Tom Smolinski Endowed Diving Scholarship

Dear CSU Viking Diving & Swimming Alums and Friends,

It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Tom Smolinski, a proud CSU Viking Diver and class of ’99 graduate. Thanks to the commitment of many, however, his legacy can live on with the Tom Smolinski Endowed Diving Scholarship.

We have an incredible opportunity to honor Tom and his family along with strengthening the Cleveland State University Women’s and Men’s Swim-Dive program by providing scholarship assistance to the team. CSU Giving Day 2016 provides this opportunity.

Kim with Kids- IMG_3427

Kim Smolinski with daughters in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium during Heritage Graphics installation – August, 2015

Did you know the Tom Smolinski family led by his widow Kim and her two young twin daughters has raised almost $30,000 in order to establish the Endowment? The Robert F. Busbey Charitable Foundation will provide a matching grant on Giving Day for all donations up to $5,000.  The money will not only help the Divers but the Swimmers as it will enable more scholarship money to be awarded to all team members.

Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference. On Wednesday February 24 (GIVING DAY) visit http://givingday.csuohio.edu to make your gift.  Click on the ATHLETICS tab then be sure to specify the Tom Smolinski Endowed Diving Scholarship as the recipient of your donation.

  • The Tom Smolinski Endowed Scholarship will make a difference for Swimming and Diving.
  • Let’s honor a two time Horizon League (MCC) Team member who loved CSU and put family first.
  • While the amount of the donation is important, even more urgent is to show you care by participating on Giving Day at any donation level.

Your simple act of pushing the donation button on CSU GIVING DAY Wednesday February 24 will show everyone how much Swimming and Diving friends and alumni positively impact the University. No matter what the amount of your gift, the fact that you engaged and gave is what’s most important.

Help us honor Tom and support CSU Swimming and Diving. Please “PUSH THE BUTTON” on GIVING DAY, February 24th.

Vikings Forever,

Jeff Arnold, Former Head Diving Coach (1981-2002)


An Amazing Difference Maker!

The Holiday season is upon us and my heart bursts (no pun intended) with pride as I experienced the impact of the Heritage Project on CSU Athletics. My experience during late November when I attended the Magnus Cup Swimming and Diving Invitational and the Horizon League Championship game of Women’s Volleyball was phenomenal and something I wish to share with you.

The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium has never looked better. As I looked down upon our world class aquatic facility from the spectator area above the new graphics visible in all directions , the Video Interactive Kiosk, the state of the art Score Board, the beautiful blue water and the history of our program were evident everywhere. The Wow Effect was in full bloom as spectators, coaches, swimmers and divers all remarked how exhilarating the appearance of the pool impacted us all. I had the opportunity to swim between sessions and what amazed me most was how you could see all the graphic displays in the water and the motivational impact that was felt. I literally glided through the water with a feeling of joy. It is an amazing feeling knowing how much time, effort and expertise came together to meet the many goals of the Heritage Committee.

Between sessions I also attended my first Horizon League Championship Event in Woodling Gymnasium. The CSU Viking Women’s Volleyball Team dominated Valparaiso University to win the crown! Pride, Enthusiasm, Discipline, Athleticism and Focus were evident in the winning performance. I am impressed with Coach Chuck Voss and his staff with the high level of performance obtained by their Team.

The CSU Swimming and Diving Team had Championship performances in breaking four pool and school records and winning many events. The Men won the Magnus Cup and both teams showed great improvement. I was Viking Proud! Coach Graham and his staff are to be commended.

The Heritage Project is about Connecting, Recruiting, and providing support for the program we love. The support can be displayed not only in monetary donations but providing resources to help all those who are and have been in the program through career development and the many other critically important factors needed to make a bright future available.

Our next focus is promoting the Tom Smolinski Endowment for Diving on CSU Giving Day on Wednesday February 24, 2016. On that day you will be able to give as little at $5 (more if you like !) with just a click of the mouse or touch of the finger! Tom, a former two times Conference Champion Diver (98/99), recently tragically died in an automotive accident.  His wife Kim along with her two young daughters has raised over $25,000 dollars.

The Busbey Foundation has made a commitment to match all gifts given up to $5K. We plan to  donate this match on Giving Day.  More than just raising funds for Tom’s endowment we would like to also see Swimming and Diving alumni the most involved giving CSU alumni in terms of the number of Giving Day donations. With hundreds of alumni we CAN demonstrate our TEAM IS FOREVER attitude.

