The Fox Valley Rowing Club traces its history to 1988. That year, Peter Nordell Jr., a 1984 graduate of Appleton East High School and a member of Yale University’s crew, rowed in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea as a member of the United States’ Men’s Eight. Peter’s parents, Peter Sr. and Jan, together with community members including Hans and MJ Wurster, Peter Hensler, Walt Gary, Fred Shaffer and others started the club, together with several students from Lawrence University.

Lawrence had inherited an illustrious rowing tradition through its consolidation with Milwaukee – Downer College in the late 1960’s. Downer women had rowed the Milwaukee River for much of the twentieth century.

Downer College crew on the Milwaukee River

History

The Fox Valley Rowing Club traces its history to 1988. That year, Peter Nordell Jr., a 1984 graduate of Appleton East High School and a member of Yale University’s crew, rowed in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea as a member of the United States’ Men’s Eight. Peter’s parents, Peter Sr. and Jan, together with community members including Hans and MJ Wurster, Peter Hensler, Walt Gary, Fred Shaffer and others started the club, together with several students from Lawrence University.

Lawrence had inherited an illustrious rowing tradition through its consolidation with Milwaukee – Downer College in the late 1960’s. Downer women had rowed the Milwaukee River for much of the twentieth century.

Downer College crew on the Milwaukee River

The new club purchased two eights and two fours from the University of Wisconsin and began rowing from the remains of a warehouse under the College Avenue bridge. In 1996, the club constructed its current boathouse in Telulah Park.

Lawrence's crew is now a separate organization, but continues to share our boathouse.