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Nicholas Tavares

For Syracuse University rower Nicholas Tavares ’19, staying equally committed to an intensive training schedule and a full course load takes hard work and stamina. That’s why support from the William Sanford Crew Scholarship has been such a boost—it’s allowed him to focus on his two biggest priorities as a student-athlete.

Now this two-time member of the Canadian junior national team is on course to pursue a career in orthodontics while he pursues victory for the Orange. “I love how competitive rowing is,” he says. “The first time I had a gold medal around my neck, I was hooked.”

Where I’m from…

I’m from Fonthill, outside of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, just over the border in the Niagara region.

What I do besides study…

I devote a lot of time to my sport. So when I’m not studying, I’m either rowing or sleeping.

Why I chose Syracuse University…

I chose Syracuse for its prestigious academics and great athletics.

What I love most about SU…

I love how campus creates its own little city of college students. The school spirit is amazing and everyone is enthusiastic about all the events going on.

What I plan to do with my SU degree…

I plan to continue on to medical school and, hopefully, become an orthodontist.

What my scholarship means to me…

It means everything to me. I wouldn’t be here without it. My scholarship encourages me to only work harder, because I know I have a job to do and expectations to meet—both within my sport of rowing and in my studies.

What I would say to someone who is thinking about giving…

We don’t take gifts for granted. We know how lucky we are. Scholarships like mine don’t just help us get new equipment or new facilities or recruit international students like me. They put our minds at ease and motivate us. I push hardest for the people I care about, and I most certainly care about scholarship donors. They are a key to Syracuse success.

Honoring a Coach’s Dedication

From his beginnings as a member of the freshman squad in 1960 to his retirement as head crew coach in 2002, William Sanford ’64, G’70 demonstrated the dedication coaching legends are made of. So upon his retirement, family, friends, and colleagues chose to honor him by establishing the William Sanford Crew Scholarship.

Sanford’s rowing career began after a college classmate, noticing his towering 6’7” frame, suggested he try crew. After competing with the team for three years, he was elected varsity captain. And in the fall following his graduation, he took charge of the freshman crew.

Spanning three decades, Sanford’s career included many testaments to his reputation for building hard-working squads. He led SU freshmen to three straight IRA championships from 1976-78. His varsity crew was undefeated in 1980 and the SU varsity four claimed an IRA victory in 1981. Five of his rowers went on to become Olympians.

In his last few years as head coach, the team’s notable successes included the 1999 Goes Trophy, the 2001 Conlan Cup, and, in 2002, the sixth straight Ten Eyck Cup. After being elected to the New York State Assembly for the 118th District, Sanford balanced his time between Albany and the Orange, before retiring from coaching that same year.

In May 2003, Sanford received one of the highest honors in men’s rowing. The Syracuse men’s crew team named a racing shell after him. Eight years later, he was inducted into the Syracuse Rowing Hall of Fame.

Sanford is married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy Hawley. They have three daughters—each continued the family legacy in her own way. Shawn was SU’s first female coxswain. Jennifer coaches the women’s rowing team at the University of Connecticut. And Kristen was the head women’s rowing coach at Syracuse for 20 years.

“I’ve had quite a run,” Sanford says. “There’s never been anyone luckier than me.”