As we approach the Giving Day Date we will continue to remind all to get involved at whatever level you can afford. The most important factor is that you CARE!  Help us help reach other alumni.  And most important on Giving Day “Just push the button” !

Carol and I wish everyone the happiest of holidays! May you truly be touched by the love and joy that surround us!  Vikings Forever!

New CSU RFB Natatorium – A Platform for Recruiting, Fund Raising and Connecting

Thanks to phenomenal support from connected swimming and diving alumni, The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium looks newer today than when it was new 40 years ago. Here’s an update from the September 26, 2015 Champions Campaign Dedication.

The star of the dedication was of course the new pool.  The North and West wall graphics feature 80 years advice from two great coaches: Bob Busbey and Wally Morton.North Banners

pool west banners

NLB Viewers Large ScaleThe Ninth Lane Banner highlighted Magnus watching over and motivating our teams while honoring alumni with thousands of photos – each with its own story.  This was clearly the “go to” location where swimmers, spectators and alumni congregated to look for “their story”.  We hope this will be the source of many “selfies” which will in turn create even more stories.




NLB from pool deck

The neatly wrapped video screen and brand new lane timer provide state-of-the-art timing capabilities. Installers from Colorado Timing have commented this is one of the best “wraps” they’ve seen.Video and TImer Board

New bottom paint and nearly invisible water add to the feeling of “new”.Pool water west view

Nine decades of team Heritage surrounds the pool with Championship Banners and record boards.Banner Flying High

new record boardThe Timeline Wall boldly displaying team accomplishments in the pool, classroom and community.  With room for another 24 years, which happens to correspond to CSU’s 75th anniversary, this area was designed to grow with the team over time.Pool East view from Deck

Pool East view from Deck-2

Timeline ViewersCommunity Corner from Rec CenterThe Community Corner highlights CSU neighborhood partners.  We hope this area, clearly visible from the Rec Center, will become a “posting place” for all who use the pool or plan events for the pool.corner with logos-second


Behind the Community Corner and Timeline Wall and East bleachers is the main entrance to the pool from the lobby.  Visitors can’t help but expect an explosion in graphics based on the bold 3-D surround entryway.


The Heritage Corner interactive kiosk brings team history to life for those in the pool and everyone world-wide.  The two donor panels shout out THANK YOU to the 183 friends and alumni who made Wally’s dream of capturing the program’s history and posting team pictures in the pool come true.

Members of the Champions Campaign and Heritage Project committees are shown next to the donors.  Wally & Joe launched the Champions Program in 2009 along with Jim Smith and Mike Dolzak.  Mike Lehto, Tom Fattlar, Jim Starrett, John McCreery, Renee Adam and I signed on to complete the Heritage Project. Coach Paul Graham joined last year. Without John Parry’s support and President Berkman’s commitment to CSU swimming and diving, the pool bottom would not be shiny white and the water would not be crystal clear.Heritage Corner Donors

Flying Hand Design studios sat with us in the pool, listened and carefully noted our objectives for each heritage element, and then captured our visions in bold style.  Repros Inc. brought them to life.  And did so within a very aggressive budget and in a time frame that was often measured in days not weeks (and even hours !).  Thank you Repros for your team’s expertise and dedication to the Heritage Project.

John Parry was MC for Saturday’s ceremony.  Coach Paul Graham stressed the “three C’s” embodied in the day’s events.  He laid out the importance of CONNECTIONS, the CELEBRATION enabled by the time, treasures and talents of the many alumni involved, and the importance of the decades-long CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY heritage as part of CSU swimming and diving proud history and bright future.

President Berkman thanked the swimming and diving alumni for reinforcing the importance of student athletics to the university and community. He highlighted the team’s history of innovation, from the design of the pool and pioneering strength training to global recruiting and local connecting. The President also held up the team’s philanthropy and use of technology to stay connected as an example of best practice for CSU athletics and academics as well as colleges and universities across the nation.DSC_0671-Berkman-Heritage-Dedication

In closing John Parry reminded everyone that “Tradition Never Graduates”.

Bob’s and Wally’s roles in cementing the Fenn/CSU swimming and diving program, figuratively and literally, have been huge and unprecedented.  No program in swimming and diving history has benefited more from two individuals than ours.

