Walt Mullen '96
What is your inspiration to make a Legacy Fund Endowment gift through your will?
We are all limited in what we can give NU Rowing from year to year due to family obligations, the market or the stage of our career. Making a Legacy Fund Endowment gift with my will, removes any constraints. I am of the mindset that "You can’t take it with you,” so I have chosen to name the rowing team endowment in my will, to in some way payback and support the team that I benefited greatly from being a part of. The TEAM aspect of NU rowing is clearly alive and well today and can continue well beyond my time on this planet and I want to ensure this program continues to grow and succeed for years to come.
How did being a part of the program impact your life?
I carry my Northeastern rowing experience with me every day. Receiving an athletic scholarship had a huge impact on my family and afforded me opportunities I otherwise would not have had if I didn't come to Northeastern. As the son of an immigrant mother, born in a work camp during World War II, and an Irish fireman from Philadelphia, getting the opportunity to be a student-athlete and part of a winning team was not lost on me. I did not want to waste the opportunity that I had earned, so I worked hard to balance rowing, co-op, and my studies. I am very proud that I was selected as the Northeastern Student-Athlete of the Year as a senior joining a long list of NU rowers, who had won this award in years prior. Being on the team I developed my own blueprint for success learning to balance out all the competing priorities of a college student and honed my ability to multitask and deliver. Because of my experiences, I have always looked to hire team sports athletes when I can, because I know they have what we all have, that edge to work harder and deliver because they don’t want to let the team down.
What is your fondest memory of being on the Northeastern Team?
When I think back on my time on Huntington Avenue, my fondest memory is simply the experience of being on the “the team.” I don’t think I have ever truly replicated that sense of purpose and teamwork, since my NU rowing days. While people often talk about what a “team” is when it comes to their workplace, nothing can replicate the feeling of being on a D1 rowing team chasing a championship title. While I have been fortunate to be a member of several successful teams at the high school, club and the US National Team level, nothing really compared to my experiences on the Northeastern team. When I landed in Boston as a freshman I fell right into my new family and team. The highly-focused eat, sleep, drink, practice routine, under Buzz's guidance, suited me well and made the four year experience what it was!
I love thinking that today's team is walking the same streets, through the same buildings and launching boats from the same boathouse with the same goals that we once had!
The 1995 Varsity after winning the silver medal at the Eastern Sprints
L-R Buzz Congram, Steve Simko, Ehren Frank, Paul Belagour, Chad Hardin, Walt Mullen, Thor Runeman, Jeremy Cook, Andrew Laurie, Tim Wooge
Mullen getting ready to race