Former Tiger Tennis ace serves up $1.5 million gift for new tennis complex
State-of-the-art facility will benefit the campus and the region
A $1.5 million gift from a University of the Pacific tennis ace who went on to become a world-ranked professional player will help build a state-of-the-art tennis complex on the Stockton campus, university officials announced today. A portion of the gift will also be used to fund a matching campaign aimed at inspiring additional donors to support the project.
The Eve Zimmerman Tennis Complex will include 12 courts, a two-story, 4,000 square-foot clubhouse, covered player benches, and a new electronic scoreboard. It will occupy a portion of the footprint of the former Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Football Stadium, which will be removed later this year.
Construction of the $3 million tennis complex, planned as one of the finest tennis facilities on the West Coast, is expected to begin this summer, as the university continues to raise the remaining construction funds.
“After four years playing for the Tigers, I walked away with a good base for my game and a science degree that will be forever valuable,” said Zimmerman, who played for Pacific from 1980 to 1984 and remembers the university both for its supportive coaches and teammates and for the excellent education she received. She earned a bachelor of science in geology in 1984.
Now retired from tennis and living in London with her husband and young son, Zimmerman said she hopes her gift will help Pacific’s tennis teams compete at the highest levels, and also support junior and adult players in the San Joaquin County tennis community.
“By having great facilities, Pacific tennis players can shine as Tigers should,” she said, adding that she looks forward to hearing of the Tigers’ success -- and watching as Stockton becomes better known for its “great university and awesome tennis facility.”
Quality facilities have always been important to Zimmerman, recalls former Pacific coach Gordon Graham.
“I remember Eve throwing herself on the newly resurfaced Brookside courts (on the Stockton campus) and kissing them, she was so excited that they had been transformed,” said Graham, now head women's tennis coach at the University of Albany.
“Eve was a tough competitor, a player who took her tennis very seriously and fought hard for every match,” he added. “She was a key person in our drive to become a top team and eventually a conference champion. And now she has stepped up in a huge way to help Pacific tennis move forward yet again.”
University President Pamela A. Eibeck said the new facility will exemplify the excellence that Zimmerman exhibited throughout her collegiate and professional career.
“The Eve Zimmerman Tennis Complex will be a fitting legacy for a great student-athlete who continues to be a wonderful representative of the Orange and Black,” Eibeck said. “This facility will give Pacific Tennis a critical recruiting edge with our peer NCAA and West Coast Conference institutions, and enable the university take its ‘game’ to a new level. We are deeply grateful to Eve for her tremendous generosity.”
After graduating from Pacific, Zimmerman trained in California and played on the Satellite Tour before joining the main tour, where she competed until 1989. Highlights of her career included playing in the qualification rounds of the Australian Open and at Wimbledon. She also played for a professional German team. She had a world ranking of about 200.
One third of the former Tiger’s gift will be used to create the Eve Zimmerman Matching Gift Challenge, to help fund remaining construction costs.