Gardner Cadwalader was a powerful oarsman on some of Joe Burk’s last varsity crews at Pennsylvania in the late 1960s.
At 6-1 and 205 pounds, the rugged Cadwalader was a member of perhaps one of Pennsylvania’s greatest varsity heavyweight eights, the 1969 crew which won the Childs, Blackwell, Adams and Madeira Cups, the IRA championship, and the Ten Eyck Trophy for the leading team point total at the IRA Regatta. The crew, Joe Burk’s last as head coach, reached the finals of the Grand Challenge Cup at England’s Henley Regatta that summer. In 1970, he stroked the varsity eight.
Before his senior year, Cadwalader rowed for the United States in the four with coxswain competition at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. A year earlier, he was part of a gold-medal winning crew in the Pan American Games, hosted in Winnipeg, Canada.
Cadwalader attended Cambridge Union University (St. John’s College) and rowed in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. Known as “The Big Yank”, Cadwalader helped lead Cambridge to victory in the spring of 1972.
Cadwalader returned to Pennsylvania after his Cambridge experience and received his master’s in architecture. He worked as an architect for 20 years before becoming a stockbroker at Dean Witter in Philadelphia.