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Catching Up With: Dave Grant

May 27, 2001

He noted he would like to serve as interim president for a different

college if the opportunity ever presented itself. Yet, whatever takes

place, he's traveling to South Africa this fall. From England, he will

board a ship sailing to Cape Town.

He also travels, at least once a year, to Australia to "do some

sailing down there," he said. "Australia is like a second home to me.

I've been there every year for probably the last 30 years."


Throughout his life, Grant has kept in mind the lessons learned from

his former swim coach, Al Irwin, at Newport Harbor High.

Said Grant, "I learned from him that if you don't expect a lot, you

don't get a lot."

Grant must have expected a lot out of life. During a 1972 sabbatical

leave, he sailed a 28-sloop to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia,

retracing some of the routes of Captain James Cook. In 1989, Grant

climbed with a team to the 19,340-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in

Africa. He was also inducted into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of

Fame in Annapolis, Maryland in 1975, becoming only the sixth West Coast

mariner to be given the honor.

The feats were all based on his zest for life and that welcomed humor.

"Harry Parker, the head coaching of rowing at Harvard, him and I are

very good friends," Grant said, before explaining an example of the

importance of humor. "We spoke about crews that we've had that have been

particularly successful, and what characteristics they have in common.

There's the obvious ones. But, the overriding characteristic that joins

those Harvard and Coast crews that were spectacularly good, was a very

strong sense of humor. And not just ha-ha humor, but clever humor. It's

an important part of life."

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