Cal supporter Michael Go '71 has been an avid supporter of Cal women’s swimming and diving for 20 years. In 2016, Go started the Teri McKeever Women’s Swimming Scholarship in honor of the coach that inspired him to support the Golden Bears at a town hall meeting in 2001. Junior Alicia Wilson is this year’s recipient after All-American Abbey Weitzeil was the scholarship honoree for four years. Go shares with us why he supports the program and is passionate about helping student-athletes with scholarship support.
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I met Teri McKeever and Natalie Coughlin at a town hall meeting after work in 2001, and I listened to Teri talk about her vision for the Cal women’s swimming program. She had already been at Cal for eight or nine years at that point, and I listened to why Natalie chose Cal because she could have gone anywhere to swim. In listening to Teri and Natalie talk, it reminded me of the great experience I had at UC Davis as an undergraduate. Teri was inspirational to me. She had a passion and vision for the program.
When I heard that she had to fundraise for her own program just to exist at Cal, I was floored that she had to raise money for her own program every year. It upset me. After the meeting, I walked up to Teri and said coach, ‘I’m going to give you my business card. Give me a call. Let’s get together. I think I want to help you.’ That was the beginning. I have supported the program for the last 20 years. They have done so well in the pool but more importantly out of the pool. Her Bears graduate and go on to have other careers and are successful. Some have gone to law school, nursing school and medical school. These student-athletes are ready when they leave Cal. They have learned to speak up for themselves, work hard and are motivated and focused on what they want to do.
Teri has been part of the program for 27 years. She is the reason that program has been successful. When I was looking at becoming part of the Builders of Berkeley, I decided that it was the right thing to do to start a scholarship and name it after Teri McKeever. She will forever be linked to the Cal women’s swimming program. Other people have contributed. I didn’t have any desire to have the scholarship named after me. It should be named after Teri McKeever. I told her she deserves to be honored and will forever be honored in this way.
The message I have tried to give people is that since I don’t have children of my own, I feel it’s a good way to pay it forward by helping other people’s kids go to school. I was helped when I was an undergrad at UC Davis. I feel strongly that if you are in a position to give to help others, why not? And, I wish more people would do so. Everyone has a different priority. I can’t take it with me. That’s how I want my money that I earned to be utilized to help others. My uncle helped me. My father sacrificed for me. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I have done. There is no better way for me, from my perspective, that if I can give back to Cal, UC Davis or UCSF and help other people benefit and get a great education and also get a great college experience, that is well worth it to me.