Holding Court

by Katharine Reece MFA '12

Exhibition Tennis Match, 1955


In 1951, the College built two tennis courts to the west of Westlands, just below the terrace. Exhibition tennis matches that featured big-name players such as Ed Moylan, Dick Savitt, Ricardo Balbiers, and Jack Tuero were held in the fall, drawing nearly 500 spectators and featuring a tea-and-biscuit after-party.

The exhibition matches were started by President Harold Taylor, who was quite the tennis buff, and continued through 1959. President Taylor became head of SLC at the unprecedented age of 30, and once remarked, “What is wrong with a great deal of higher education in America is that it is simply boring.” He did his part to liven up SLC, with tennis playing no small role. When he retired, the Alumnae Association established the Harold Taylor Tennis Trophy—a silver bowl—in his name.

The SLC tennis team continued to practice on these courts until 1972, when they were removed to accommodate the Performing Arts Center. New all-weather clay courts were built behind Andrews House, where they remain today.