Doug Bergen, Class of 1985

Corny as it may be, I've always believed in "One Tribe."

Thirty-five years after leaving the pool at Adair, I can still call in a favor with any of my former William and Mary swimming teammates. No questions asked, they'll deliver. That's "One Tribe."

We woreT-shirts with the motto "Producing the Best Educated Swimmers in the WorldSince 1693." It was a self-deprecating nod to the fact that, unlike at other schools, we all had to put in more work in the classroom than we did in the pool. So it was especially sweet when we kicked butt anyway. That's"One Tribe."

There's nothing better than a sunny fall afternoon at Zable Stadium, and I was proud to be in attendance on an icy December night at Villanova Stadium when Tribe football reached the FCS semifinals in 2009. Maybe a little more proud knowing that we are all part of the same band of academic/athletic brothers. That's"One Tribe."

I go on a desperate search of my multimedia devices every winter trying to make sure I can watch the CAA Basketball Tournament, not wanting to miss the Tribe punching its first-ever ticket to the NCAA tournament. That's "One Tribe."

My father and I both competed in the U.S. Masters Swimming National Championship last year in Mesa, AZ. I know his favorite memory of the four-day event was not winning a couple titles, but being adopted by Club Tribe, William and Mary's alumni team. My 85-year-old dad had a raucous cheering section (including national champion Katie Grauman Grier, ‘00) that was the envy of his age group. That's "One Tribe." 

The sameTribe that was rallying teammates of all ages from across the nation to join together to win a team title in the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer Nationals in Richmond this summer – until the pandemic derailed the event. 

I just finished an exceptional young-adult novel about an 11-year-old swimmer whose goggles transport him to an undersea world awaiting its savior. The author of“Trident”: an immensely talented teammate and classmate, Ann Searle Horowitz,‘85. That’s “One Tribe.” 

I swam a couple miles in the ocean this morning with Melanie James-Cosgrove (’91), whom I met earlier this summer through Drew Daniele (’87). Any member of the Tribe can always find an open door at my home in Ocean City, NJ. There have not been too many periods in my life when I have not been touched by some part of theTribe.

You have the power to keep the Tribe together. Or you could betray a good part of it.

I'masking you to make the right choice and keep it together. Please consider letting the eliminated teams know what they can do to overcome whatever financial or other obstacles stand in the way. I’m certain that there’s nothing the Tribe can’t achieve together. 

Doug Bergen

Class of 1985

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