The end of an era: A Message to the Fans of Beach Crew

Dear Athletes, Coaches, Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Beach Crew,

The time has come to say my parting from a year-long journey and the end of an era for myself, at least from the stance of locking the oar in place. The efforts we saw this last year were nothing short of a resurgence. This year was truly a milestone. It made us “think outside of the box” and get back to what mattered most for this team, the support from our fans. We are glad that you were a part of this movement with us.

I would like to thank all of my officers for their hard work this last season, jumping through the hoops, finding every empty slot in their busy schedules, getting the job done. We’ve all realized that being a part of this organization comes with a cost. While we’re all here to be on the water and condition ourselves, we also realized that we have a responsibility. We must keep the wheels turning, pursue a vision that we can share and strive to achieve, and preserve the legacy that was laid before us. Back in September, I challenged the Beach Crew Board of Officers and Captains to “share the vision.” It’s a vision that would bring back the legacy, the people, the community, and leadership that will keep us moving forward.

The team just finished electing their new officers for this next season. I am pleased to announce that I have no doubt they will continue forward with this vision. There’s still a long way to go, but with these eight officers, the possibilities are endless. We are lucky to have a program that has such a long history at this institution, a history that surpasses many others. Not many organizations get to have this distinction. All of you are a part of this community and always will be. Try counting how many mornings you woke up to run down to the Pete Archer Boathouse. All of you sacrificed so much to be here, possibly having to give up the simple pleasures in life and deal with reality at the same time, let alone being academically responsible. I don’t know who came up with this quote and how it was proved, but I keep hearing that, “Rowers will do more before 8:00 AM before most people will do in an entire day.” I can say that the efforts I’ve seen this past year surpass what most of the athletes at CSULB possess.

I am about to become one of many who I like to classify as “the iron men who once rowed in wooden shells.” I have one challenge for those of you who fall under that category. You are a part of this vision we’re striving to achieve. This Fall, all of you will have the opportunity to elect your first round of board members of the newly-formed Beach Crew Alumni Association. Our advisory panel has worked hard this past year with the CSULB Foundation to get things off the ground. This time, we mean it. I want to challenge each one of you to be a part of this movement, whether you can lend a helping hand with the alumni association, the rowers, or even showing up on a morning, we need your help to show these new rowers who we are, what they’re about to experience, and the rich legacy that they’re about to be a part of. This cannot be done without you. We are proud of the fact that we are a family. Your involvement and support is the life-blood of Beach Crew. Our traditions are strong and meaningful not only to alumni, but also to the current athletes and their families.

Many of you have heard me refer to this quote several times. Former CSULB President, Robert C. Maxon, who we have a boat named after, once said, “If all you ever do is attend classes, you’re not getting a full college education.” I have no doubt that many of us fulfilled that once-in-a-lifetime experience he described after we completed a season with this team.

Never underestimate the potential that all of you have. Many people on campus see us as the extraordinary, committed, individuals that not only strive for the betterment of ourselves, but also follow the university’s mission: “to promote intellectual and personal development and to prepare students for life-long learning as well as prepare them to succeed in a variety of professional endeavors and to function as informed, contributing members of the community.” Over the past year, I met many who had once taken a stroke in a boat and am happy to say that many of them are leaders that are successful with what they do. The high-moral citizens that spring out of this program is unforeseen and often overlooked.

Keep the faith, the legacy, and the traditions alive. Never forget where you came from. It was an honor serving all of you in this 50-year-old program. I look forward to the many functions that this team has ahead of them.

Yours in Service (GO BEACH!),

Brandin J. Grams