Monthly Archives: February 2015

Banners or Scholarships? School or Team? All Winning Choices

Our teams are off to Brown Deer, Wisconsin. Their preparations are complete; events are set. Over the next few days we must also finish strong.  How best to support our school and our teams?  Which lanes to choose?


CSU Women’s and Men’s 2014-15 Swimming & Diving Teams

February is well seeded with important events: Horizon League Championships, CSU‘sAnnual Giving Day and the expiration of the $25,000 Matching Gift Challenge for the Heritage Project.  All happening in the next few days.

A few of our 32 3.00 student athletes.

A few of our 32 3.00 student athletes.

We all want to show school spirit and team support.  And help fund athletic scholarships.  And make sure The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium is encouraging to recruits, full of Magnus Enthusiasm, and supportive of everyone who swims there – kids, collegians and masters.

Unfortunately what we’d like to do and what we can afford don’t always line up.  So we make choices.

The good news is we have great choices! Support our University.  Support our College.  Support Athletics.  Support our Team.  All are winners.

More decisions – how to direct our contributions:  toward new equipment or new labs; supporting special projects or general funds; helping to grow scholarships.  More winners.

This banner on CSU’s home page is another reminder to us all.  Whatever actions WE take now will provide support and guidance to new students FOREVER. Not just our gift; more important our act of giving back.  Calling all students

So what’s important is not how to show your support – that’s your choice.  What’s important is that you DO show your support.  Because that makes YOUR TEAM look good and it makes YOUR SCHOOL look good. So please make a choice, and then take action.

These two links lead to winning choices:

The level of your support is far less important than the act of supporting (although a donation of $83 or more will put you in the same league as President Berkman!).

Coach_Banners_Busbey - CopyAs my coach, mentor, skipper and friend used to say: “You either do or you don’t, the rest is merely talk”.

Regards from Dave Guinther ’64 along with Wally Morton ’74-’14, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81, and Tom Fattlar ’86



In the splash zone:

In case you’ve never visited or competed in the Walter Schroeder Pool at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, here’s a schroeder center

Presidential Leadership: Connecting Champions, Preserving Our Heritage

With Goal #1 (Fund the Project) in sight our attention is now focused on Goal #2 (Participation by All Swimming & Diving Alumni).  President Berkman led by example to help Wally meet our TEAM goal. Now it’s YOUR turn.

More on President Berkman’s $83 pledge below.  First the story behind the Heritage Project and your role in its success.

Joe Stockwell, co-chariman of the Champions Program, President Berkman & John Parry with Heritage Graphics

Joe Stockwell, co-chairman of the Champions Program, President Berkman & John Parry with Heritage Graphics in the background

Since Wally Morton assumed the reins of swimming and diving at CSU he’s made one long-term goal clear: Leave The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium in better shape than when he took over and create a “picture wall” to capture the program’s history.  The Champions Program provided a great boost with modern video screen, record boards and championship banners.  John Parry worked with President Berkman to complete pool painting and filter replacement.

The Heritage Project was launched to finish the Champions Program Viking Strong. Its objective: preserve and honor the history, traditions and values of the Fenn College / Cleveland State University swimming and diving program and everyone connected with it – past and present. More than just a “picture wall”.

With 9 days to go until the $25k Matching Gift Challenge expires on February 28th we’re closing in on Goal #1-Funding. Goal #2 – Participation –  still lies ahead.  To close on our participation target we need action from ALL Fenn/CSU swimming and diving alumni.  You have 9 days left to show everyone that you care about Bob, Wally, the pool, our current team and – most important – future teams.

The education you received from Fenn College or Cleveland State University and your team experience may have been life changing.  They  may have opened doors for your career.  They may have been a high point in your college life, or just a side-bar.  Whatever the case, please show your team spirit by donating now, today, this minute.

The amount you donate is far, far less important than your act of donating.  A contribution at any level will put us closer to our participation goal – a target we can only reach one teammate at a time.  No shortcuts, no special offers.  We can ONLY meet our team goal with YOUR help.

Your support is crucial, whether you donate $5, $25, $50 or more.  You could even make a presidential-like gift of $83.

wally and dr berkman after parade_resize

Wally & President Berkman following the Homecoming Parade.

Yes! President Berkman was our first on-line donor.  We asked for his contribution of $83 – a dollar for each year of the program since 1932 –  during “Heritage Weekend”.  You remember – CSU turns 50, the parade, Splash Bash, Wally Roast, Concept Graphics unveiling, and camaraderie at Becky’s.

