Matthew W. Houlihan "Houli"
November 5, 1980 - October 3, 2000
This page serves as an online memorial to a Hamilton rower who was a fierce competitor and a loving friend. Houli was the embodiment of the Hamilton College rowing spirit and his memory lives on in the hearts of those who had the pleasure of knowing him and those who have had the honor of rowing in the boat with his namesake. Below are a few pictures, quotes and articles about a large-hearted, dedicated individual.
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Characteristics of a Chi Psi Gentleman
"The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from goodwill and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled when necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but with sincerity and sympathy always; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe."
- John Walter Wayland
Houli and coxswain Reid Anderson relax before a race.
In 2001, a rowing shell was christened in memory of Houli. Reid Anderson, a friend of Houli's as well as team co-captain and Hamilton Crew student website founder, wrote this piece about the event.
The eight, Matthew W. Houlihan '03 "Houli", was named in memory of our former rower and stroke seat Matt "Houli" Houlihan. In attendance were more than 50 family, friends, classmates, teammates, coaches, and Hamilton College President Eugene Tobin. Family and friends came to Boston that
Sunday morning from as far as Atlanta to be there to help christen the boat.

The ceremony began with a few words from Coach Mike Gilbert who introduced President Tobin. Tobin spoke of the character of Houli and his presence on Hamilton's campus as a rower and a friend. Co-captain and coxswain of Matt's boat, Reid Anderson then spoke of Matt's role as a team member both on and off the water. "Rowing was a sport designed for people like Matt," he noted. "On the water, it is all about business and making the boat as fast as possible. Yet as soon as a crew is off the water, they are merely a bunch of friends having a good time together."

The boat was then christened with the ceremonial pouring of the champagne over the bow where the boat name is printed. First to

pour were Matt's parents, President Tobin, and Coach Gilbert. Ian Lawson, Adam Schayowitz, Steven Larson, and Reid Anderson, the only current team members on the team who had rowed with Houli, were the next to pour. The bottle was then passed to any friends and family who wished to partake in the christening of Houli's boat. Perhaps the most moving of these was Matt's high school football coach from Tabor Academy who was assisted by his son born three months after Matt's death and named after him.

The boat is black, just as Matt always begged for, and is made almost completely of Carbon Fiber by Hudson Boat Works of London, Ontario, Canada. Houli's boat will be the Men's Varsity Eight and is already adorned with Matt's "lucky penny" taped into

its bow. The team members race with a picture of Matt held in place right on the bow. Former coach Joseph Bilyea noted that the men have an advantage over the other crews as they have one extra rower with them every row.

The Men's Eight rowed the Houli this weekend at the Head of the Schuylkill for the first time. Joining them from his semester in Washington DC was Ian Lawson, Houli's former roommate. The men were pleased to row the Houli and enjoyed racing in its maiden voyage. They found the boat easy to adapt to since it rows "like a bigger version of the four, but faster."

Thank You Houli.
Website maintained by: Lisi Krainer
Website designed by: Matt Baum
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