In March, the university launched a $55-million fundraising plan for William & Mary Athletics. Titled All In [tribeathletics.com], the campaign aims to transform the championship experience for student-athletes and fans and elevate the caliber of athletics and the university as a whole.
This summer, we will see a significant step in that direction.
As part of the campaign, the university is announcing plans for a complete revitalization of the outdoor tennis facility. Plans include all new courts, elevated seating platforms, new bleachers along Brooks Street and the installation of a scoreboard, among other enhancements.
The project will create a state-of-the-art tennis facility that will put William & Mary on par with the top programs in the commonwealth and nation. Work is scheduled to begin this summer and conclude in the fall.
The facility, which is an important component of the new W&M Athletics Complex, will be named the Mackesy Tennis Center. Jennifer Tepper Mackesy '91 and D. Scott Mackesy '91, both honorary co-chairs of All In, made this project possible.
"Jen and Scott have transformed our vision for the future of athletics at William & Mary," said President Katherine Rowe. "Their investments and innovative mindset will enhance the entire educational experience of our student-athletes. They set new standards for excellence. We are beyond grateful to them."
Efforts are underway through All In to reimagine the home for W&M Athletics, including the construction of a new Sports Performance Center and the revitalization of Kaplan Arena — two facilities of many that will encompass the William & Mary Athletics Complex. The tennis courts sit across from the envisioned Sports Performance Center, where student-athletes will train, compete and study.
According to Katie Garrett Boehly '95 and Todd Boehly '96, the visionaries behind the complex and honorary co-chairs of All In, "Once complete, the complex will underscore the university's commitment to being recognized for its academics and athletics."
The reimagined home will require an additional $29-million investment. While a large percentage of funds was secured for the complex through For the Bold, there remains a significant gap in funding to begin the project, which will move forward in a phased approach.
Women's tennis coach Toni Bickford is excited about what the upgraded facility will mean for her program's future.
"We're very thankful the Mackesys are making this facility enhancement possible," Bickford said. " It will have a direct impact on the current student-athlete experience and provide us with opportunities to train at a highest level year-round," Bickford said.
Men's tennis coach Jeff Kader knew there were plans to replace the courts, but the extent of the overall project was a very pleasant surprise.
"The new outdoor center is going to be a big step forward, both in having a new home for Tribe Tennis as well as recruiting," Kader said. "It's going to be a great setup, so we're thrilled."
Jen and Scott Mackesy were both student-athletes at William & Mary. A two-time CAA Player of the Year, Scott was named to the tennis league's Silver Anniversary squad as one of the all-time top 25 players in league history. Jen made four appearances in the NCAA Championships in her time with the women's soccer program from 1987 to 1990.
"We are investing in excellence in every facet of a student-athlete's experience at William & Mary," said Scott Mackesy. "If anything, we are providing opportunity for student-athletes to be leaders in competition and in the classroom and believe wholeheartedly that investing in the future of athletics will raise the caliber and prestige of the university."
To date, the university has raised more than $20 million for the All In campaign.
As part of the All In campaign, each sports team has a yearly fundraising goal that must be met by June 30. To date, the men's tennis team has raised $136,226 toward its annual campaign goal of $67,500. The women's team has raised $28,503 toward its annual goal of $60,000.
The upgraded tennis facility will provide a better venue for fans. The scoreboard, 14 feet tall by 27 feet wide, will keep track of play on all six courts. The elevated seating will provide a better view of the courts.
The Tribe's tennis programs traditionally have been successful in the Colonial Athletic Association. The women have won 26 conference championships. The men have won four and finished as runner-up 12 times, including this spring.
"Obviously, it's been a challenging year, but to see the level of support we have is exciting for all of us here. We're very, very anxious to get out there on the new courts. It'll be fun," added Meeteren.
To learn more about the many ways you can support the W&M Athletics Complex, please visit the university's All In campaign website.