College Swim Forum (1935 - Present)
A special event of the College Swim
Coaches Association of America, the Forum annually
draws 1,500 student-athletes from 50 collegiate swimming
and diving teams predominantly from the eastern and
The late August Burghard of the Chamber
of Commerce is one of many who felt the College Swim
Forum was a contributing factor to the phenomenal
success Fort Lauderdale has enjoyed as a resort city.
In his book Half A Century In Florida, Burghard
wrote, "The Forum not only brought this area the
pre-Christmas tourist trade, it established us a
fine resort town. Many of the college students who
attended those early Forums came back and bought
homes, raised families and became Fort Lauderdalians.
Everyone in Fort Lauderdale today owes the Forum
a vote of thanks. It has been a factor in the success
of our city."
In 1957 Joe Schabo, sports writer for
the Fort Lauderdale News, described the early days
of the College Swim Forum:
"The winter of 1935 was a cold
one. Colgate (University) Swimming Coach Sam Ingram
didn't have to be asked twice when invited
to Florida. Sam and his swimmers settled in Fort
Lauderdale for their vacation, a much different
place than we know it today; just a wee, bitty
place, with plenty of financial problems, but
with a beautiful municipal swimming pool.
Sam struck up acquaintances with
Casino Pool Manager and Chamber of Commerce Secretary
August Burghard. Together they fathered the National
College Swim Forum. They reasoned that a meeting
here each winter would give coaches the opportunity
to thrash out swim problems. With Ingram, Gordon,
and Burghard promoting, the first annual Forum
was held the following year. Al covered northern
states in the summer of '36, seeking to convince
college coaches that the Fort Lauderdale Forum
would solve their headaches."
The initial Forum of 1936 drew 100
representatives. Burghard wrote.
"That first Forum really had us
worried. The purse strings were pulled tight.
No one had much money. But the people of the
- fellows like Jack Fannin and Judge G.H. Martin,
Doc Beck, and Bill Eastman - pitched in and everyone
had a wonderful time. It was a community project.
The town was smaller and everyone knew the swimmers
were in town. Some took coaches and swimmers
into their homes. Hotels with rooms to spare,
kids up, two in a room, for a dollar a day each.
Cooperation made the initial Forums a success."
For more historical information, contact
the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. at www.ishof.org
Burghard, August. Half A Century
Dawson, Buck. Weissmuller To Spitz