We expressed our feelings on behalf of all alumni to Wally:

“Wally – You defined who we are as true Vikings.  You expanded the program with unparalleled loyalty to Bob.  And dedication to the teams, CSU and the world of swimming.  You understand the importance of preparation in all we do here in the pool, classroom and out in the community.  You are the winningest coach in CSU history.  Most important – you truly love every swimmer and diver on every team you have ever coached (even those that were hard to love, even on training trips)”.Wally by his banner


The Heritage Project represents much more than pictures, websites and eye-popping graphics. We have created a platform for recruiting, fund raising and connecting.  We know this lightning fast, world-class hall will continue to attract amazing women and men from around the world and down the street to become CSU swimmers & divers. And Leaders!

The Heritage Project will enable current and future alumni, and the University’s administration, to stay connected.  To expand support for CSU Swimming and Diving – whether it’s building new lockers, funding scholarships, recruiting top talent or writing new chapters to fill in the next 24 years on the Timeline Wall.

In closing I would call your attention to the wording above the Heritage Corner.  You can read this as two of our  key values – TEAM is Forever, and EXCELLENCE in All We Do.Heritage Corner-Top Lines

Heritage CommitteeAs we look forward I like to think of it this way: Team Excellence is Forever In All We Do.

On behalf of Swimming and Diving Friends and Alumni from around the world THANK YOU again from everyone on the Champions Campaign and Heritage Committee who have worked since 2009 to make last weekend’s events a reality.

Dave Guinther ’69

Splash Bash Post-Script – The post-Splash Bash BBQ was clearly a huge hit with everyone, and a tradition we hope continues forever. As a committee we joked about “having our cake and eating it too”. This came true last weekend thanks to “CPG” and the current teams Moms and Dads [Private note to Brian Bailey – please thank your team for the tremendous parent/team/alumni BBQ and the special “turkey treat” that powered Wally and I through Saturday evening].The Cake

parent team alumni bbq

We weren’t able to get all the alumni who joined us Saturday in the same lane however here are many of the old and new alumni who were there:Alumni at BBQ


The Wow Factor and The Heritage Project – Providing Opportunity for Excellence

Homecoming weekend has begun at Cleveland State University. Alumni and friends will celebrate the completion of the Display of the history of the Fenn/CSU Swimming & Diving Program along with the rich past of the Fisher/Busbey Aquatic Facilities dating back to 1931. The Heritage Project represents much more than graphic displays, however. It is a living breathing process of building on the past, to inspire the current Teams and provide the resources for excellence in the future.

Over the past 84 years Fenn College/ Cleveland State University have impacted aquatics sports in a profound way. Let me mention just a few of those pioneering moments.

One of the finest and most beautiful swimming pools in the nation was built on the fifth/sixth floors of an early twentieth century downtown iconic high rise building named Fenn Tower. Fenn College evolved from the YMCA and made learning to swim mandatory for its students. The requirement to swim continued through the early days of CSU into the 1980’s. The Fisher Pool was the site of the first televised swim meets in the late 40’s/early 50’s. It was the golden age of Fenn Fox Swimming without scholarships and yet record winning performances along with national recognition.

In 1973 the “fastest pool ever built” was opened on CSU’s concrete campus. It was part of the two pool complex now called The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. The facility has hosted numerous regional, national and international events in synchronized swimming, water polo, swimming and diving. The NCAA National Championship Meets resulted in the highest percentage of American/US Open (world records in yards) in the history of swimming to this day. In 1977 it is the only pool that had fastest times ever swam in every event in one meet.

The CSU /Busbey Natatorium was the first pool where the Chinese National Team competed in Diving outside it country in 1981. The RFB Natatorium has continued to be a focal point of aquatics to this day. The Viking Swimming and Diving Program is one of the top mid major programs in the nation which has resulted in more wins than any other sport at CSU with twenty one Conference Championships since 1973. Even more amazing is the incredible academic and community outreach awards that have been achieve over the years. The experiences gained have resulted in alumni that have gone on to greatness in every career imaginable.

Here’s a short history of how the Heritage Project originated. Although we had a proud program with many accomplishments only the record board showed our history – and it had been falling apart in recent years. In the early 90’s I had a dream of displaying all our Team photos, Conference Championships, and updating the Colorado Display Board to give us the latest technology. The Champions Campaign was begun in 2009 under the direction of Joe Stockwell which resulted in a new record board, conference championship banners and the framing of both the old and new display boards. All the money was donated by alumni and friends.

From the Champions Campaign a new effort was launched under the leadership of Dave Guinther to display our history.  We name this final phase of the Champions Campaign the Heritage Project. Dave’s innovative skills based on his background in busines technology has resulted in an interaction with friends and alumni of CSU Aquatics to celebrate our past, inspire current teams and provide additional resources for the future.

