Rowing, Ann Richards' family christen newest Longhorns shell
AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite windy and rainy conditions Saturday morning, hundreds of University of Texas supporters and staff members turned out to welcome a special family to Town Lake as the UT program christened its newest rowing shell -- The Ann Richards.
Those special guests were members of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards' family, as the former governor was remembered fondly as the newest Longhorns racing shell was named in her honor and put in the water for the first time.
Richards' passion for politics was born at Texas along with her love for UT women's basketball. The former governor was a great friend of The University and its women's athletics programs. She passed away on Sept. 13, 2006 of esophageal cancer.
Ann's eldest granddaughter, Lily Adams, represented the family in this ceremony and served as honorary coxswain. Adams is a sophomore at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., where she studies political science and is a coxswain on her school's rowing squad as well.
The Ann Richards boat was taken on Town Lake in the mist and drizzle of the rainy morning after the christening, which was conducted by Adams. On its maiden voyage on Town Lake, the newest Longhorn shell was rowed to much applause by the Texas varsity eight crew with Adams in the coxswain seat.
The Ann Richards boat will be housed at the Texas Rowing Center alongside shells named for six additional prominent figures: Donna A. Lopiano, currently the chief executive officer of the Women's Sports Foundation and former Women's Athletics Director at Texas (1975-1992); Barbara Jordan, former Professor of Public Policy at The LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and former U.S. Congresswoman from Texas; Dr. Sheila Rice, the first Director of Academic Services for UT Women's Athletics; Dr. Lorene Rogers, the first UT woman president (1974-1975, interim, 1975-1979); Dr. Edwin Sharpe, UT Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Administration; and Ilrey Althea Sparks, a former UT women's athletics academic counselor who died tragically in a December 2002 car accident.