Matt Donnelly '18 of Mendham, NJ stroked his championship Bowdoin College Varsity One boat to a medal finish at the Head of the Charles (HOCR 2021) this past weekend, competing against a field of 40 plus boats, many of them from D1 teams across the country.
This is Donnelly’s second HOCR Collegiate Division medal in two attempts 2019 and 2021. The historic regatta is world renowned for its twisting three mile course (4800 meters) that negotiates six bridges. Days before medaling at the rowing event, Donnelly crossed the stage at Bowdoin College to shake hands with Bowdoin’s President Clayton Rose and collect top academic honors as a Bowdoin College Senior. These recognitions included Bowdoin Scholar Award, Bowdoin Book Award for a perfect GPA and the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Donnelly has achieved these academic accolades while navigating two of Bowdoin’s most challenging course loads: NeuroScience and Computer Science for his major and minor respectively. As a rower for Bowdoin’s Varsity One boat since fall of his freshman year, Donnelly devotes 20-30 hours each week to rowing. He and his boat mates awaken each morning to face the frigid Maine waters by 6 AM, long before the sun comes up. On weekends, his team travels throughout New England facing top collegiate competition.
Of course, academic and rowing success are nothing new to Matt Donnelly. He was a top varsity rower for the Row NJ regional team throughout high school and graduated as Delbarton’s 2018 Valedictoria. At Graduation 2018, he was the proud recipient of the Bryan Bennett Award, established to honor the memory of a member of the class of 1994 who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This award is for the “Quiet Hero”, a student who, like Bryan Bennett, has distinguished himself for his day-today work ethic, his consistent nobility, and his unfailing kindness. Each graduating Delbarton class votes for the one of their classmates whose heart and character best honors their fallen brother.
The Delbarton community salutes Matt Donnelly '18 on continuing to make us proud with his hard work, persistence and, most of all, his heart and humility.