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If “Katie” could talk, she undoubtedly would say “THANK YOU!”

With the help of the dogged efforts of 2013 Lawrence University graduate Will Evans, Katie has been rescued, refurbished and restored to a place of honor, or at least high visibility, after spending more than half of her life in near forgotten oblivion.

Katie, a 55-foot-long, oak-and-cypress, eight-person racing shell, was “born” in 1938 in Foxboro, Mass., and spent the first 26 years of her life as a member of the rowing team at the all-women’s Milwaukee-Downer College.

But when Milwaukee-Downer consolidated with then-Lawrence College in 1964 and 50 of its students matriculated to Appleton, Katie remained in a Milwaukee boathouse.