One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University engineering students hope to stay afloat during the 30th annual cardboard canoe race on Friday, September 30, from 3-5 p.m. at the university’s Cedar Lake. Hundreds of spectators will line the sidewalks around the lake to cheer on the handmade boats. Bob Chasnov

Every homecoming weekend since 1994, freshmen engineering students paddle their way, two at a time, across the university lake, attempting to make the best time while keeping head and boat above water. This year, 167 freshmen will participate in teams of four or five in the signature homecoming tradition.

The idea for a cardboard canoe race came from Dr. Larry Zavodney, senior professor of mechanical engineering, and former electrical engineering professor Dr. Sam SanGregory. After receiving a large quantity of cardboard from a local mill, the pair created a working boat. Enjoying their success, the idea for a unique class project was born.

“I think the freshmen love the whole experience,” said dean of engineering Dr. Robert Chasnov. “It’s a design experience that, at an early time in their career, brings about the reality of what it means to be an engineer.”

Praised for its hands-on approach with raw materials and design software, the event has become a university homecoming staple.

Sponsors have frequently supported students’ efforts, with Rivers Edge Canoe and Kayak Outfitters supplying life jackets, paddles and canoes for staff each year.

Students enrolled in The Engineering Profession introductory course not only gain valuable engineering experience but also get to participate in a long-standing part of Cedarville University culture.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit

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