Show your support and help cement our swimming and diving heritage – literally and figuratively – in the Busbey Natatorium.  Please DONATE NOW! 

Thank you for your support,

Dave Guinther ’64 along with Wally Morton ’74-’14, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81, and Tom Fattlar ’86

In the splash zone:

A number of questions came up from our reviewers as we completed this blog.  Including them here in case you may have the same questions:

  • Did Dr. Berkman REALLY donate $83? – No, he actually gave $100.  Typical of many leaders, he delivered more than promised.
  • Was Dr. Berkman the first on-line donor? – He was actually the second donor; you don’t think we would actually ask a President to donate without testing out a brand new site first? That’s why our donor list includes a $5 gift from a committee member.
  • Should we really suggest giving small gifts? – Absolutely.  To meet our Participation Goal we need contributions from many more alumni, and  receiving twenty-five, $10 contributions is much better than a single $250 donation.


Why The Heritage Project Is Critical To Our Future – and Means So Much To Me! 

We have TWO WEEKS  left to win the 2 to 1 match that will enable us to reach our goal. The breadth and scope of our swimming & diving heritage is magnificent. We must make sure we celebrate it and provide the opportunity for others to have lifelong gifts from experiencing the sport we love.

The history of Fenn/CSU Swimming & Diving is about people and relationships. It is about emotion and commitment to excellence. It’s not only about success in the water, but more importantly the amazing accomplishments in the arena of life of those who have been part of our Team since 1932.

To see so many of our swimmers/divers/coaches go on to greatness in their lives is a testament to the difference maker that our Fenn/CSU Viking swimming and diving program has made and continues to make. Making both short term and long term sacrifices in attaining a goal is training in one’s ability to achieve.

I could write forever in this Blog about so many individuals who have learned the importance of TEAM and who have succeed at an incredibly high level. The Heritage Project will give all of us the tools to celebrate and recognize the many stories that are part of our past, present and future.

We are in the Swimming and Diving Championship season now.  To see many former Vikings coach their teams to record breaking performance along with so many titles this past week and the weeks ahead is inspiring. I will name just a few here; our Heritage Project will allow us to include everyone.

This weekend both Mike Davidson’s (Solon) and Tom Stacy’s (Strongsville) boys and girls teams each won their sectionals.  Mark Krusinski (Brecksville) and Allison Pajilla (Wadsworth) are making a difference with her team’s unprecedented success. Ian Murray’s Carmel High School Girls Team just won its 29th straight Indiana High School State Championship and is clearly the best high school girls team in America.

At the Club Level Jayson Turcotte’s Dynamo Swim Club and Glenn Mills (Asphalt Green and “Go Swim“) have numerous Olympians in the making. At the college level we have our own Head Coach Paul Graham (CSU Vikings), Andrew Hancock (West Florida), April Woo (Stanford), Bill Dorenkott (Ohio State) along with Justin Sochor (OSU Diving) preparing their college teams to be Championship caliber and qualify numerous athletes for the NCAA National Championships.  There are hundreds more that I could recognize now but the Heritage Project will provide a platform to do this on a much grandeur scale.

In our sport we taper, and then reach our goal. We are in the taper phase of the Heritage Project and are now getting ready to reach our goal!

Only with your help can we make it happen!  Donate Today

Vikings Forever, Wally Morton on behalf of the Heritage Project Committee

Community Corner – Our Neighborhood Focus

The Community Corner will be visible from inside and outside of the pool and accessible to all visitors.  This is where we recognize our partners and provide opportunities for our neighbors and friends to post information.

It will be located on the north end of the east bleachers –  visible from the rec center as well as the south bleachers. These graphics will capture community involvement in the pool and will focus on the many local, regional and international groups who have used and made history in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. The concept shown above is one option being considered for the Community Corner.CommunityCorner From South Bleachers - Copy

The empty spaces below are intentional.  We know other  events and groups will enter the picture later so we’re planning ahead to reserve space.   Perhaps plastic bins for handouts and brochures.  Some portions of the graphics might be an actual bulletin board.CommunityCorner_3 Center Fill only - Copy

This is the view from the eastern windows overlooking the pool from the Rec Center.   CommunityCorner_Rec_View - Copy

Those working out in the Rec Center will also have a view of the Ninth Lane Banner on the south wall of the pool across from the elevators and stairs in the western end of the Rec Center.  You can see what Magnus will look like from the west windows in the Rec Center that overlook the pool:  READ THE STORY ON THE NINTH LANE BANNER.NinthLane_Rec_View - Copy

