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Fall 2016
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The Linley Family Legacy

By Olivia Hayden '16

The Linley family

For UCSB graduate Rupert Linley ’67, having all four of his children attend his alma mater is a dream come true.

“I steered our oldest daughter, Alexandra, to UCSB primarily because of my experience there,” said Rupert. “After that, the three younger kids spent so much time there with Allie that it was a natural fit, with no “steering’ needed.”

The Linley family have maintained a strong connection to UC Santa Barbara – and to the UCSB Rowing Program. After graduating from UCSB with a degree in philosophy Rupert went on to law school and went on to work as a deputy district attorney at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. There, he met Michele, also a deputy district attorney at the DA’s office. Michele worked full time while raising a family and went on to become Chief of the El Cajon Division.

Michele, Sean `15 and Rupert Linley at graduation

Though Michele is not a UCSB graduate, she has become a Gaucho by association, due to her husband and children’s dedication to the UCSB community. “I am very proud that our children are Gauchos because they have made lifelong friends, have great academic opportunities, learned life skills, matured and attended classes and participated in rowing in an atmosphere of integrity, hard work and honesty,” she said.

She is very proud of her family’s rowing legacy at UCSB. “Watching the kids mature, graduate, find their passion and find those they want to spend the rest of their lives with is truly a gift,” she said. “This is probably one of the big reasons behind Rupe and my support of the rowing program.”

During her time at UCSB, Alexandra Linley ’09 was involved in EAP and the Daily Nexus. When Sean Linley ’15 came, he joined the UCSB men’s rowing team. “I knew that I wanted to join a club or sport of some sort when I came to UCSB, and the rowing team caught my eye because it was something I had never tried before,” he said. “Within a week I knew that the physical and mental challenges of learning to row were ones that I wanted to take on. What I found out later is how much that team would come to mean to me. The people I meet on the team became my best friends, and racing for UCSB tied me much closer to the university.”

His involvement encouraged his younger siblings Bret Linley ’17 and Arianna Linley ’19. After Sean joined, the crew team of course wanted the rest of the Linleys. “Sean’s early involvement with crew meant that his teammates heavily recruited Bret and Arianna when they got ready for college,” said Rupert.

For Sean, Bret and Arianna, joining Crew expanded their university experience.“ When my brother, and then my sister, decided to attend UCSB I begged them to at least try rowing, because I knew that the rowing bug would bite them too,” said Sean, who now serves as assistant coach of the program. “On top of that, I was relieved to know that even if I couldn't be there for everything they needed throughout their college careers, at least one of our teammates absolutely would be.”

Rupert, of course, approved of his children’s participation in a program that had so many benefits for young people attending UCSB. “The choice of crew (which was pure luck) as a major activity was instrumental in helping our kids get the most out of being Gauchos in what can be a chaotic environment,” he said.

Bret, in his fourth year at UCSB, appreciates the lifelong friendships and community he discovered through the rowing program. "Rowing affected my life in ways I never could have imagined,” he said. “At the recruitment meeting I went to my freshman year, my coach told me that if I looked around, I would see the best man at my wedding somewhere in that meeting. I didn't believe him, but this past summer I went to my teammate's wedding where not only his best man, but all of his groomsmen were our teammates. That more than anything demonstrates what being on the UCSB rowing team means to me."

The youngest Linley, Arianna, is part of the UCSB Class of 2019. “Ariana had early acceptance and partial scholarship to Cal Lutheran, was accepted to Davis, UCSD – and UCSB’s acceptance came last,” recalled Michele. “It came down to the college experience itself, the fact UCSB had Division I sports with soccer and basketball was a huge selling point. It also helped that she got her acceptance the day before the crew team showed up at our house for crew classic that year and they were encouraging her to go to UCSB.”

Arianna’s experience with the crew team was a great foundation for her first year at UC Santa Barbara. “I have learned a lot from UCSB in just one year,” said Arianna. “The foremost lesson is about friends. It is harder going through college life alone. Rowing throws curveballs on a regular basis, but having my teammates to rely on makes it all feel easy. These friends make every hardship worthwhile.”

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