Furman University

2013 Furman Womens Tennis Yearbook

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Furman University's tennis programs, which over the years have brought great distinction to the university with numerous championships and outstanding play, boast as their home one of the region's top tennis facilities, the Minor Herndon Mickel Tennis Center. The central building of the new tennis center, which encloses approximately 41,000 square feet, features four indoor courts and a clubhouse with offices for the men's and women's coaches, locker rooms for home and visiting teams, lobby, lounge, and viewing area for the outdoor courts. The complex also includes an outside stadium court with seating for 400 people and 15 new outdoor courts. The outdoor courts for both the men's and women's teams were resurfaced in the summer of 2011. Construction on the $2 million complex, which began in December of 1994, was completed during February of 1996. Home of the 1996 and 1998 Southern Conference men's tournament and the 1997 Southern Conference women's tournament, the facility was dedicated in May of 1996. The complex is named in honor of Minor Mickel, a long-time supporter of the university and first woman to serve as chair of the Furman Board of Trustees. An original gift of $600,000 was made in the summer of 1993 by Mrs. Mickel's family in her honor. Additional commitments by the family, alumni, and friends of the university in the following year boosted the total to nearly $2 million. Mrs. Mickel, a native of Elberton, Ga., and a graduate of the University of Georgia, was a longtime Greenville resident. She has served on both Furman's Advisory Council and Board of Trustees, and, in 1989, became the first woman ever to chair the board. She has been honored with the school's Mary Mildred Sullivan Award and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 1993, prior to her death in 2005. Mrs. Mickel was extremely involved in the Greenville community over the years, serving on the boards of the Greenville Hospital Foundation, Phillis Wheatley Center, Peace Center for the Performing Arts, United Way of Greenville, and Community Foundation of Greater Greenville. The complex also honors other individuals for their contributions to Furman. Family and friends of the late B.O. (Tommy) Thomason, an avid tennis player and Furman graduate who served as the university's chief legal counsel prior to his death in 1993, made gifts in his memory. One group of outdoor courts is called the Tommy Thomason Men's Court Complex. The stadium court is named in honor of Paul Scarpa, who served for 45 years as Furman's men's tennis coach. Court One is named in honor of Furman women's coach Debbie Southern, who is in her 29th year at the helm of the Lady Paladin program. Gifts were made in Scarpa's and Southern's honor by friends, alumni, and former players. Other courts have been named by donors to honor family and friends. Both the men's and women's tennis teams have been extremely successful over the years. The men's and women's teams have each won 17 Southern Conference Championships.

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