Harlan A. Bartlett '51
Year Inducted: 1975
Harlan A. Bartlett '51 was one of two men directly responsible for the revival of crew at Brown in the spring of 1949. Several years earlier, Bartlett and the late Jim Donaldson '50 submitted themes on crew in Prof. Elmer Blistein's course. "No one ever wrote on crew in my class before," Blistein said, "and now I get two themes on the subject - and you both flunk." Although Bartlett and Donaldson hadn't known each other up to that point, both had rowed in prep school, Bartlett on Exeter's undefeated shell and Donaldson at Saint Andrews in Middletown, Del. The two men talked many times about trying to revive crew, which had been inactive since 1875. In the fall of 1948 they borrowed Mr. & Mrs Bartlett's brand new Oldsmobile 88 and drove to Saint Andrews, where they had been promised a 34-year-old shell that had once belonged to Harvard. The two men made the 450-mile trip back with the 65-foot-shell strapped to the roof of the 17-foot Oldsmobile. The journey took 17 hours, including a stop at Princeton, where Coach Shoch gave them 10 old oars. With the 6-5, 190-pound Bartlett leading the way, crew became an informal sport in the spring of 1949 and gained official status as the Brown Rowing Association the next spring, when Captain Bartlett's eight marked the return of crew to the Seekonk with an impressive four-length victory over Clark. Harlan Bartlett coached at Brown in 1954, has been a driving force in the BRA over the years, and currently is its president. He is employed as regional manager for BIF.