USTA Foundation awards $60,000 to youth players through Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship

Ivy Wilson and Leena Bennetto are presented with their awards by Billie Jean King, USTA Foundation staff and Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracey Donnelly Maltby.
September 10, 2021 04:00 PM

Ivy Wilson of Jenks, Okla., and Leena Bennetto of Vernon, British Columbia, were named the 2021 Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship national recipients by the USTA Foundation during the 2021 US Open, and will each receive $10,000 towards their educational pursuits.

In the scholarship's first year, the USTA Foundation awarded a total of $60,000 in Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship funds as follows: two awards of $10,000 each and eight regional awards of $5,000 each. This scholarship is available to high school students and those currently enrolled in college who have excelled in academics and tennis, have strong leadership and community involvement skills.

The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship is part of over $435,000 in scholarship grants that the USTA Foundation has awarded this year to a total of 46 high school students. Each year, the USTA Foundation awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in USTA and other organized youth tennis programs such as the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network, have demonstrated high academic achievement and require financial assistance for college matriculation. The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship is named in honor of Tracey Donnelly Maltby and Diane Donnelly Stone, who along with their father, Bud Donnelly, all played Division I collegiate tennis while living with the challenges of Type 1 diabetes. Tracey played singles and doubles for four years at the University of Iowa and received All Big Ten honors. Diane was a three-time All-American and 1987 NCAA doubles champion at Northwestern University and will be inducted into the 2022 ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. Bud played singles and doubles for four years at Western Michigan University and won six individual Mid-American Conference titles. 

Wilson and Bennetto received their awards from Billie Jean King on Sept. 2 when they joined the sports icon for a day of Grand Slam tennis. 

“Ivy and Leena are both bright young leaders who are committed to being champions in life,” said King, who presented the award to both athletes alongside the scholarship’s namesakes, Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracey Donnelly Maltby.

Wilson, 16, is a junior in high school where she serves on the student council. She plays No. 1 singles and helped her school’s tennis team finish second in the state competition in 2020. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been named to the school honor roll each year. Bennetto, 18, will be playing for the Princeton University tennis team this fall. As the top-ranked junior in British Columbia and No. 9 in Canada's under-18 ranks, Bennetto has represented Canada at the World Junior Championships and won several ITF junior titles. She is a full-time player in the Tennis Canada National Junior Program, and has won the Canadian Junior Nationals Sportsmanship Award three times. 

“I am so impressed with their maturity, perseverance, and dedication to overcoming challenges to excel in both academics and tennis.” “We are happy to award this scholarship to two deserving students who have demonstrated excellence on and off the court,” said Dan Faber, USTA Foundation’s Executive Director. “Ivy and Leena have bright futures ahead and they both exemplify that great things can happen with the powerful combination of tennis and education.”

This year’s regional winners of the Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship are Alyssa Mitchell of Duncan, Okla., Autumn Harmon of Hanover, Ind., Frances Laurent of Los Alamos, N.M., Henry Gallagher of Ephrata, Pa., Jared Lucas of Fairfax, Va., Sylvie Heriza of Pendleton, Ore., Jack Levin of Glen Head, N.Y., and Jake Rogers of Mount Pleasant, N.C.

The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship joined the USTA Foundation’s slate of scholarships in 2021. The Donnelly Scholarship has been funded for the past 18 years by Novo Nordisk Inc., a global healthcare company dedicated to meeting the unmet medical needs of people living with diabetes and other serious chronic diseases for almost 100 years. Since 2019, Cecelia Health and Dexcom have also been partners in the program.

 

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