Grads return to York’s Keele campus for tennis

Rogers Cup tennis served up just the right mix of sports and recreation to bring York alumni back to campus. With over 50 top-seeded members of the Women’s Tennis Association preparing to play for the US$1.3-million purse, more alumni than ever turned out for the event.


Above: York alumni enjoyed a pre-match get-together held at the Corona
Pub located adjacent to the Rexall Centre, Toronto home of the Rogers
Cup tennis tournament

“It was a great event. It’s clear that alumni are excited about returning to York for some WTA tennis. We had triple the number alumni attending this year compared to 2004,” said James Allan, director, alumni.

York hosted alumni at the tournament all week, but the main event was the Alumni Night held on Thursday, Aug. 18. The event featured a get-together at the Corona Pub held in the temporary beer gardens on the grounds of the Rexall Centre. The event took place just before the evening match between Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne and Jie Zheng from China.

While the players were gearing up for the match, York alumni gathered at the pub where they greeted by members of York’s Alumni Office as well as Lorna R. Marsden, York’s president and vice-chancellor. Also in attendance were Paul Marcus, president and CEO of the York University Foundation, and Stacey Allaster, vice-president and tournament director for Tennis Canada.

Alumni picked up York memorabilia and were treated to a slide show on the evolution of the Keele campus, which was featured on a flat panel display on loan from Sharp Electronics of Canada.

Left: Alumni had an opportunity to pick up some York memorabilia

At 7:30pm, York alumni headed into the stadium where Henin-Hardenne fought off Zheng to win 6-2, 6-4. The doubles match that followed – which featured Martina Navratilova – was cancelled 15 minutes into play due to heavy rain.

“This year’s event at the Rexall Centre was a great chance for our alumni to see how much of an improvement it is over the old facility,” added Allan. “We’ve moved from a temporary set-up to an impressive stadium that we can invite our alumni to enjoy year after year.”

The Alumni Office had invited York alumni, along with their friends and family, to attend the Alumni Night and watch the evening match.

Other schools in attendance included Carleton University, McGill University, Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology, Seneca College, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, and the University of Western Ontario.

Right: From left, Antonio Di Domenico (BA Hons. ’02, LLB ’05) and Catherine Koch (BA Hons. ’02) took advantage of the invitation to York alumni to attend the Alumni Night event.

This article was submitted to YFile by Marcus Parmegiani, alumni communications officer.