10/29/12 A new era in the sport of men’s and women’s rowing began at Culver Academies on Oct. 5 with the dedication of the White-DeVries Rowing Center.

The 24,000-square-foot facility houses the first indoor rowing tanks in Indiana.  In addition to the indoor tank room, the two-story, state-of-the-art facility has a dedicated ergometer room, areas for weight training and conditioning, and three indoor boat bays. The second floor features a spacious alumni lounge and an outdoor viewing deck overlooking Lake Maxinkuckee.

  “Culver is committed to providing its students with superior opportunities and facilities to help them develop both their character and their skills,” said Miles D. White who, as chairman of The Culver Educational Foundation Board of Trustees, accepted the building on behalf of the school. “We believe this rowing facility embodies that commitment and adds a new dimension to Culver’s infrastructure and the experience it offers to students. This is among one of the finest rowing facilities of any high school or college in the nation,” White said. “Our young people are going to do great things here and learn great things. And the heartbeat of Culver rowing and the heartbeat of U.S. rowing are going to beat from this facility.”

The Academies will showcase the White-DeVries Rowing Center in early November when it hosts a Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association clinic/meeting.

White, a 1973 Culver alumnus, and George T. DeVries III, a 1977 alumnus, are the major donors for the facility. Culver has received 185 gifts to date for construction as well as endowment money for maintenance and programs. The Academies coed rowing program serves about 75 athletes over the course of a fall and spring season, representing almost 10 percent of Culver’s student population.

White is the Chairman and CEO of Abbott, a Fortune 100 global healthcare manufacturer.  He was a member of the CMA crew and served as co-captain. White went on to row at Stanford University, where he was team captain. DeVries is chairman and CEO of American Specialty Health, Inc. He also rowed at Culver, and continued his rowing career at the University of California-San Diego.

The White-DeVries legacy continued as their sons Matt White, Class of 2001, David DeVries, Class of 2011, and Bryan DeVries, a current senior, all rowed for Culver.

DeVries said “the traits of persistence, discipline, optimism, and competitiveness developed in crew have been fundamental to my successes in both business and life.  I hope this rowing center will motivate future Culver students to try the sport, to give it a chance. (And that it) will become a defining part of what and who they become as it was and still is for me.

“Culver’s mission is to prepare students for successful futures by providing the highest quality all-around educational experience, focusing on academies, athletics, the fine arts, and leadership opportunities. The new rowing center provides Culver with another important tool to accomplish that mission,” DeVries said.

“Culver alumni have, once again, carried the day,” Head of Schools John Buxton said. “Perfect teamwork, selfless devotion, all pulling as one so as not to let the team down.”

Guy Weaser, head coach of the Culver rowing program since 1984, said “dedication is an appropriate name for what we are doing here today and what it represents. It’s not just the building but the spirit that underlies it. It isn’t just a one-day event, it’s the dedication to the rowing program by those who generously contributed. It is also the dedication of the athletes to their teammates and the success of the team.”