College of Charleston Athletics Receives $1.5M Gift in Support of Tennis Center

June 14, 2022

Charleston, South Carolina, June 13, 2022 — The College of Charleston Athletics Department announced it has received a generous, program-changing $1.5 million gift from Robb and Lydia Turner to fund the renovation and new construction of its current tennis facility at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. CofC’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the construction project and renaming of the facility to the Turner Tennis Center.

Robb and Lydia Turner are ardent supporters of the College of Charleston as their daughter, Ava, spent four years in competing for head coach Angelo Anastopoulo’s CofC Women’s Tennis program. Ava graduated from CofC in the spring 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

“The College of Charleston has made a difference in many young people’s lives including our daughter Ava,” Robb Turner said. “My wife Lydia and I are happy to provide the major gift for an expanded and improved CofC Tennis center. As we saw with Ava, CofC is a wonderful place to be a tennis student-athlete. This project will improve the experience of the players on and off the court and make CofC a school of choice for top student-athletes.”

The major gift from the Turner family continues the strong fundraising momentum for College of Charleston’s campaign to improve its athletics facilities at the Patriots Point Athletic Complex. In addition to the $14 million goal for baseball capital improvements, the fundraising goal for the newly named Turner Tennis Center is $2.5 million.

“We are beyond thankful to Robb, Lydia and Ava for their generous commitment to support our vision for College of Charleston Tennis,” Director of Athletics Matt Roberts said. “This gift will allow us to substantially elevate the student-athlete experience and transform our current tennis facility into a state-of-the-art, nationally-competitive tennis center at Patriots Point.”

The capitol project at the Turner Tennis Center includes a renovation to the interior and exterior of the existing tennis building. Interior improvements include new locker rooms, lounge space, coaches’ offices and sports medicine treatment room. A new covered pavilion with an outdoor kitchen, dining tables and a fire pit highlight the exterior enhancements. The renovations also include resurfacing all nine courts, new LED court lights and scoreboard.

“Robb and Lydia were incredible supporters of their daughter, Ava, and the program during Ava’s tennis career at the College,” Anastopoulo said. “Ava inspired me to be a better coach each day by her incredible work ethic, dedication and humorous personality. I have missed seeing Ava and her family on a regular basis since she graduated in 2021 but will be reminded of them each time I walk into the renovated tennis center. Their generosity will allow tennis alumni, friends, CofC tennis classes, CofC Club Tennis, current men’s and women’s team members and so many others the opportunity to train, participate and watch great collegiate tennis in an updated facility. In addition, with recruiting becoming so competitive, this one of kind project will set us apart from others. On behalf of the men’s and women’s tennis teams, we are incredibly grateful and appreciative to the Turner family and their generous gift.”

The major gift from the Turner family and the exciting new upcoming renovations of the Turner Tennis Center come on the heels of another outstanding campaign for CofC Women’s Tennis. Anastopoulo’s squad went a perfect 6-0 in regular season CAA play, 14-2 at home and finished the 2021-22 campaign 19-7 overall. The Cougars’ top three singles players will all return for the 2022-23 season.

All persons interested in donating to the project or learning more about the initiative are encouraged to contact the Charleston Athletic Fund by phone at 843.953.8255 or by email at [email protected].