Lissa McGrath Millett '83

Lissa McGrath Millett '83

Few athletes have so thoroughly dominated their sport as Lissa McGrath Millett of the Class of 1983. Her prowess in pools across the country brought national recognition to Bowdoin's swim program and established records that remain unbroken to this day.

While today's swimmers often compete in a handful of events at most, Millett's skills were comprehensive. She was an All-American 19 times in 9 different events. Lissa, the daughter of Bob McGrath '52 (Bowdoin's second All-American swimmer), captured an incredible 11 New England titles, 3 national titles, and held 20 Bowdoin records upon graduation. Twenty years later, she still holds Bowdoin records in the 100 Freestyle, 100 IM, 200 IM, and 400 IM. Her career marks, however, pale in comparison with her senior season of 1982-83.

That year, Millett was quite simply unbeatable. She won every race she entered, accumulating 29 straight victories including five New England titles. She was especially dominant in the individual medley races as all three of her national crowns were won in the IM. At the New England Championships in 1983, she was awarded the Kay Fromer Award for the most career points scored in the Championships. Millett also contributed significantly to the establishment of the women's program at Bowdoin as the squad's 8-1 record in 1983 was the best to that point in the team's history. Her final year at Bowdoin, Millett was awarded the Lucien Howe Prize for the senior demonstrating the "highest qualities of conduct and character."

In the estimation of current and former coaches and athletic directors at Bowdoin, there has been no more complete, balanced, versatile, or talented swimmer in the history of Bowdoin's programs.

Millett was a Dean's List student who graduated with a degree in government. Along with her father, her brother Peter (Class of 1979) is a Bowdoin alumnus. Lissa is a native of and currently resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with her husband, C.J., and their four children.