Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays From Harvard Tennis

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Dear Harvard Tennis Family,

We would like to wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year.  It has been a year full of blessings and we want to take this moment to thank our players, support staff, parents, alums and fans for making 2015 a special year.  We are so proud to represent Harvard Tennis and hope to be good stewards by leaving it in a better position than we found it.  

A Tribute to David Benjamin
A special note regarding the recent retirement of David A. Benjamin H '66, as CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).  We are proud to call him a member of the Harvard tennis family.  
David served the ITA and American tennis for almost 40 years, in addition to coaching the men's team at Princeton for 25 of those years. David and his wife, Martine, were feted at the recent ITA convention in Naples, FL earlier this week.
David was - and still is - a master architect and strategic thinker, as well as a brilliant coach in the tradition of Jack Barnaby  His vision, perseverance, and unrelenting work ethic shaped the ITA into the world-class competitive system that is now so respected around the world.  His efforts have left an indelible mark on U.S. tennis, providing not only a training ground for tennis pros (like James Blake, Todd Martin, Malivai Washington, and John Isner, and Erica DeLone and Lisa Raymond on the women's side), but also a system of events, special recognitions and awards that have showcased the efforts and contributions of many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Varsity players from all divisions.  The ITA Achievement Award, one of David's creations, was recently endowed in David's name by legendary Stan Smith and his family.
David joins a long list of Harvard folks who have contributed mightily to the development of American tennis: Dr. James Dwight, considered the father of American tennis, who founded the USLTA four years after he founded the Harvard Lawn Tennis Association; Dwight Davis, who founded and donated and won the first Davis Cup match in 1900; Jack Barnaby '32, of course, legendary coach, author, and President of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, who helped to create teaching standards for professional teachers; Larry Scott, now Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference and formerly both COO of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and CEO of the WTA (Women's Tennis Association pro tour): Jim Curley, formerly Director of the U.S. Open; Steve Devereux, formerly CMO for Head Racquet Sports tennis division; brother Rick Devereux '72, author of tennis publications and former COO of IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association; Claire Stuart Roth '75, active on USTA national committees and an officer in USTA Nevada; and many more. Bill Backcock has served in numerous roles for the ITF including the Director of the Grand Slams.  We fondly call it the Harvard Tennis Mafia!  
A Word about Reunions
We love to bring together your class during the reunion events.  This May will be the 50th reunion for the class of 1966: David Benjamin, Dinny Adams, Dan Kleinman, Todd Wilkinson, Clive Kileff, Richie Freeman as well as Don Graham.  

The 25th reunion for the class of 1991 including Jonathan Cardi, Leon Palandjian, and Ravi Krishna Kumar.  If you are coming for your 10th or 5th reunion please reach out to us as we love to get the team together for a hit-around.  

Happy Holidays from Harvard Tennis!

Andrew and Dave and HMT '2016



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