It’s hard work being a University of Michigan men’s rower. Winning seven consecutive national championships takes dedication—more than 20 hours of dedication a week. This continues for 38 weeks throughout the year, even on spring break, when the club practices at the 1996 Summer Olympics facilities in Gainesville, Georgia.
Being a part of Michigan Rowing puts a lot on sophomore Scott Griffith’s plate. In addition to his duties on the water, he’s a business major with a minor in mathematics. He’s a former student government representative and has held internships with international energy companies.
Scott does a lot at Michigan—and a scholarship from his local alumni club helps him make the most of his Michigan experience.
“Before I went off to Michigan, the U of M Club of Orange County had a send-off for students in the area going to U-M. I got to meet a bunch of other Michigan freshman.” Scott said. “Then they announced that they had a scholarship opportunity for Orange County students.”
The U of M Club of Orange County awarded more than $14,000 in 2014 to help students like Scott come to Ann Arbor. Thanks to the hard work of its volunteer leaders, the club has increased its scholarship awards each year since its first award in 2006.
Scott didn’t plan on receiving help from local alumni to attend Michigan, just like he didn’t expect to join the rowing team once he got here.
“I was just walking around when these huge guys walk up to me with an oar,” the 6’4”, 200-pound Scott related. “They said ‘You’re tall, you look athletic. You should try out for rowing.’”
It took a lot of convincing, but Scott has turned into a great rower on the championship team. He won the freshman races in the American Collegiate Rowing Association and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships. And his core group of friends are the ones he trains and rows with.
In the classroom, he is passionate about blending the quantitative skills he learns in math classes with the real-world applications he is exposed to in business school. As a student government representative serving on the budget committee, he enjoyed allocating funds to deserving student groups, like Music Matters.
With the help of passionate alumni, Scott is able to experience all that Michigan has to offer.
“These things cost money. The rowing team isn’t fullyfunded by the University, so I have to pay for dues. It wouldn’t be possible to do all the things I’ve done at Michigan without the help of scholarships like the one from the U of M Club of Orange County.”