Gift to Stonington Crew January 23, 2008
The Stonington High School Rowing Program has received a gift from the estate of former StoneRidge resident, Dr. Dorris J. Hutchison. The gift, made through the Friends of Stonington Crew, will be used to purchase a new Vespoli Ultralite racing shell and set of eight Concept 2 oars. The boat will bear her name and be raced this spring by the girls' varsity crew team.
Dr. Hutchison, a PhD. in microbiology, had a distinguished career in cancer research at the Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center. Born in the small town of Carrsville, Kentucky on the banks of the Ohio River, Dr. Hutchison developed an interest in science while attending the University of Western Kentucky. She went on to earn a masters degree at the University of Kentucky and a PhD. from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, she was involved in research that led to the development of the antibiotic, Neomycin. She received an appointment to Sloane-Kettering in 1951. During her 40 years there, she led teams of researchers who studied drug resistance and developed chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Throughout her career, she was interested in the education of young people and was instrumental in the development of the cooperative graduate program with the Cornell School of Medical Sciences. She was appointed Assistant Dean of Cornell University in 1978.
In her retirement, Dr. Hutchison continued to serve others through philanthropy supporting scholarship and education. When she moved to Mystic, she became a major supporter of the Mystic YMCA's Reach Out to Youth Program and encouraged motivated young people to pursue higher education.
The Vespoli Eight will be raced this coming season by the Stonington High School varsity girls' rowing team. It is indeed fitting that these young women race the "Dr. Dorris Hutchinson" because members of the girl's crew team have consistently sought success both on the water and in the classroom. Last year, the girls' first eight was the fastest Connecticut girls' boat at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Championships. At the same time, over half of the girls' varsity rowing team were on the Stonington High School honor roll. Since 1998, eighteen girls from the Stonington girls' crew program have gone on to compete at the college level, several receiving scholarships for both athletic and academic achievement. Several young women from this year's team have already been accepted by Division I schools and are likely to pursue rowing as well as scholarly endeavors.
The Stonington High School spring season will start on March 17, 2008. Sometime earlier in March a formal christening ceremony will be held at Mystic Seaport to officially name the eight the "Dr. Dorris Hutchison", in her memory and to celebrate the girls' varsity team spring racing season.