In a ceremony in early February, Drexel agreed to assume management of the Bachelors Barge Club on Boathouse Row, which will remain the home of its rowing program.
Drexel University extended its relationship with the historic Bachelors Barge Club as Drexel President John Fry, Senior Vice President Jim Tucker and Athletics Director Dr. Eric Zillmer joined Charles Cowan, president of Bachelors Barge Club, in signing an agreement for Drexel to fully manage the facility at Boathouse #6 on Kelly Drive.
“For Drexel to partner with an iconic rowing club on Boathouse Row is an important step forward for us, not only in growing the sport of rowing, but also to be associated with the prestigious history of rowing in this city,” Fry said.
The Drexel crew program has rowed out of the oldest rowing club in the nation, known as Boathouse #6, on Kelly Drive, since July 2009. Founded in 1853, the Bachelors Barge Club remains the oldest continuously operated rowing club in the United States.
The new agreement puts Drexel in charge of managing day-to-day activities at the boathouse and working with its members to provide programming for youth rowing in Philadelphia, as well as corporate and team building rowing experiences.
“Drexel and the Bachelors Barge Club have long established ties which precede the moving of its rowing program to Bachelors in 2009,” said Ron Madden, a past president of Bachelors Barge Club who is an alumnus of Drexel’s rowing program and a member of its Athletics Hall of Fame. “Given the proximity of the campus to our facility it's a natural partnership.”
The Dragons, led by Director of Rowing Paul Savell, have established themselves as one of the up-and-coming rowing programs regionally and nationally. The women’s team won the 2010 Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames River in England and two years later, Savell guided the first men’s varsity eight to Henley.
In the spring of 2012, the men's and women's varsity eight boats won the Bergen and Kelly Cup titles, which are, respectively, the men’s and women’s city championships, for the first time in the program’s history. Savell’s team also finished second overall at the 2012 Dad Vail Regatta.