NEW YORK – One of Columbia Rowing's most ardent alumni supporters, Tom Cornacchia '85CC (left), has made a leadership gift to the rowing program, establishing an endowment for all three rowing programs.

Benefitting the operating costs of all three programs, the endowment will continue to enhance the experience of the more than 100 student-athletes who compete for Columbia's heavyweight, lightweight and women's teams.

"Tom Cornacchia's generosity extends far beyond this tremendous leadership gift," said M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. "His contribution is a significant step in our goal of endowing the entire rowing program. His commitment and passion for the rowing program are unparalleled. We are so appreciative of his generous support of Columbia Rowing."

Cornacchia was a four-year letterwinner for Columbia's heavyweight rowing program during the 1980s under head coach Ted Bonanno. Cornacchia capped his career by rowing in the stroke seat, competing in straight and coxed fours at the 1985 Henley Regatta in England. "I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Columbia rowing program," Cornacchia explained.

"I believe the college rowing experience provides lessons and friendships that carry forward throughout life.  My hope is that the establishment of a permanent endowment for all three rowing programs at Columbia will help ensure the ability for all current and future generations of Columbia University students to share these experiences."

Cornacchia rowed alongside coxswain Phil Gold '87, Dave Silvera '86, Jim Hammond '86 and Colin Redhead '85, in the last Columbia heavyweight boat to row at the Henley Regatta before the Columbia heavyweights made the trip in 2008 under Mike Zimmer, Columbia's heavyweight rowing head coach and Director of Rowing.

"Tom's gift is of incredible importance to the Columbia rowing programs," Zimmer said recently. "It will permanently enhance all operations of our program and will help give our student-athletes the best possible experience here at Columbia."

An avid fan of Columbia's rowing program who attends a number of races during the spring season, Cornacchia is a managing director at Goldman Sachs in New York.