Dan Oliver

In early September 1956 I leave Louisiana and begin a long train ride from Marshall, Texas to Boston. Along the route I meet several young guys with the same destination- the MIT community.  Enjoying freshmen orientation and rush week, I pledge Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity located at mile 25 on the marathon route.  Graduate student brother Paul Gray is our chapter advisor.  Each spring I watch the John Kelly’s run by.

Coach Oscar Hedlund convinces me to run cross country. (Oscar set the indoor mile record of 4:18.8 in 1913; Oscar retired in 1958 after 35 years at MIT.)  Every January I start MIT’s “indoor” track  - a 12 lap banked wooden track outdoors next to the hockey rink. To a Louisiana boy it better suits Eskimos and runners with a short right leg. Plus there are three weeks of classes and finals in January. I never make it through those obstacles.  Run cross country for four years.  Senior year I coxswain the heavyweight’s third boat.

In 1960 I graduated with S.B in mechanical engineering.  Since 1979 I have been an MIT educational counselor and regional chairman for 30 years, meeting and interviewing the talented applicants that make MIT what it is.  MIT awarded me the George B. Morgan award in 1994.  I’m an active member in the MIT Club of San Diego.

Would have enjoyed sharing Sean’s outdoors activities.  I run, hike, backpack, scuba, and ski.  For 20 years I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim, camped, back packed, and rode the rapids.


April 15, 2013 I’m in the aisle exiting a plane in Houston on the way to Costa Rica when I hear the news. Not knowing the details, an immediate anger boils within. This was an attack on and affront to all runners, particularly Boston runners. I had completed many marathons, some with the goal of a Boston qualifying time, whether I planned to run Boston or not. Had run Boston three times, and knew I would run another.  Before I exited the plane I knew what I had to do – Boston 2014.

Glued to TV and Internet reports in the airport and later Costa Rica, the enormity and effects of this dastardly cowardly act unfolds.  All strengthen my resolve. I’m Iffry falling by the blast before finishing, and I’m those many runners that did not finish.  I’m saddened and feel for the senseless injuries to those spectators that are as important part of the marathon as we runners. And to the many injured in the melee that followed. And then MIT’s Sean Collier – this is my community.

Two weeks later I’m running the La Jolla Half – “Boston Strong” T-shirts and me shouting “Boston” at the first turn. A huge plastic banner at the finish where runners write our thoughts and Boston victims are recognized.  The running world notes.

It will be a joy to run by the daffodils, the spectators, kiss the Wellesley girls, KISS Joan, my Simmons wife of 51 years, at mile 25, enjoy cheers at the finish and a shower at Phi Sig’s.

  • More than 100%

Fundraising Goal: 


Current Fundraising Amount: 



$250.00 Dr John J Lamberti
$20.00 Mr Eladio C Arvelo
$20.00 Dr Jerald S Feitelson
$30.00 Ms Kymberley Warshaw
$5.00 Victor D Pontis
$20.00 Ms Edny L Gula
$500.00 Mr Lawrence M Jankauski
$100.00 Mr Richard B Hodgman Jr
$20.00 Mrs Louise Robshaw
$50.00 Mr Alan L. Tarkington
$50.00 Ms Stephanie A. Tarkington
$100.00 Mr Kenneth A. Selzer
$35.00 Mr Jim Meyer
$20.00 Ms Jeri Thys
$50.00 Ms Ashley Backman
$20.00 Mr Brandon H. Suarez
$50.00 Ms Carol N Willing
$1,500.00 Dr Peter C Farrell
$50.00 Mr Edward A Keehr
$50.00 Dr Patrick C Mock
$50.00 Mr Ryan L Blanchette
$50.00 Mr Thomas E Abell
$50.00 Mr Steven P Larky
$50.00 Ms Vicky Rowley
$100.00 Ms Lulu Tsao
$50.00 Mr Kevin A Ver Hage
$100.00 Mr Harold M Wilensky
$20.00 Mr Oliver R Smoot Jr
$20.00 Baabak Barman SM XIr '07
$20.00 Craig Monsell X '77


You go, Dan!

I'm happy to support you in this effort.  Have a great time, good luck and let us know how it goes!

Such a heart-warming effort!

Hi Dan,

We are so excited that you are part of this event and effort to acknowledge Sean A. Collier.  Have an amazing and "defiant" race!


Ashley and Fern

GO Dan GO!!


You are an inspiration! may you have a spring in your soles along this run. Have fun and good luck, I will be rooting for you along the sidelines!





Great representative of the MIT Club of San Diego

Dan, You continue to be an inspiration to us all: with dedication, stamina and focus. You're the embodiment of a "Real Mensch."  Thanks for all you do for the Club and MIT Community.  Best wishes and good luck on Marathon Monday, Jerry