USTA Foundation to award nearly $1 million in college scholarships in 2023

August 14, 2023 12:00 PM

The USTA Foundation will award nearly $1 million in college scholarships to 49 high school students in 2023.

Each year, the USTA Foundation awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in organized youth tennis programs including the USTA Foundation’s National Junior Tennis and  Learning (NJTL) network, have demonstrated high academic achievement, and require financial  assistance for college matriculation. This year, the sum will total $995,000.  

“These 49 deserving student-athletes embody the core values of the USTA Foundation,” said  Kathleen Wu, USTA Foundation Board President. “We look forward to cheering them on during  their college career and wherever life takes them.” 

Below is a list of this year’s scholarships and awardees: 

Marian Wood Baird Scholarship Award - $15,000

Awarded to one high school senior who has excelled academically, demonstrated achievements in leadership and participated extensively in an organized community tennis program, the Marian Wood Baird Scholarship was created by the Baird family and named in honor of the late Marian Wood Baird, who had been recognized by the USTA for more than 40 years of volunteer service. The 2023 recipient is Jayna Dunwoody (XS Tennis Foundation). 

Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship - $20,000

The Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship is granted to two high school seniors who have performed with distinction and have actively participated in extracurricular activities, community service and an organized tennis program. The award is named for Dwight Filley Davis, who began playing tennis at the age of 15 in 1894. In 1900, the year he graduated from college, Davis purchased a commemorative silver bowl as a prize for an international lawn tennis competition, marking the birth of the Davis Cup. Davis became president of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association in 1923. His grandson, Dwight F. Davis III, created the scholarship to honor his grandfather’s achievements and contributions to tennis. The 2023 recipients are Gabrielle Henderson (MACH Academy) and Mohamed Shahabuddeen (15-Love/Capital Region). 

Dwight Mosley Scholarship Award - $20,000

The scholarship was named in memory of Dwight A. Mosley, the first African American elected to the USTA Board of Directors. The Dwight Mosley Scholarship is available to high school seniors of ethnically-diverse heritage who have excelled academically and participated extensively in an organized community tennis program. Applicants must demonstrate sportsmanship on and off the court. The 2023 recipients are Yasmin Fisher (James Lewis Tennis & Education) and Flex Howard (South Atlanta CTA). 

Rosalind P. Walter Scholarship Award - $20,000

This scholarship is named in honor of the late Rosalind Palmer Walter, who was responsible for funding the first USTA Foundation scholarship in 1994, well before a comprehensive program was put in place. Mrs. Walter’s commitment to tennis and education didn’t stop with her service to the USTA Foundation Board. She served on the boards of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Long Island University, and was a trustee of WNET Channel Thirteen and the Paley Center for Media. During World War II, Mrs. Walter was a riveter, where she worked the night shift on a Corsair, building the F4U marine gull-winged fighter airplane and is the inspiration for the 1942 song "Rosie the Riveter." She took tremendous pride in knowing that the hard work, dedication and precision she put into her job helped save lives. The 2023 recipients are Angelei Kennedy (South Atlanta CTA) and Kaleem Muhammad (Washington Tennis & Education  Foundation/Junior Tennis Champions Center). 

Eve Kraft Education & College Scholarship - $20,000

The Eve Kraft Education & College Scholarship is bestowed upon two high school seniors who have excelled academically, meaningfully served their communities, played tennis in an organized program and reside in an economically-disadvantaged community. This scholarship is named in memory of Eve Kraft of Princeton, N.J., a tennis pioneer who introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged areas. The 2023 recipients are Yunuen Padilla (Marty Hennessy) and Carter Watson (Tennis Rocks). 

FILA’s Jonathan G. Epstein Spirit of Tennis Scholarship and Martin Mulligan Sr. Spirit of Tennis Scholarship - $15,000

The Spirit of Tennis Scholarships presented by FILA provide access and opportunity to students through the USTA Foundation’s NJTL network and were named in honor of two individuals who helped FILA establish its roots in tennis: former President of FILA North America Jonathan G.  Epstein, and longtime Global Tennis Marketing Executive Martin Mulligan Sr. The Spirit of Tennis Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis to two high school seniors who have high academic achievements and demonstrate good character, community leadership and sportsmanship. Each scholarship recipient receives $15,000 over the course of four years to cover costs of tuition, school-based expenses, and educational materials. The 2023 recipients are Anthony Nguyen (Tenacity, Inc.) for the Jonathan G. Epstein Spirit of Tennis Scholarship and Imani Jean (Junior Tennis Champions Center) for the Martin Mulligan Sr. Spirit of Tennis Scholarship. 

Novo Nordisk Donnelly Scholarship – either $10,000 or $5,000

This 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 affected by the challenges of Type 1 diabetes. These scholarships are awarded to students who answered an essay question and who are entering a four-year college or university program, intended to support the student’s cost of tuition, educational materials, and other related expenses at the college or university the student selects. Each national scholarship recipient will receive $10,000, and each regional scholarship recipient will receive $5,000, paid directly to the college or  university in which the student is enrolled. 

The 2023 national recipients are Chelsea B. (Naples, Fla.) and Deuce D. (San Antonio, Texas).  Chelsea and Deuce will both meet & greet with tennis legend Billie Jean King at the 2023 US  Open. 

The 2023 regional recipients are: Anna B. (Enfield, Conn.), Shelby F. (Kalamazoo, Mich.), John  “Jack” G. (Martin, Ga.), Spencer K. (Yukon, Okla.), Ella K. (Forty Fort, Pa.), Isabella L. (Batavia,  Ill.), Gabriela M. (Miami), Ellizabeth M. (Syracuse, Utah), Kaylin S. (Toccoa, Ga.) and Lauren  W. (Abingdon, Va.). 

Nora McNeely Hurley Leadership Award – either $40,000 or $20,000

The Nora McNeely Hurley Leadership Award is bestowed upon high school seniors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and tennis skills. The 2023 recipients are:


Donald Lawson Tisdel Scholarship – either $40,000 or $20,000

In 2017, the USTA Foundation named its largest college scholarship fund the Donald Lawson Tisdel College Scholarship Fund. Tisdel was a passionate proponent for the sport and a staunch believer in the power of tennis and education to touch and enhance lives. These scholarships are awarded annually to high school seniors who have excelled academically, demonstrated community service and participated in an organized tennis program such as National Junior Tennis and Learning. This year’s Donald Lawson Tisdel Scholarship recipients are:




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