June 25, 2005
The Yale Athletic Department has recently received approval to begin the expansion and renovation of the Cullman Courts, the current indoor home of Yale men's and women's tennis on Derby Avenue through a generous leadership gift from Samuel J. Heyman '60 and the estate of the late Joseph F. Cullman 3rd '35. The new facility will be named the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.
Samuel J. Heyman '60, who was a member of the varsity men's tennis team at Yale (1957-59), is the Chairman and owner of International Specialty Products, an international specialty chemicals company, and GAF Corporation, the nation's largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products. He is also the founder of The Partnership for Public Service, a Washington-based, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the revitalization of Government service. His wife, Ronnie Feuerstein Heyman, is a 1972 graduate of Yale Law School.
"Yale tennis was an important aspect of my college years, and I'm delighted that I can make a contribution to what will be a state-of-the-art indoor tennis facility at Yale," said Mr. Heyman.
"The renovation of Yale's tennis courts will provide an outstanding boost to the men's and women's programs. It will put our facility on par with the best in the country. Our players will benefit in many ways; they will have the court time necessary to compete with warm weather teams, we will also be able to attract nationally ranked teams from out of our region to come play us, and we'll be able to host top regional and national level events," said Alex Dorato, The Cary Leeds Coach of Men's Tennis.
The late Joseph F. Cullman 3rd '35, former chairman and chief executive officer of Philip Morris, Inc. (now Altria Group, Inc.), competed in squash and tennis at Yale. He was a key leader and sponsor in creating the first women's professional tennis tour, the Virginia Slims circuit, in 1970. Mr. Cullman served as chairman of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship and as chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It was his gift that established the current indoor facility in 1972 named after his father, Joseph F. Cullman Jr., class of 1904.
At the opening of the courts in December 1972, exhibition matches featured Mr. Cullman, former Yale and U.S. Davis Cup stars Eugene Scott '60 and Donald Dell '60, and professional Manuel Santana.
"Thanks to the generosity of Sam Heyman and the Cullman family, Yale can provide a state-of-the-art tennis center for our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors," said Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics. "When Joe Cullman made the opening of Cullman Courts possible in 1972, it was among the top collegiate indoor tennis venues in the nation. Now it can return to that status."
Details on the facility and the work will be released when they become available.
report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Assistant AD and Sports Publicity Director