The Heritage Project is spectacular! The goal was to create THE WOW FACTOR and it has been accomplished! But it is more than a graphic display. The Heritage Committee comprised of Dave Guinther, Wally Morton, Joe Stockwell, Jim Smith, Tom Fattlar, Jim Starrett, Mike Lehto, Paul Graham, Renee Adam and John McCreery, have set up a process to connect with alums and friends. It has tapped into the knowledge and expertise of those who care about CSU. It has connected our alums/friends with each other and with the current participants along with top level administrators. It identifies our values, vision and goals for the future. It creates job position networking and resources to inspire those currently involved as students on our teams. It gives the opportunity to give back to the program through Endowment Donations and other forms of giving. The goal was to be the most active alumni group as defined by the percentage and amount of giving at Cleveland State University. It underscores Swimming & Diving as a relevant and essential program for the present and future.

There is much history and many more benefits of the Heritage Project that I have not mentioned. Join us this weekend on Friday September 24 and Saturday September 25 for CSU Homecoming and Swimming and Diving Heritage Weekend.

If for some reason you cannot be with us in person then go to csuvikings-swim-dive-heritage.com to stay connected with past teammates and current team. The unveiling of the Heritage Project on Saturday will be a conclusion to a job well done and the beginning of new successes to come.

Viking Strong and Vikings Forever! Wally Morton

Heritage Weekend ’15: Golf, “Teamship” and Celebration Sept. 25/26

CSU’s Homecoming 2015 offers six events where CSU Swimming and Diving Friends and Alumni can connect for great times.  Golf and fellowship on Friday; swimming, celebration and more fellowship on Saturday.  A true “Teamship” weekend.

Friday September 25th :

  • Golf outing at 9:00 am
  • Heritage Warm-up Reception at 2:30 pm or so / Dinner at 3:30 pm
  • HEADS UP  – if you would like to join post-Golf gathering OR later Friday evening get-together email heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com for plans and locations (no longer at the golf course)

Saturday September 26th:

  • Splash Bash at 8:00 am
  • Heritage Graphics Dedication with Dr. Berkman at 10:30 am
  • Team/Parent/Alumni BBQ at 1:30 pm
  • Photo opp and dessert around 2:30 pm
  • Dinner downtown to follow; email heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com for plans and location

Details and Registration (NOTE: Registrations forms for Splash Bash Available  Below; please fill out and return to Paul Graham.   Register for all other events on-line using links below).

  • ——-  Friday  9/25 ——-
  • Golf outing will be held at Briarwood Golf Course in Broadview Heights. First tee time 9:00. Lunch at the turn included followed by reception open to all alumni golfers or not at 2:30. Flyer is here: CSU Golf Outing 2015 Flyer.  Cost: $66 for golf, lunch and reception dinner. Please REGISTER for the Golf Outing on the CSU Homecoming Website.  If questions email: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com
  • Reception following Golf Outing is OPEN TO ALL ALUMNI.  Please join us. Golfers will be filtering in around 2:30.  Followed by dinner buffet at 3:30.  Curtain call for Spash Bashers at 5:30, others welcome to meet in another local Broadview Heights social mecca. Please email: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com if you are interested
  • ——  Saturday  9/26 ———–
  • Splash Bash warmup at 7:30 with first event at 8:00.  Forms are here:  CLEVELAND STATE SPLASH BASH 2015 Registration Forms.  Please send completed registration forms with your entry fee to Paul Graham p.e.graham@csuohio.edu
  • Heritage Graphics Dedication at 10:30.  Please join Dr. Berkman and our team as we celebrate the successful completion of the Champions Campaign.
  • Team/Parent/Alumni BBQ will take place on the lawn outside of the PE Building at 1:30.   Another great alumni opportunity to meet the 2015-16 team and coaches.  BBQ is free to students and parents, $10 for alumni. Please REGISTER for the Kick-off BBQ on the CSU Homecoming Website.
  • Team-Parent-Alumni photos.  Even if you can’t make the BBQ lunch no reason you can’t stop by for dessert and some  “teamship” time.  Around 2:30-ish
  • Want to join fellow swim/dive alums for dinner email: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com for the details (which will be worked out following the BBQ)

WOW ! So many opportunities to cap off a tremendous year for all CSU Swimming and Diving Friends and Alumni.  Hope to see you at one or all of the events.

