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Armstrong State University Receives $79,000 Gift to Support New Tennis Complex

five people standing on tennis court. one is holding a check.
Savannah residents Michelle and Barry Vine recently presented a $79,000 check to support Armstrong’s new tennis complex, slated to open late summer. Included in the check presentation were Barry Vine, Armstrong Director of Athletics Lisa Sweany, Michelle Vine (holding the check), Armstrong alumnus and former tennis team player Dicky Mopper and Armstrong Vice President for Advancement Bill Kelso (l-r).

(May 25, 2016) – Savannah residents Michelle and Barry Vine presented a gift of $79,000 to Armstrong State University in support of the university’s state-of-the-art tennis complex, currently under construction on campus. The new complex will be home to Armstrong’s eight-time NCAA Division II National Champion women’s tennis team, and three-time National Champion men’s tennis team.

"Michelle and Barry's passion for the sport of tennis is infectious,” noted Armstrong Vice President for Advancement William Kelso. “They, like so many alums and local community members, are extremely proud of what these student athletes are doing on the court and in the classroom.  I'm thrilled for the Vines and others who are committed to helping build a new home for our tennis program."

Michelle Vine offered the gift on behalf of her mother, Marilyn Sickel Smith, an Armstrong alumnus who passed away in September 2015. It is the single largest monetary donation ever given to Armstrong’s Athletic Department. 

“We are grateful to the Vines for their generous gift,” said Armstrong Director of Athletics Lisa Sweany. “Our tennis program continues to thrive with assistance from the Vines and other benefactors who support our championship teams.”

Vine, an avid tennis player for 25 years who took classes at Armstrong after earning a BBA from the University of Georgia, was visibly excited and moved to hand the check to the university.

“This means a great deal to me,” she noted. “I can’t imagine a better tribute than giving to Armstrong’s tennis team. I am in awe of the whole thing.”

The tennis complex, which will allow the tennis players to host home matches for the first time since 2009, will feature 12 hard courts, seating and scoreboards located along Compass Point Drive, across from the Windward Commons student housing building. The facility will also be used for physical education classes, intramural and club sports.​

Robert LeFavi, Ph.D.

“I love working with students and inspiring them to succeed.”

Robert LeFavi, Ph.D.
Teaching since: 2003