Georgian Court Revitalization
A long term program for the USCTPF has been working to bring the tennis court at Georgian Court University back into operation on campus and within the broader U.S. court tennis community. The GCU Committee spearheading the effort, led by Rich Moroscak and including Gary Barnes, Melissa Purcell and Baird Standish, have generated fantastic results.
The USCTPF works closely with Georgian Court University (GCU) to help preserve, develop, and manage the tennis court. The USCTPF supports GCU’s court facility and provides professional coaches to engage students and staff so they can learn and develop a passion for the sport. These collaborative efforts have also provided numerous opportunities to expand regional play and tournaments on campus.
The benefits of these efforts became clear when His Royal Highness, The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, stopped at Georgian Court University on his U.S. playing tour in support of charity. As we continue to develop tennis at GCU, The Earl of Wessex’s visit will signify a major milestone, a moment when the GCU community saw the tangible benefits of having an active court tennis facility. More than a hundred GCU students, as well as senior administrators, including their president Joseph Marbach, welcomed the Earl of Wessex to the university. GCU students and coaches played tennis with him before a reception and luncheon in the historic casino. As a result of the visit, GCU is now partnering with the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Georgian Court University’s court tennis facility was built in 1899 as part of George Jay Gould’s country estate, and it is the second-oldest court of its kind in the United States.
GCU’s court was home to America’s greatest amateur, Jay Gould II (George Jay Gould’s son), who found elite supremacy as U.S. Champion from 1906 through 1926. Jay Gould II learned to play court tennis at the age of 12 when his family lived on the estate.
He went on to win the U.S. Amateur championship from 1906 to 1926, one of the longest streaks in the history of the sport. During that time, he lost only one singles match, to English champion E. M. Baerlein. He also won the Olympic gold medal for the United States in 1908—the only year the sport was included in the games. Jay Gould’s antique 20th-century trophies are on display in the Mansion today.