Brady Gift of $3 million to Fund Squash Court Renovations
Nicholas F. Brady, a 1952 graduate of Yale College and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, has announced a gift of $3 million toward renovation of the squash courts at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium.
The refurbished facility, to be known as the Brady Squash Center, was opened to the Yale community this fall and will be officially inaugurated at dedication ceremonies on January 22, 2000. Renovation includes the erection of a spectacular four-glass-wall exhibition court as a centerpiece. Space for coaches’ offices and a team room complete with video viewing capabilities has also been created, resulting in a renovated 15-court facility that can be used for varsity programs and recreational as well as tournament play.
A strong supporter of Yale’s athletic programs, Brady chose to be a benefactor to the sport he once played as an undergraduate. He lettered in both tennis and squash during his undergraduate years at Yale and, as captain of the 1952 varsity squash team, led Yale to a national championship. After earning his B.A. at Yale, Brady earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1954. He was secretary of the U.S. Treasury during both the Reagan and Bush administrations and is currently chairman and CEO of Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd.
Yale President Richard C. Levin praised Brady’s leadership and involvement in the renovation effort, saying, “Yale has always been a place that excels in large part as a result of the vision and dedication of our alumni. Thanks to Nick Brady, our new squash courts provide vivid affirmation of this tradition and give everyone associated with squash a renewed sense of purpose and excitement about the future of the sport at Yale.”
“When I was first approached about the possibility of creating the number-one squash facility in the world at Yale, it had immediate appeal,” said Brady. “In 1952 I learned a lot from seeing how nine individuals could meld themselves into a national championship team. In a sense, the essence of college squash - enormous individual competence but also a sense of team - provided a lesson that was important in the succeeding years.”
“Now, nearly fifty years later, squash has taken on two other important dimensions. One, squash is truly international and the ability to attract to Yale international students in a world with shrinking boundaries will stand the University well. Squash is an international game, Yale is a world-renowned institution,” Brady added.
“Two, physical size determines the outcome of too many sports such as football, basketball and many others. Increasingly, this is true in many women’s sports as well. In fact, Yale has no chance of being number one in these sports and years ago gave up the goal of doing so. But I am old fashioned, and I think being number one is important. Size is not important in squash: stamina, hand-eye coordination, but mostly sheer doggedness are the qualities that lead to success. A sport where there are no barriers to entry, where a little guy can excel, is a good place to be,” Brady continued.
“So with the only four-walled glass court in the United States, two three-walled glass courts, outstanding viewing areas, and two exceptional coaches, David and Mark Talbott, Yale has a chance to be preeminent. That is important,” concluded Brady.
Ellerbe Becket Architects designed the project, which comprises Phase II of the University’s overall plan to rebuild Payne Whitney Gymnasium and improve the athletic facilities at Yale. Phase I, involving construction of a new wing to the complex, was completed earlier this year.