And as always Magnus will watch over the new Record Board as well as the Community Corner.CommunityCorner From South Bleachers

If you have an suggestion for a group or event who should be noted on the Community Corner graphic please let us know.  Easiest way is to add a comment below.  You can also send an email to

Dave G, along with Wally, Joe, Jim, Jim, and Tom for the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project

In the splash zone:

Please take note of two other locations in the pool that will feature events and pictures from the 83 year history of swimming and diving at Fenn College / Cleveland State University.  Two other elements in the Heritage Project will include:

And PLEASE send along  your ideas using the email address above – OR – you can UPLOAD PICTURES HERE or UPLOAD DOCUMENTS OR ARTICLES HERE.

Story of Two Champions Behind CSU’s Fast Pool

Most people know why The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium was way ahead of its time when completed in 1972 (big gutters, bright lights, integrated diving well, no windows, etc.).  Here’s “the rest of the story”.

The CSU pool made big news when it opened in 1973 simply because it was, well, BIG! While not proven (yet), the pool was also VERY FAST.VanDijk-Pool Internal_resize

A few years later the NCAA made the following pronunciation after 16 NCAA records were shattered during the 1977 Division I Championships held in our pool: “The greatest swimmers in the fastest pool at the greatest meet in history”.  Our pool was now OFFICIALLY  v e r y   f a s t.

When the pool was dedicated as “The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium” in 1999 it was still considered one of the fastest five pools in the US. There were several reasons our pool was (and still is !) so fast:VanDijk-Pool Layout_resize

  • Its big, wide gutters keep the water smooth
  • The deep water in the competition end of the pool, no separate diving well, make for fast swimming
  • The lights are designed with a special “competition mode” for extra brightness
  • There are no windows in the pool which keep the lighting consistent and reduced distracting glare

VanDijk-Pool Section_resizeSo, how did this all come about?

The simple answer: Bob Busbey was ahead of his time in pool design thinking, and knew Peter van Dijk who was an outstanding architect with the ability to convert big, new ideas into practical reality.  The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium, located in the CSU Physical Education building, was the result of a collaboration between these two champions.VanDijk-Pool External_resize

How they met, and what lead to their partnership to build the pool leads to “the rest of the story”.

Bob and Peter attended the AAU National Championships in Columbus Ohio in 1946.  They were both in the hotel lobby waiting for room assignments. Bob was from Fenn College, Peter from the New York Athletic Club.  Neither had roommates so they decided to room together.

Years later when Bob was looking for an architect for the new CSU pool he knew Peter’s office was in Cleveland.  Bob ask Peter if he’d like to build “ a big fast pool”; Peter said yes and, well, the rest is history as they say.

Peter, now 86, has been a Masters Swimmer for 40 years.  He has 50+ National Championships in Freestyle and Backstroke.  He is the winner of 17 Gold Medals in Masters World Championship competitions.  And he’s still swimming with O*H*I*O Master Swim Club, most recently winning  4 Gold Medals at the 2014 Montreal World Championships last AUGUST.

Bob was also a champion  – Fenn’s first All-American  (’48 & ’49) and four-sport athlete in swimming, baseball, fencing and track. And five-time Highlander Class National Sailing Champion. He also won the 50 and 100 freestyle at that AAU Championship meet back in ’46.

VanDijk-Original Plans_resizeRegards and thanks to Peter van Dijk who literally “wrote the book” on The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and provided the pictures you see here.

Dave G, along with Wally, Joe, Jim, Jim, and Tom for the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project

In the splash zone:

What’s YOUR story – about you, teammates (well, maybe not all the stories) or coaches (please be a little kind OK)?

Here’s three easy ways to share them:

Timeline Wall – Link to the Past, Connection to the Future

Timeline Wall thinking started Day 1 of the Heritage Project. It’s a natural place to record 83 years of swimming and diving heritage – with space for 25 more.

Here are the proof prints of what you will see when you walk into The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and check out the base of the East Bleachers on Heritage Weekend (REGISTER HERE – September 25/26 is just two weeks away).

proof__0000_through 1940

proof__0001_through 1957

proof__0002_through 1971

proof__0003_through 1985

proof__0004_through 1999

proof__0005_through 2013


proof__0006_through 2027

proof__0007_through end

Additional information links:

  • If you want to scan the 26 photos at the top of the Timeline Wall they are here: Timeline_photo_story_sample.
  • If you would like to see the Timeline Wall in more detail you can download TimelineWall_proof (CAUTION: this is a 35 Mb file).
  • Media guides from all years available are here: Media Guides
  • If you see a missing item you feel in important or come upon a typo please send an email to:  This wall WILL continue to grow and has been designed so individual items or entire new years can be “pasted on”. So please share your thoughts with the Heritage Committee via email or comment below – especially during the earlier years of the program where some details may be missing.


