College Wide Team Wins Gold in Dragon Boat Race

Team Jabberwocks paddle during the Dragon Boat Race

With teamwork, the pursuit of having a good time, and supporting a good cause as their mission, a group of 20 College of Arts & Letters students, faculty, and staff, named the Jabberwocks, participated in this year’s Capital Area Dragon Boat Race and took home gold in their bracket after a long day of racing.

“We all committed to giving it our best,” said Ann Folino White, Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Directing and honorary Jabberwock flag woman. “We didn’t try our hardest in the interest of winning – I don’t think any member of our team cared about that. We wanted to enjoy improving as a team.”

Dr. Ann Folino White, the Jabberwocks flag woman, reaches for the flag from the Dragon Boat.
Dr. Ann Folino White, the Jabberwocks flag woman, reaches for the flag from the Dragon Boat.

An annual fundraising event, the Dragon Boat Race attracts teams and sponsors from around the state to benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, a local nonprofit that provides support services to women in the Lansing area.

It was the idea of Dean Christopher Long’s wife, Val, to pull together a College of Arts & Letters team. She and Melissa Staub, Executive Assistant to the Dean, had been organizing our team, the Jabberwocks, for a few months.

I was just proud to be part of it.


“None of us knew quite what to expect, but when you can support a great cause, build a tighter team, and have an enormous amount of fun, it’s a big win,” Dean Long said. “Speaking of winning, taking the gold medal in our bracket was very sweet indeed!”

Dean Long credits teamwork as the Jabberwocks common goal. “We were totally focused as a team and we had so much fun together. I was just proud to be part of it.”

Team Jabberwocks posing for a picture in their jabberwocks team shirts
Team Jabberwocks pose after the race. 

Eleven teams competed in the Dragon Boat Races on May 21 at Hawk Island Park in Lansing. MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business also had a team, and the Confucius Institute from Michigan State University was a sponsor for the event.

“MSU is an integral part of the community,” Folino White said. “As members of the community, we are responsible for helping to serve organizations, such as the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, that take care of our families, friends, neighbors, and those in need.”

Photos in the article taken by:

Jennifer DeSloover