Beach Tennis Receives $1.25 Million Gift
Alumnus Terry Rhodes Supports NCAA Program
January 16, 2007
LONG BEACH-- Terry Rhodes credits much of his success in life to tennis.
No, he's not a professional tennis player, but he clearly
recognizes that the sport helped open doors that allowed him to be successful
in his chosen profession, a real estate transactional lawyer, for 33 years.
Because of his life-long love of tennis and connection to California State
University, Long Beach (CSULB) as a student, graduate and tennis player
in 1962, Rhodes has pledged a $1.25 million gift for the construction
of a new campus tennis facility and the establishment of an endowed scholarship
fund for tennis players. Of the gift, $250,000 will go toward the
facility and $1 million for the endowment.
"We are certainly very grateful to Terry Rhodes for this generous
gift in support of our tennis program and our students," said CSULB
President F. King Alexander. "Our tennis facilities are outdated
and in need of substantial renovation which will begin this spring thanks
to Terry's wonderful generosity. This gift that will not only
benefit our very high achieving student athletes, but thousands of other
students, faculty, staff and alumni."
Alexander further stated that "this is an example of how our university
has made an impact on a single individual and how he is unselfishly giving
back not just because of his love of tennis but because of his appreciation
to California and Cal State Long Beach for making available a high quality
university education at a critical time in his life."
"Tennis has been very good to me and gave me opportunities for employment,"
said Rhodes, who began his collegiate studies at UCLA but finished by
earning a business degree from CSULB in 1962. "I ran a tennis
program for the City for Santa Ana recreation department while in high
school, and in college, I taught tennis lessons and ran the tennis program
for the City of Long Beach recreation department, followed by teaching
tennis lessons while in law school."
An insightful person, Rhodes determined that the State of California had
been very generous to him, providing his pre-collegiate and collegiate
education, along with the opportunity to continue on for his law degree,
which he received from UCLA in 1968. As a successful lawyer, after
eight years in the field he began his own firm ¯ Rhodes, Kendall
and Harrington in Newport Beach ¯ remaining there until 1986. He
then left the firm to become a sole practitioner until retiring in 2001.
"The recreational and social contacts I made through tennis benefited
me my entire life," said Rhodes, a Rolling Hills resident. "I
hold a major appreciation for what the State of California has given me
and this is one way to give something back. I told my children I
was going to do something for education, but I didn't know when
or how. Then, I received one of those proverbial letters and I responded.
Susan Knopick (CSULB director of estate and planned giving) contacted
me and there was the opportunity to match my desire to support public
education and link it to my passion for tennis. It was just one
of those synchronistic events."
"Vic Cegles, director of athletics, had the opportunity to share
the vision for the tennis facility and our athletics program. What
we found out, was that it aligned with Mr. Rhodes' core values and
desire to support future student-athletes that share a similar passion
for tennis and education," said David Benedict, senior associate
athletics director for external relations, noting that groundbreaking
for the facility is scheduled for this month. "Mr. Rhodes has set
a wonderful example for all 49er sports fans and CSULB donors. He
understood that competitive athletics play an important role in the life
of the university and appreciates the balance between academics and athletics.
His generosity will help ensure that we can continue to provide
the support our student-athletes need."
Oddly, Rhodes, 67, quit playing tennis altogether eight years ago after
competing in the Australian Tennis Veterans Championships. It wasn't
that he didn't love the sport anymore, but rather he looked to shift
his focus to another passion ¯ marathon running, which he took up
in 1995. He simply didn't feel he could do both sports at
the level to which he was accustomed. So, at the age of 55, he ran
his first marathon in Los Angeles and has since run 25 others, including
those in Long Beach, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston. He
says that one of his proudest moments came when he, his daughter Shannon
and son Greg and other members of his family completed the Twin Cities
Marathon in Minnesota and finished together.
"When I received my business degree with a specialty in accounting
and was accepted to UCLA Law School," said Rhodes, "I
remember looking at the portfolio of entering students and seeing all
of these students from the likes of Michigan, Purdue, UC Berkeley and
UCLA, with all of these accolades and I said `what in the world
is an accounting major from Long Beach State doing here?' I
I was underprepared, but I performed well and when I look back I realize
Long Beach State gave me the solid education I could then apply through
law school and beyond. Not only was I given the opportunity to get
a good education, but the business department provided me with real fundamentals
I could use."
Rhodes admits that aside from attending 49er basketball games in the early
1970s, he hadn't been at the university since he graduated but,
upon his recent return, was impressed with how beautiful the campus is
and how it has changed.
"I guess I have a reason to come back more often now," he
PROPOSED LOOK OF THE NEW TENNIS FACILITY