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Fisher Hall to host annual regatta

| Friday, April 26, 2019

Students, alumni and friends of Notre Dame will gather at St. Mary’s Lake at 1 p.m. for the annual Fisher Regatta. The dorm will provide free food and music for its signature event, which invites residence halls and campus organizations to participate in a boat race.  

This year, funds will go toward St. Adalbert Catholic School in South Bend, junior Frank Dijak, the event’s commissioner, said.

“This year, [the raised funds are] for air conditioning in the junior high,” Dijak said.

Previous fundraising had gone toward a new gym floor, AC units, new concrete slabs and a new check-in area at the school, senior Dan Blackburn said.

While most funds come from t-shirt sales, in addition to the small fee to enter a boat, Dijak said a few independent fundraisers on Eddy Street this semester and proceeds from Fisher Hall’s fall signature event, the car smash, will also be donated to St. Adalbert.

Courtesy of Frank Dijak

One of Fisher Hall’s boats compete in their namesake regatta on St. Mary’s Lake.

Sophomore Owen Donnelly said the hall purposefully chose to hold the Regatta before finals.

“Having the Regatta at the end of the year is nice, because everyone looks forward to it the entire year [and it’s] the culmination of all the year’s events, and by that point, everyone’s already great friends, so you can really enjoy it together,” Donnelly said.

For the men of Fisher, the Regatta is rooted in tradition, and they rally together in preparation for the event, Dijak said.

Freshmen often adopt “Regatta Hawks” for the event, Donnelly said, and some even shave the letter F into the back of their heads.

Blackburn said the upperclassmen hype the Regatta as early as Welcome Weekend to the incoming freshman, telling them it is ranked as one of ESPN’s top 100 student-run college events.

“It’s never been disproven,” Donnelly said.

On the day of the race, the hall wakes up at 7 a.m., when residents bang on doors with rowing oars. Two freshmen are chosen to drive a golf cart, coined the “Toro,” with a speaker and megaphone around campus.

“They go around campus telling people that it’s the day of the Regatta,” Dijak said.

Blackburn noted the diverse representation of student groups around campus who participate in the event.

“A lot of people have somebody that they can root for in the race, whether it’s their dorm, friends they know in a club [or] an organization they are a part of,” Blackburn said. “Everybody has something they can cheer for.” 

Dijak said the Regatta effectively fosters both community and competition on campus.

“I think [the Regatta is] one of the few signature events that asks for participation from a lot of halls and gets participation from a lot of halls. The Keenan Revue is also a big event, but it really doesn’t require anybody but Keenan to put it on,” Dijak said. “There are a lot of people who have tried to mimic the Regatta. … We have been pretty successful in getting usually around 20 halls to participate.”

Dijak encouraged students to come out the event and enjoy the day.

“Part of the Notre Dame experience is to go the Fisher Regatta,” Dijak said.

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