May 10, 2007
It's love-love for new tennis centerWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue President Martin C. Jischke, Intercollegiate Athletics director Morgan J. Burke, Purdue men's tennis coach Tim Madden, and tennis players Brooke Beier, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering from East China, Mich., and Eric Hodgman, a senior majoring in biological and food process engineering from Kalamazoo, Mich., will provide remarks.
"Purdue now has a facility that matches the caliber of our tennis athletes and coaches," Jischke said. "We are proud to officially dedicate it and recognize the generosity of those who made it possible for Purdue to create one of the finest facilities in tennis."
The facility, located south of the Varsity Soccer Complex near the corner of McCormick Road and Cherry Lane in West Lafayette, is named in honor of Dennis Schwartz of Mishawaka, Ind., who pledged nearly half the money needed for the $7.2 million facility in the memory of his late wife. Schwartz also will speak.
Schwartz graduated from Purdue in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He is a retired banking executive and is active in the Elkhart, Ind., family business, Dehco/Cast Products/TriStart Distributing. The company distributes products for recreational vehicles, manufactured housing, marine and specialty automotive markets. Schwartz said his wife, who died in 2002, was an avid tennis player.
"Tennis was something that was meaningful to my wife, and she would be proud to be associated with Purdue's center for the sport that she loved," Schwartz said. "This was our way to give back to the community in a tangible way that also would reflect on her talents and love of tennis and Purdue."
That love of Purdue, he said, also was passed down to their son, Jim Schwartz, who runs the Dehco companies and lives with his wife, Julie, and two children in Granger, Ind. Jim Schwartz graduated from Purdue in 1988 with a business administration and management degree. His family provided funding for the outdoor courts.
Additional funding was provided by the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union and John and Connie Basham of Lafayette for whom the facility's indoor courts are named.
Founded in 1969 by a group of Purdue employees, PEFCU provides non-profit financial services to more than 56,000 members throughout the world. In addition to being owned by and serving its members, PEFCU supports many events in the Lafayette-West Lafayette community.
The Bashams own Basham Rentals, which leases apartments primarily to Purdue students. John Basham is retired from Eli Lilly and Co. and is a director of Lafayette Community Bank. Connie Basham served on the Tippecanoe County Council from 1997 to 2004 and also ran for state representative.
Burke said the tennis center already is attracting both recruits and recreational players.
"This facility is as impressive as any in the Big Ten and is helping us recruit and train some of the nation's top-notch athletic talent," he said. "We've had rave reviews from our players and fans."
More than 1,000 fans recently visited the 60,000-square-foot complex at which 11 teams competed in the Big Ten Men's Tennis Championships on April 26-29. The facility also will serve as a conference host in 2008 for the Big Ten Women's Tennis Championships April 24-27.
The center features six indoor and six outdoor courts, two team locker rooms, an athletic training facility, a gift shop and administrative offices. Electronic scoreboards, operated courtside via wireless remote, keep track of game, set, match and tiebreak points.
Aesthetic changes since the opening weekend include six banners that drape above each indoor court. They feature past and present Boilermaker student-athletes.
Flat-screen televisions have been installed in the team lounges and front lobby. The lounges also offer high-speed Internet access and adequate table space for student-athletes to study.The recently posted summer schedule includes new rates and hours for students, staff and community members and is available online at http://www.purduetennis.com.
Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, email@example.com
Sources:Morgan J. Burke ((765) 494-3189, firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; email@example.com
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