September 10 , 2015 UPDATE. Here is link  to the data and photos behind
83 years of teams, athletes, coaches and history

Thanks to the many friends and alumni who provided inputs into the creation of the Timeline Wall.



The Timeline Wall will capture the people, teams, community groups and events that have shaped and will continue to shape our swimming and diving heritage since the first Fenn College team in 1932. Each year the most notable half dozen or so events will be will be captured on a timeline that will stretch from 1932 through 2039.

Why 2039? We felt a third of the space at the base of the east bleachers should be reserved to grow with our athletes, teams and community events in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. And we wanted a reason to celebrate with the rest of the University during the 75th Anniversary which will take place in 2039!

Current thinking is to capture this history as columns of text-based entries flowing from left to right, north to south. A few pictures will be used across the top to add interest and  highlights. The hundreds and hundreds of pictures from our past would never fit in this small space;  they will live with Magnus on the Ninth Lane Banner overlooking the pool and Rec Center.  The virtually unlimited space on the Heritage Website  will provide handy access for even more details than can be displayed on the timeline.


The concept drawings created to share the vision of the timeline shown on the renderings below are simply to show size and scale – consider them placeholders for now.  Until replaced with the actual events selected from the past to populate the wall.

That’s why THE HERITAGE COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR HELP.  We’re looking for historical inputs and suggestions for entries on the Timeline Wall.  What do YOU think should be captured on this will?  Read on.

The “milestones” shown in the drawing below were taken from media guides, photo albums and other records. They are just an artists concept – for example we wouldn’t repeat coaches names each year (however we’d LOVE to repeat Horizon League Championships each year!).


Here is an artist’s rendering of the timeline from the foot of the eastern bleachers.Timeline_near_perspective_crop

Jim Starrett ’74, Tom Fattlar ’84, and Wally Morton ’74-’14 are working on what goes where on the wall.  They are reviewing media guides, rosters, articles from local and student papers, and more.  They would like swimmers and divers, men and women, alumni and friends to make suggestions and add items for consideration.  We have the ability to capture ALL items one way or another – either on the Timeline Wall, on the Heritage Website or both.

So, here’s how YOU can “make history”.  Send along your comments, suggestions, copies of newspaper clippings or just a “one liner” with your input.  We don’t need much and it doesn’t have to be formal, but we do need INPUTS !!  You can:

    • Enter a comment below this post
    • Upload a document HERE
    • Send an email to:
    • Connect directly with Jim (, Tom ( or Wally (
    • Volunteer to join the Heritage History Team for a few months

Dave G, for the Heritage History team: Jim, Tom and Wally

CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project


In the splash zone:

We have posted a number of men’s, women’s and mixed swimming and diving  Media Guides HERE.  If you have saved a guide that’s not on this list please connect with the Heritage History team.

Also, be on the lookout for 30’s through 60’s memorabilia to make sure we celebrate Fenn College and Fischer Pool heritage as well.  Here is a picture of the Ellwood H. Fisher Pool Dedication from 1941.

COUNTDOWN has begun…

DAY #28 —— and our countdown to reach GOAL is ON.  And we’ve gotta get there and reach the Heritage Project funding goal. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a good, hard, honest look at what this entails & climb aboard. Will YOU personally take some ownership with this endeavor??

Have you ever read an inspiring story/article/book that tugged on your heart strings and you heard that inner voice saying… “ I probably, NO, I SHOULD take action to “Pay It Forward.” Well, procrastination is sometimes The King, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is YOUR chance to truly make a difference in a BIG impactful way. PLUS your donation grows with the matching donation challenge that is in effect thru Feb. 28.


Don’t feel like you can do a single, one time donation this month?? No need to, you can choose to do your donation(s) as: 52(weekly) at a $5 minimum payment per, or 26 as biweekly, 12 monthly, 4 quarterly, or even 2 semiannually – BUT the key to it all is to DO SO.

And you can do so here:

I leave you today with a favorite quote of mine I’ve used most of my life as an athlete, coach, & career educator and lifetime learner: . . .


 . . . . . just 10 two letter words that really says it all.

Fondly… Jim Starrett, 1974 Captain @ CSU & Penn-Ohio Conference team Champions