September 18, 2011

Princeton University Tennis Dedicates the Cordish Family Pavilion

Princeton University tennis celebrated its history, tradition, and future with a formal dedication of the Cordish Family Pavilion last weekend. This four-year project replaces the former building that served as coaches’ offices, and whatever else could be squeezed into a small space, at the Lenz Center for many years.

The new structure takes Princeton tennis to another level. It was rightfully described several times during the event, for which over 100 alumni and supporters attended, as a spectacular building and setting.

The Cordish Family Pavilion, so named after its major donors, sits between the six courts where varsity matches are played and the Pagoda courts. The second floor contains offices, a kitchen, a lounge, ample storage space, and an open viewing platform that served nicely for the luncheon and has many possibilities for practical use. The first floor has locker rooms for the men’s and women’s teams and another gathering area or terrace.

Athletic director Gary Walters and university president Shirley Tilghman took part in the ceremony, as did current coaches Megan Bradley-Rose and Glenn Michibata. All are simply thrilled with the result. Among those on hand were former long-time varsity coaches Louise Gengler-Thomas and David Benjamin. The head coaches’ offices are named for each of them, a delightful surprise to both.

Gengler-Thomas noted that when they first got the Lenz Tennis Center, it was thrilling and that it serves them very well, But it was time for the next step. For Benjamin, who also lived through the program’s transitions, it was sentimental. He coached two of the Cordish family boys and even coached Gengler-Thomas during her senior year on the team.

As impressive as the new building is, equally impressive is the family atmosphere and camaraderie of former players, who continue to care deeply about Princeton tennis and many of whom contributed in some way to the new pavilion. The first action of the season was the men’s Farnsworth/Princeton Invitational, with finals slated for today. Summed up Tilghman, “Now we have a home that is worthy of our talent and dedication.”


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