York Day at Rogers Cup tennis a big draw for alumni

York alumni turned out in droves to enjoy York Day at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Aug. 8. With an exclusive patio and discounted ticket prices just for them, the event generated hundreds of extra ticket sales.

Right: Alumni don red York caps and enjoy the patio

“York Day was a great event. Grads filled twice as many seats at the tournament compared to 2005 and it was good to see so many people wearing their alumni hats at centre court,” said James Allan, director, alumni.

During the matinee matches on York Day, groups of grads stopped in at the York patio, but the main event was the evening reception, where staff greeted close to 200 guests. While the players warmed up for their evening matches, alumni and friends had a chance to mingle, enjoy complimentary food and drink, and pick up alumni hats.

“Having an exclusive York patio also gave us the opportunity to connect with alumni who didn’t know about the event in advance,” said Allan. “I met all sorts of grads who were excited – and surprised – that we’re hosting new alumni events like this one. It also gave me the chance to talk about the importance of subscribing to the alumni newsletter Alumni Matters and the value of staying connected with us.”

York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden attended the reception along with tournament director Grant Connell and 1960s tennis champion Roy Emerson. Also in attendance were Naguib Gouda, executive director of York’s Alumni & Advancement Services, and Paul Marcus, president & CEO of the York University Foundation.

Left: President Lorna R. Marsden chats with 1960s champion Roy Emerson

During the evening match at centre court, grads were treated to a match between ATP World No. 1-ranked player Roger Federer and 57th-ranked Paul-Henri Mathieu. The second match that evening was between 11th-ranked Lleyton Hewitt and 35th-ranked Juan Ignacio Chela.

There were 21 daytime matches, and the players included ATP World No. 2- ranked Rafael Nadal, who was later knocked out of the tournament by 40th-ranked Nicolas Massu.

“The 2006 tournament gave our alumni the opportunity to celebrate their connection to York while watching the world’s top-seeded tennis players compete at one of Canada’s best sports facilities,” added Allan. “It’s an impressive stadium, and we look forward to inviting our alumni to enjoy it year after year.”

Story and photos submitted by Marcus Parmegiani, alumni communications officer