Alumni Stories

Michael L. Vespoli (B’68)

Former Olympian and CEO, Vespoli USA, Inc.

Location: Philodemic Room, Healy Hall, Georgetown University
Producer/Interviewer: Anneliesa Clump Alprin (G’06)
Editor: Lisa Fthenakis (C’10) Michael L. Vespoli

Vespoli learned of Georgetown through his church. Upon his admissions rejection, he made a successful appeal to Rev. Joseph Sweeney, S.J., then director of admissions. Here, Vespoli reveals that he still has both letters. Vespoli’s career in rowing started in 1964 when he joined Georgetown’s crew team as a walk-on. He went on to row with several national championship-winning teams and placed in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Vespoli’s team of eight American rowers won the 1974 World Rowing Championships in Switzerland. He later coached university teams and was a sculling coach for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, though he did not compete because of the U.S. boycott. In 1980, with help from his retired machinist father, he started Vespoli USA. In its first year, the company made 12 boats in total—now, they manufacture that many in a week.

Vespoli is a former member of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Men’s Rowing and a current consultant to the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports. He was an NBC rowing commentator at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He and his wife, Nancy, established the Vespoli Family Crew Scholarship at Georgetown in 2003. The scholarship provides financial aid to one or more intercollegiate rowers who demonstrate financial need. In 2000, Vespoli was honored with the “Power Ten” award, which is given to those who show extraordinary support for national and international rowing.

Additional Resources

Vespoli World Class Racing Shells

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