WASHINGTON, PA (Sept. 7, 2015) — Just in time for the fall 2015 season, the Janet Swanson Tennis Center will open on the Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) campus with a dedication ceremony Sept. 11.
The ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., will officially open the tennis center, located at the corner of East Walnut Street and Forrest Avenue on the W&J campus. Speakers at the ceremony will include W&J President Tori Haring-Smith, Ph.D., Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Michael Grzesiak, Director of Athletics Scott McGuinness, and the center’s namesake, Janet L. Swanson. The center will be opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the beautiful Janet Swanson Tennis Center,” McGuinness said. “Our tennis programs are going to receive a dramatic boost from this new facility.”
Head Tennis Coach Christopher Faulk ‘10, himself a former W&J tennis player, said the Center will greatly benefit both the team and the College, allowing ample space to host matches and larger events, a state-of-the-art athletic facility to be enjoyed by the Presidents and visiting teams, and improved recruitment opportunities.
The Swanson Center features six tennis courts, two more than the previous facility. A designated viewing area allows a comfortable view of all courts, which are lighted, a feature Faulk said will make play during evenings and inclement weather easier to accommodate. On-site storage and restroom facilities also were added.
The courts are highlighted by a formal entryway bearing the center’s name. Swanson and Dr. Scott Leaf ’76, a donor and namesake for one of the six courts, each will be personally recognized during the ceremony.
“This is an indicator of the true dedication W&J has, not only to the tennis program, but to all student-athletes at the College,” Faulk said. “It opens up a world of opportunities for us. This is really something for W&J to be proud of.”
The W&J women’s tennis team will hold its first match at the Swanson Tennis Center immediately following the opening ceremony, and a men’s invitational tournament will be held there on Sept. 20.
For W&J senior Courtney Brennan ’16, the Center represents new opportunities as well as the pinnacle of her college tennis career. She said she feels blessed to play her final college season in a facility that went above and beyond expectations.
“I have witnessed the complete transformation of both the men’s and women’s teams. We have produced winning seasons each year thanks to Coach Faulk’s leadership,” she said. “The men’s and women’s teams are a tight knit group, and I think that is visible in our matches and a secret to our success and overall love for the sport.”
The tennis center is the first completed phase of the athletic complex renovation and expansion project, which is part of An Uncommon Bond: The Campaign for Washington & Jefferson College, a $100 million campaign that will continue through June 2016.
“With a new recreation center starting construction soon, as well as the renovation of the Henry Memorial Center and Natatorium, we have great momentum building,” McGuinness said. “Our coaches will have state-of-the-art indoor facilities to continue to attract talented student-athletes to this campus. We are on the brink of a new era of W&J athletics and many, most notably our devoted alumni, are playing roles in these exciting projects.”
The campaign will also fund improvements to U. Grant Miller Library, among other initiatives. More information is available at the website An Uncommon Bond: The Campaign for Washington & Jefferson College.
“The professors, faculty, and coaches are committed to academic and athletic excellence and provide students with everything they need to pursue their passion,” Brennan said. “My hope is that the improvements inspire future Presidents to continue that legacy.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.
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