QUESTIONS?  SUGGESTIONS?  Please email heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com

Thank you,

Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’69, Tom Fattlar ‘74;’81-’84, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ’81 and Mike Lehto ’94-’07

Banners are Up. Wall Graphics Next. Then We Party

The Heritage Project Concept Graphics are now reality. Last week the Coach Banners, Diver and Swimmer Banners and Ninth Lane Banners were installed.

Heritage Corner ProofSouth Tunnel Graphics are released for production.  Heritage Corner Graphics will be released Tuesday Morning after a few edits (If you want a close up view to check the spelling on your name you can download this .pdf file: heritage_corner_preflight. By the way we are aware of four typos – you see any other typos please send an email to the Heritage Committee ASAP: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com

Other graphics including Community Corner and Timeline Wall will follow shortly.  Huge kudos to Flying Hand Design and Repros, Inc. from CSU and Fenn College Swimmers, Divers and friends worldwide for helping us make this a reality.

We have a few more surprises as well so stay tuned.  Hint: Think “Outside the pool”.

Many events planned for Heritage Weekend 2015 including morning golf outing and late afternoon warm-up reception on Friday 9/25.  Saturday 9/26 will feature the annual Splash Bash, Official Dedication and first-annual Team/Parent/Alumni kick-off BBQ. Registration events will be posted shortly.

Below are pictures and videos from week of August 10.

First two time-lapse videos:

Banners laid out on the lawn prior to installation.2015-08-07 NLB Prep 2015-08-07 Wally Stretching

Ninth Lane Banners were installed on Friday.Ninth Lane Banner Install Fri 14 Aug

Pool rendering w-ninth lane bannerNorth and West wall banners went up earlier in the week.  Pretty close to the original concept graphics previewed last September at the Wally Roast and Reception.pool install - North Wall pool Install- NW Corner

Thanks, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for Heritage Weekend Friday and Saturday September 25/26.

Thank you for your support,

Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’69, Tom Fattlar ‘74;’81-’84, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ’81 and Mike Lehto ’94-’07

Heritage Project Powers Champions Campaign Into Fast Lane

THANK YOU!  WE DID IT! We exceeded our $75,000 goal for the Heritage Project fundraising thanks to the generosity of connected, engaged Fenn/CSU swimming and diving friends and alumni. We’ve now raised over $250,000 for The Robert F. Busbey Champions Campaign and have the funds to complete the project and finish Viking Strong.

Champions Campaign-1In 2009, Wally and I set out to connect with the many former Fenn College / CSU Swimmers and Divers who fondly remember the formative experience we all had, under Bob Busbey and Wally, as athletes, students and young people.  The idea of the Champions Campaign was simple: bring The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium back into Championship form and cement, literally and figuratively, 9 decades of swimming and diving heritage in the pool.

Raising over a quarter million dollars has allowed us to make a big impact.  Key basic infrastructure improvements were completed in the first phase of the Champions Campaign during 2011 — our new video display and record boards as well as a new paint job and filtration system installed in the pool.

Outstanding alumni support – we exceeded our $75k Heritage Project target – will allow us to complete the second phase prior to the 2015-16 season. We will install graphics to add excitement to the pool deck, honor 9 decades of alumni and proudly display the heritage of our highly successful swimming and diving program.

Champions Campaign-2We should all be Viking Proud! What started as a project to rally our teammates in support of much-needed pool improvements has evolved into a growing sense of community shared with over 500 fellow swimming and diving alumni.  For example:

  • Over 150 alumni made donations to the Champions Program, many giving more than once.
  • Over 45% of our alumni have “given back” to CSU for aquatics, athletics or their college one or more times.

For any program – not least a public university without a strong history of giving – our participation statistics were terrific!

Your contributions of time and money will result in a platform to provide continued growth for the Cleveland State University Swimming and Diving Program.  To provide student athletes with best-in-class education while building character and providing them with life-long support from hundreds of alumni who’ve clearly demonstrated a special “Team is Forever” connection with all swimmers and divers – past, present and future.

Wally and I are hugely proud of your support.  Let’s keep building that community.

Now its time to finish what we started.  Gather your old photos for the 9th Lane Banner. Upload them here – http://csuvikings-swim-dive-heritage.com/pictures/ – or send them to heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com.

Stay connected as we continue to gather pictures, stories and history-making events that will be shared with athletes, visitors and coaches in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and worldwide via the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Website.

Go Vikings!!

Joe Stockwell ’81 and Wally Morton ’74-’14 on behalf of others on the Heritage Committee: Dave Guinther ’69, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Tom Fattlar ’86 and Mike Lehto ’94-‘07

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 picture.walter 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