Arthur Ashe, tennis champion and human rights activist, is one of UCLA’s most accomplished alumni. Ashe’s legacy goes far beyond his historic win at the inaugural US Open Championship in 1968, when he became the first (and so far, the only) African- American man to raise the trophy. Following his brilliant tennis career, Ashe devoted his life to social justice, civil rights, health and—arguably the most important to him—education.
Now, in celebration of UCLA’s Centennial and the 50th Anniversary of the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at UCLA is turning once again to tennis fans, activists, and optimists everywhere. Support the next generation of change-makers who embody Arthur Ashe’s ideals by being 1 of 100 donors to donate to the Arthur Ashe Jr. Endowed Scholarship by making a gift OF ANY SIZE by September 9th, 2019.
From the classrooms and tennis courts of his youth in Richmond, Virginia and St. Louis, Missouri and to his college days at UCLA, Ashe built an awe-inspiring foundation of knowledge and character. As a Bruin, Ashe led the tennis team to the NCAA championship in 1965 with titles in singles and doubles, and earned a B.A. in Business Administration in 1966.
Founded in 2018 through private contributions, the UCLA Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholarship provides financial assistance to students who exemplify the attributes, values, commitment to service, and pioneering spirit of Arthur Ashe. After careful consideration, this year’s inaugural scholarship will be awarded to Maripau Paz, a rising fourth-year student double majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. As a first-generation college student, Maripau is committed to inspiring others on campus and in her community.
Your donations, and all net proceeds from booth sales at the 2019 US Open Tennis Championships, will sustain activities at UCLA which promote Ashe’s legacy now and in the future, including:
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Endowed Scholarship
Courses and seminars that explore Ashe’s life and connect his legacy to the present day
Physical and digital exhibitions of Ashe’s myriad of accomplishments
Collection and presentation of oral histories and archival materials
Check out some of the exclusive perks only available to donors who support the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund during the 2019 US Open.
In 1969, Arthur Ashe partnered with fellow tennis professional Charles Pasarell and businessman Sheridan Snyder to create the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL*), in the belief that, “through tennis, lives can be changed and spirits reclaimed.” The goal was to “use tennis as a way to gain and hold the attention of young people in the inner cities and other poor environments … and teach them about matters more important than tennis…”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, NJTL is dedicated to fostering ideals inspired by Ashe and helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life. NJTL chapters across the U.S. bring tennis to children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play, while fostering a sense of discipline and attention to academic achievement.
*formerly the National Junior Tennis League
Each year, over 40 UCLA alumni and friends volunteer their time during the US Open to staff the Arthur Ashe Legacy booth. This year from August 24-September 8, the booth will provide event attendees the opportunity to purchase merchandise with all sales proceeds going to support UCLAs Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund. Also available at the booth are educational opportunities through stories, brochures, and historical coloring books. For many that attend the US Open this is their first exposure to the work UCLA is doing to honor and remember Arthur Ashe. Often this leads to connections, new philanthropic support and growth of the community in support of how Arthur's legacy can continue to make an impact.
Ashe had not counted on a career in tennis. Up until the late 1960s, the sport had been confined largely to the world of private clubs and private lessons, out of reach for most young Americans from working and middle class backgrounds.
The recipient of a fully funded tennis scholarship, Ashe captained his team at UCLA to an NCAA championship and won the NCAA singles title, both in 1965. A year later, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and went on to West Point, where he reached the rank of second lieutenant in the Army.
In 1966, New York Times reporter Harry Gordon wrote, “About his future, Ashe is uncertain. It depends, he says, on two things: when he gets a good offer to drop tennis and start work, and when he decides to get married… And he claims, with great sincerity, that his real objective is to become a weekend tennis player. He believes that the job which will enable him to achieve this desirable state will involve selling, ‘either products or ideas.’”
Just two and half years later, he won the US Open. Ashe—the athlete, the scholar, the coach, the businessman, the activist, and the world citizen—would go on to set an example worthy of emulation by young athletes everywhere.
Both during and after his playing career, Ashe worked to raise awareness for many issues, including protesting apartheid in South Africa, the U.S. policy toward Haitian refugees, and health care deficiencies in urban minority communities. He also served as spokesman for the American Heart Association. Recognizing how after-school sports could teach life lessons and improve long-term educational attainment, he helped establish multiple tennis and education programs throughout the country. He used his celebrity status to advocate for mentoring, for accountability in educational outcomes and to inform the public about AIDS.
A highly respected and sought after public intellectual, he wrote numerous essays and several books, including the acclaimed “A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African American Athlete,” in addition to teaching at Florida Memorial College. At UCLA, the Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center was named in his honor in 1997.
In 2018, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center (AALC) transitioned its website and other programs to UCLA where they became part of the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund, continuing the AALC’s educational mission at Arthur’s alma mater - the creation, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society.
*Gifts are managed and invested in accordance with UCLA’s endowment investment policies. The total return earned in excess of the amount approved annually for payout will be retained in the endowment principal to protect from the effects of inflation and to allow for growth. At the Chancellor’s discretion, when the payout is not needed for purposes of the fund, the return of payout may be added to the endowment fund principal. In the event the fund does not reach endowment minimum; or the program ceases to exist at UCLA, proceeds from the fund will be utilized in an area and manner as closely related as possible to the original intent and purposes for which the fund was established.
of Thanking You
Arthur Ashe graduated UCLA class of 1966 majoring in business administration. Your gift helps to keep his legacy alive at UCLA and around the world!
Confirming his great love of UCLA, Arthur made a first gift to his alma mater in 1973. Your donation today picks up where Arthur Ashe left off in his mission to make education open and available to all. As a way of thanking you for your donation, you'll receive a copy of "Arthur Ashe: Out of the Shadow" - Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, NJTL is dedicated to fostering ideals inspired by Ashe and helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life. Not only will you be supporting the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund at UCLA, you'll receive an Arthur Ashe Legacy portable USB phone charger as our gift to you! (a tax deductible gift of $42.53)
Join UCLA in the celebration of our Centennial and the Arthur Ashe Learning Center in educating the world about Ashe's achievements and contributions to society for the next 100 years! As our way of thanking you, choose between 2 limited edition Arthur Ashe Legacy t-shirts - the official US Open Arthur Ashe Legacy design or the super-limited edition Le Coq Sportif T-Shirt designed exclusively for the 50th Anniversary of Arthur Ashe's US Open win in 1968. (a tax deductible gift of $97)
In 1985, Arthur was inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame. Your gift goes a long way in establishing a permanent home for Ashe's legacy at UCLA. To thank you for this generous contribution, you''ll receive a mystery bundle of TWO items related to the 50th anniversary of Arthur Ashe's historic US Open win, plus a t-shirt. (tax deductible gift of $232)
In 1972, Ashe helped found the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the organization that unionized the professional tour and protected the interests of its players. Like Arthur, your founding gift to The Arthur Ashe Legacy project at UCLA will help be used to make tennis and education equitable. o thank you for this generous contribution, you''ll receive a mystery bundle of FOUR items related to the 50th anniversary of Arthur Ashe's historic US Open win, plus a t-shirt. (tax deductible gift of $470)