomores – raced in the 3v that spring, winning Sprints and beating Yale in the combi race. Blocker – that was for you. Junior year (2004-2005) was terrific. We had a smaller team – the 14 seniors having graduated – and I felt things starting to come together for myself, both on and off the water. Aaron and Malcolm displayed stellar leadership, and, come the first day of practice after spring break, I found myself sitting in bow of the varsity 8 (to be transferred later in the season to 4 seat). The crew – Kit, Kosmo, Malcolm, Brodie, Holzy, Toby, Boston, and Nick Baker – were a great group of individuals, and I can recall almost every race as if it happened yesterday. Nick, you may have almost killed a goose during the Adams Cup, but I’ve never been in a boat that felt better than our eight did on that day. Senior year (2005-2006) was a send-off. I found myself in the JV in the spring, and rowed with a great group of guys. We went to Henley and raced in the Ladies, and were beaten in the second round by a strong Stanford 8. There’s one person on whom I haven’t reflected yet: Harry. To me, this reflects Harry’s role on the team. He was in total control, but he didn’t make it about himself. He let the rowers row, and race, and guided it all from the other end of the megaphone. I very often think of Harry’s favorite exhortation: to be persistent. At the time – for example, when six minutes into the fifth basin shot of the day – it didn’t resonate much with me. Where was the fire and brimstone? But now, almost 20 years later, I see the tremendous wisdom in it. Persistence – and the attendant inexorable accrual of improvement and gain – is the only sure path to success. I’ve tried to take this with me into my post-HUBC professional life, and I believe that it has served me well. So, for that, and for everything – thank you, Harry.