Photo GalleryApril 28, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama Athletics Department dedicated the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony outside of the building on Saturday.
Among those in attendance for the dedication was Dr. Judy Bonner, Interim University President, Dr. Karen Baldwin, Interim Vice President of Advancement, Judge John H. England, Jr., member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. and Mrs. Roger Sayers, former University President, Mal Moore, Director of Athletics and Earl and Russ Baumgardner, sons of the late Roberta Alison Baumgardner, and their families.
"To Earl and Russ, we appreciate you allowing us, the Athletic Department at the University of Alabama, to name this magnificent building after your mother," said Moore. "We are so proud of what she accomplished in her days at this university and how she had been supportive of this university and our athletic department through the years."
Alison Baumgardner lettered for three seasons at Alabama on the men's tennis team. Men's coach Jason Morton discovered the Alexander City, Ala. native and enticed her to play on the varsity men's team at the Capstone because there was no women's team at the time. She won the women's collegiate singles championship titles in both 1962 and 1963 and teamed with Missouri's Justina Bricka for the 1963 women's collegiate doubles national title.
Alison Baumgardner was a four-time Blue Gray and three-time Southern Tournament champion. She is a member of the Southern Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame, the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame and the Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. Alison Baumgardner was also among the inaugural inductees into the University of Alabama's Tennis Hall of Fame. She passed away on March 20, 2009 at the age of 65.
"This is such an honor for our family to be included in such a wonderful project," said Earl Baumgardner. "If my mother were here today, she too would be honored. On behalf of my brother and our families, we are very proud to have this building named in her honor."
The six-court facility is located adjacent to the outdoor stadium and features a lobby, restrooms and overhead seating above the courts in addition to seating at court level. The addition of the indoor will not only provide a facility for the teams to compete during implement weather, but it also will benefit Alabama when submitting bids to host events such as the NCAA Championship.
In addition to the dedication of the new indoor facility, the Crimson Tide women's team holds an annual tournament in her honor, the Roberta Alison Fall Classic, which brings in several of the nation's top tennis powers annually.
"This is the finest indoor tennis facility in the country," said Alabama women's tennis head coach Jenny Mainz. "Roberta Alison Baumgardner would be very proud of it, and we are going to work very hard at winning championships in this building. On behalf of Billy Pate, the Alabama men's tennis and women's tennis programs, all the coaches, players and staff, we thank all of you, and we are very excited to break this building in and do successful things in here."