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Book Review Luncheon 

The Boys in the Boat – Friday, March 3rd Book Review Luncheon

At the Friday, March 3, 2017, book review luncheon, Dr. Oscar W. Knade, Jr. will review The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. This nonfiction book focuses on the University of Washington’s eight-member rowing team as it competes for an opportunity to not only race in the Berlin Olympics but also defeat Hitler’s champion team. The plot weaves this competition with stories of the lives of the American crew members, particularly the life of young Joe Rantz, a student athlete without family or support. The teamwork and determination of these young athletes, against the setting of the Great Depression and the rise of Hitler, combine to create a fast-paced, inspirational story.

Knade has an extensive background in teaching and school administration. After beginning his career as a teacher and elementary principal, Knade was named superintendent of the Williamsport Area School District in 1972, a position he held until 1992. During his tenure in the WASD, the district and Knade, personally, were honored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, National Council of Teachers of English, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association, as well as other state and national organizations. Locally, Knade has been or is a member of the boards of directors of the Lycoming United Way, Preservation Williamsport, Rotary Club of Williamsport, James V. Brown Library, Lycoming County American Red Cross, Hope Enterprises and the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Knade indicated that his experiences in rowing are what initially drew him to the book. During high school he participated in competitive rowing and was coxswain of his high school’s varsity eight-oar shell. He participated in a number of races and regattas, mostly on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

The luncheon will start at 12 noon in the Lowry Room of the Welch Family wing of the James V. Brown Library.  Those who wish may purchase lunch at noon for $6.  To reserve lunch, use the online reservation calendar on the library website ( where you will find a prompt for reservations or call Dana at the Library at 570-326-0536, ext. 114.  Reservations should be made by the Wednesday before the review, specifically March 1st.  (Please note that you should register only if you wish to reserve lunch.)  You may bring your own lunch or simply attend the book review which will start at 12:30 p.m.  Parking is available in the public lot off Market Street, adjacent to the Welch Wing.

2016 Friends' Board of Directors and Members

2016 Friends’ Board of Directors


  • President: Ardythe Cross
  • Vice President: Chuck Featherstone
  • Treasurer: Nancy Berkheimer
  • Secretary: Mary Beth Kibbe
  • Jim Cunningham

  • Dave Dahl

  • Letty Gray

  • Janet Hurlbert

  • Christine Kaiser

  • Betsy Madsen

  •   Linda Morris

  • Joanne O’Neill

  • Greg Thomas

  • David Wright

  • Jeanne Yaggi