Cal Women's Tennis Endowment
Few of California's many outstanding women athletes have attained the international success of California Hall of Fame members Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman ('11), Anna McCune Harper ('24), Helen Wills Moody Roark ('25) and Helen Hull Jacobs ('30), who helped establish the continuing standard of excellence that extends through the Golden Bears of today.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman was the first (and only) woman ever to win the U.S. National singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles in the same year (1909), repeating the achievement again in 1910 and 1911. In 1923, she left a lasting contribution women's tennis by creating the Wightman Cup Championship between British and American women, competing herself in 1923-24, '27, '29 and '31. In her honor, the Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman Tennis Scholarship is awarded each season to the top women's tennis recruit.
Harper, Roark and Jacobs all left their mark on the California campus during the 1920s, with each eventually moving on to international acclaim. A lifetime Bay Area resident, Harper began her competitive career on the Cal courts and quickly established herself nationally, eventually becoming the nation's top-ranked singles player in 1930. A Top 10 singles player from 1928-32, Harper won the 1931 Wimbledon mixed doubles title. In her honor, a scholarship is awarded annually in Harper's name to the Cal tennis player with the highest grade point average.
Jacobs, too, achieved international success, winning a Wimbledon singles championship in addition to singles and doubles titles at the Italian Open. Jacobs spent a total of 13 years in the USTA's First 10 and capped off her career as the top ranked U.S. woman from 1932-35.
Roark (better known in tennis circles as Helen Wills Moody) was one of the most successful women ever to play the game and was the top-ranked player in the United States seven times during her career. She won a total of 13 U.S. and six French National championships, collecting eight Wimbledon singles, three doubles and one mixed doubles championship and a gold medal in both singles and doubles at the 1924 Olympics.
In December 1994, Roark established an endowment for a grant-in-aid in women's tennis with a $100,000 gift to the program. Roark has also been a significant benefactor to research at the university, establishing a major endowment for support of research in the biological sciences.
The achievements of women like Wightman, Harper, Roark and Jacobs set the standard to which the California women's tennis program aspires. The tradition that began with these early greats has spawned countless All-Americans and tennis professionals, culminating in the top-flight players who grace Hellman Tennis Courts today.